Green group Time's Up aims to get New Yorkers on bikes

Free rides and workshops, plus campaigning

Environmental group Time's Up has vowed to find new ways to encourage New Yorkers to ride their bikes in 2010.

The organisation will continue offering free group bike rides and repair workshops, and will forge on with its Love Your Lane campaign, which aims to foster community support for cycling facilities and encourage the city’s Department of Transportation to add more.

"We'll also keep advocating for safer streets," said Time's Up's communications officer Barbara Ross. "Specifically more enforcement of the laws to stop motorists illegally parking in the bike lanes.”

She added: “It's difficult to pinpoint our main initiative since we work on a variety of projects, but many of them focus on getting new riders on the city streets using their bikes for everyday transportation, not just weekend recreation.

“As we move into another year of the recession, Time's Up will also emphasise the financial benefits of being part of the NYC cycling community. Expect for minor repairs, biking is free entertainment and free transportation.” 

Time’s Up executive director Bill DiPaola is asking people to think about their everyday actions and how they can decrease their carbon footprint. “This includes both their daily shopping habits and their modes of transportation to work,” DiPaola said.

“In Copenhagen, we learned that everything is about time and the sustainability of our planet in the future. We are hoping to pass that message on to New Yorkers, to continue to stay on their bikes and push the city to create more sustainable infrastructure like bike lanes in 2010.”

The public can now look into Time’s Up's past at the Tamiment Library and Robert F Wagner Labor Archives at New York University. The archives document more than 20 years of environmental advocacy.

“Time's Up is calling the archiving project the true history project,” DiPaola said. “We feel it represents a more accurate reflection of history from concerned community members who are not driven by money or business.

"Besides archiving Time’s Up’s history, it's showing how we worked with the community and thousands of volunteers over the years to create positive, sustainable change. Time’s Up hopes that people will be empowered to create sustainable change for themselves, realising that we did it with very little money and from the grassroots up. Real change begins in the streets.”

According to DiPaola, Time’s Up’s most valuable asset is its volunteers. The mechanics division alone has over 20 volunteers who teach classes and workshops five nights a week.

“Sustainable change wasn't easy in New York City,” DiPaola said. “In most cases, we use simple, fun events, campaigns and workshops to steer New Yorkers into a more sustainable future.”

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