1987 Time’s Up! Environmental Group is founded in New York City. The group commits to improving the environment by empowering individuals to become active participants in their communities.
The first campaign focuses on raising public awareness through a series of highly visible, original Environmental Education Posters that introduce urban people to the connections between everyday choices, purchases and environmental issues such as rainforest destruction, animal testing, renewable energy, air quality and water pollution. These posters were highly visible and effective for introducing New York City to environmental issues.
1991 Time’s Up! launches a major campaign to promote non-polluting transportation, focusing on hybrid-electric and electric-pedal-assist technology.
Time’s Up Environmental Organization pioneered sustainable, non-polluting transportation for urban cities. The group teamed up with Light Wheels, Cooper Union and the HUB Station to conduct technological research and create early prototypes. In addition, we educated everyone from students to auto show attendees about alternative modes of transportation through workshops, seminars, and presentations. Many of these early concepts and prototypes can be see on the streets today as seen in this poster.
1992 Time’s Up! supports the creation of the first Green Apple Map, pinpointing 145 local sites in New York City that have environmental impact and sparking a local-global movement. The non-profit Green Map System has fostered the creation of locally led Green Map projects in over 400 cities in 50 countries. As of 2007, more than 325 separate Green Maps have been published, including five citywide editions of NYC’s own map. Time’s Up! co-sponsors annual Green Apple Cycling Tours that introduce the map’s highlighted areas. These fun and informative rides encourage new riders and inspire them to work toward a greener New York City.
1993 Time’s Up launches campaigns to create sustainable auto-free urban designs. This project began with regular traffic calming rides in Central Park and then expanded with helping to design and advocate for sustainable green infrastructure with the introduction of greenway rides, street parties, and urban planning and green design competitions. Some of these designs became widely accepted and can be seen on the streets today. For example, the West Side Greenway, pedestrian and bicycle bridge access, bicycle lanes, and auto-free pedestrian plazas in Time’s Square.
Traffic calming rides promote shared road use with bicyclists, skaters and pedestrians, with the goal of car-free parks and bike-friendly city streets. These rides have since spread to other boroughs and to other cities, raising awareness about the importance of clean air and safer public spaces.
1994 Time’s Up! supports the start of the Pedicab Industry in New York City
Working with the HUB Station, Time’s Up! designs, assembles, and introduces 12 original pedicabs (bike powered cabs) to the streets of New York as a carbon-dioxide-reducing alternative form of urban transportation. Due to the tireless efforts of Pedicabs of New York, Manhattan Rickshaw and other environmentalists, the industry has since expanded to over 1,000 traditional pedicabs and electric-pedal-assist pedicabs in NYC alone, and inspired similar pilot programs in other cities. To date, pedicabs have produced over 2,000 green jobs in the city.
According to the EPA’s carbon calculator, the average New York Taxi emits 100,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. If 100 people who regularly take a taxicab each day choose to take a pedicab, around 10,000,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions are reduced.
1994 Time’s Up! monthly year-round Central Park Moonlight ride begins.
The Central Park Moonlight Ride offers cyclists a safe, fun way to explore the park at night. A great draw for tourists, night-owls, lovebirds and regulars, the Central Park Moonlight recently celebrated its 13th anniversary. Since its inception, night-time activity has surged in the park, and car-free hours have greatly expanded.
1995 Time’s Up! introduces its first monthly calendar of free group bike rides and events to raise environmental awareness in fun, positive settings.
These rides attract cyclists at all skill levels and socioeconomic classes, fostering a sense of community while highlighting the benefits of non-polluting transportation. The number one complaint from cyclists is that they didn’t feel safe on their bicycles. The group rides created a safety bubble and helped build the confidence of new cyclists and inspired them to become everyday commuters.
In fact, these group bike rides helped to increase cycling in New York City by over 100% from 2000 to late 2007. This was a time when New York City was not supporting cycling in any way with safe infrastructure. The increase in ridership and direct action pushed the city to alter the city’s urban design and appoint a new Department of Transportation Commissioner who implemented bike lanes, auto-free zones and sustainable infrastructure in 2008.
Each new bicycle commuter created by our rides saves 2.82 tons of CO2 on average per year by cycling rather than taking a taxi (from carboncalculator.com). Time’s Up! rides and events have gained international recognition, have been featured and received several “Best Of” awards in publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, Time Out NY, and The Village Voice. Many of our unique rides have been replicated in other cities.
A few favorites include the Central Park Moonlight Ride, Bike Lane Liberation Clown Ride, New Years Eve Ride, Green Apple Tour, Blue Apple Ride, Bridges By Night, Mystery, History, Murder and Money Ride, Folds Up! Ride & Festival, Lights in the Heights, Environmental Bike tours, and Traffic Calming Rides.
1996 Time’s Up! teams up with Wetlands Activism Collective to launch a campaign to raise awareness about animal rights and the preservation of both virgin forest and rainforest ecosystems. Time’s Up! continues collaborating with Wetlands on various events to date, including our weekly Thursday Night Movies and Presentations.
1996 Time’s Up! pioneers the Street Memorial Project, commemorating cyclists and pedestrians killed by motorists.
- The Street Memorial Project creates silent but powerful memorials to draw attention to pedestrian and cyclist fatalities around the city through actions such as Stencil Memorials, Memorial Bike Rides, and candlelight vigils.
- In collaboration with Right of Way, Time’s Up! volunteers identify intersections around the city that are especially dangerous to cyclists and pedestrians.
- Captured by the media, these actions successfully raise public awareness of the need for improvements in the design intersections, the creation of new bike lanes and motorist awareness campaigns and harsher punishments for hit and run offenders. This project has been vital to increasing non-polluting transportation because it enables cyclists to feel safer utilizing shared roadways.
- The success of this project in New York City has inspired similar programs in other cities including Chicago and San Francisco.
- Later this project also took on “Ghost Memorials,” which are white bicycles placed in spots cyclists were killed by vehicles, now prevalent in cities nationwide.
Together, volunteers organize demonstrations, community garden cleanups, street parades, and events related to reclaiming public streets and parks for community use. Volunteers help clear rubble-strewn lots and establish new green spots, cultivating a connection with the earth and the community. Time’s Up! continues to highlight the environmental benefits of green spaces by leading bike tours of gardens.
1997 Time’s Up! celebrates its 10th anniversary.
Time’s Up! grows to over 50 volunteers, who coordinate a variety of environmental campaigns and events from community garden cleanups to raising global awareness about climate change. Time’s Up! continues to build its reputation for leading effective grassroots campaigns: increasing environmental awareness, promoting non-polluting transportation, defending cyclists’ rights, and protecting and creating green public spaces. Their techniques and campaigns become models for newly created programs to initiate environmental change around the world.
1997 Time’s Up! registers as a non-profit corporation in New York State.
1997 In collaboration with many organizations, Time’s Up! rallies public support for the building of greenways to increase non-polluting transportation and public waterfront access.
- Working in collaboration since 1997, Time’s Up! and the Cherry Tree Association advocate increased public waterfront access in the Bronx. Together, these groups raise awareness about environmental injustice, including the relationship between air pollution and the high asthma rate in the Bronx.
- In 1999, Time’s Up! helps launch Friends of Brook Park, a group that has expanded environmental outreach work in the Bronx to include canoe and bicycle excursions for all ages. These efforts have seen great success with the plan for a Bronx greenway system, slated for completion by 2009.
- Time’s Up! and the Manhattan Waterfront Alliance continue to work with community and environmental groups to eliminate gaps in the car-free greenways, moving toward the ultimate goal of a continuous public greenway system around Manhattan, providing ample public waterfront access for pedestrians and cyclists.
1998 Time’s Up! introduces its acclaimed video documentary team. The effectiveness of Time’s Up! events and campaigns can now be easily viewed worldwide.
- Time’s Up! documents both environmental abuses and solutions. These videos show how communities unite to bring about sustainable change for a greener and more just New York.
- Time’s Up! Video Collective team continues to flourish and is noted for their fearless, truth-seeking front line footage, which is regularly screened on Manhattan Neighborhood Network, shared with independent media and used to protect first amendment rights in legal proceedings.
- From Community Board meeting to major broadcast new stories to film festivals, the Time’s Up! Video Collective’s footage promotes community activism in support of a sustainable New York.
1999 Time’s Up! has helped to save over 500 endangered community gardens.
Time’s Up! helped save over 500 community gardens throughout New York City through lobbying public officials; organizing and educating communities about the importance of community gardens; drawing press attention; creating visual aids (including colorful puppets and props); and encouraging non-violent direct action (including lockdown encampments and protests). The overwhelming success of these tactics has fostered similar grassroots movements for community gardens in cities across the country.
1999 Time’s Up! is granted 501(c)(3) status. Donations are now tax-deductible and can be made through the website or mail.
2001 Time’s Up! teams up with NYC Green Thumb and Trust for Public Land, to sponsor dozens of educational workshops and community garden cleanups. Time’s Up! uses its large volunteer base to organize local communities to improve and protect existing gardens and to cultivate new gardens on vacant lots. With community support and the support of Green Thumb and Trust for Public Land, many of these gardens have now become permanent. The Time’s Up! Garden Committee continues to fight for and supports all NYC community gardens
2002 Time’s Up! works with the Clearwater Environmental Organization to promote cleaner air and water and cultivate the idea of Valet Bike Parking. Valet bike parking, which was pioneered by Time’s Up, spread to hundreds of events in NYC and can now be seen on a global scale.
Time’s Up! encourages festival-goers to ride their bicycles to the yearly Clearwater Hudson River Revival Festival, the region’s premier environmental festival, by providing free “valet bike parking” and running an outreach environmental center. Growing steadily each year, the valet bike parking area served 200 people at the 2012 festival and has inspired other events to include provisions for people arriving by bike.
2003 Time’s Up! leads the coordination of Bike Summer, a month-long celebration of bike culture in NYC. Consisting of more than 100 well-attended events over a one month period, Bike Summer marks the first major collaboration among the city’s numerous bike groups, contributing to an increased number of commuter cyclists and galvanizes an identity for the bicycle community that still exists today. Following its success, Bike Week, an annual event co-sponsored by NYC DOT, expands to New York City Bike Month.
2004 Time’s Up! supporter Steve Stollman generously donates full-time use of a storefront space, centrally located at 49 East Houston Street, just east of Broadway, in downtown Manhattan.
The Time’s Up! space becomes a center for environmental education and enables Time’s Up! to expand its indoor educational programs to include weekly seminars, guest speakers and movie nights. For the first time, internships can be offered, benefiting local and international university students.
Since 2004, our volunteers have recycled more than 1,000 bicycles. Over 10,000 people have attended our bicycle repair workshops where Time’s Up! has empowered individuals to maintain their own bicycles and to take a step closer towards becoming more sustainable citizens who utilize and advocate for this form of non-polluting transportation.
2004 Time’s Up! hosts the Bike National Convention (BNC), drawing thousands of visitors from all over the world. The BNC, coinciding with the Republican National Convention, consisted of a month-long calendar of free educational events and direct-action events to highlight environmental issues on a national stage. The large presence of cyclists during the Republican National Convention resulted in a boost of political clout and motivated local officials to take cyclists’ concerns seriously.
2004 Time’s Up! steps up its campaign to defend New Yorker’s First Amendment Rights.
- Since its inception, Time’s Up! has been dedicated not only to protecting the environment, but also to defending the community’s right to use and assemble on public space.
- To date, Time’s Up does not believe that any group promoting positive community events should be required to apply for a permit to assemble. The group engages in fun campaigns to promote our rights to assemble and free speech. Currently, we are working with New York’s Occupy Wall Street on issues of public space.
Fueled by the suppression of First Amendment Rights during and after the 2004 Republican National Convention, Time’s Up! unites with acclaimed civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, New York Bar Association, National Lawyers Guild, Assemble for Rights NYC, Radical Homosexual Agenda, 100 Blacks of Law Enforcement FreeWheels, International Mobility Justice Project, and numerous legal observers and video journalists to defend the right to speak and assemble peacefully.
Many law firms and individual lawyers have filed successful lawsuits supporting the right to assemble, including protection for group bike rides.
2004 Time’s Up! media team is formed and the media coverage of issues and events involving Time’s Up! rapidly increases over the years.
Time’s Up! continues to spread its message and promote its events to city-wide and even international audiences. In the past year, Time’s Up! events and campaigns had over 100 mentions in the media. Coverage included not only The New York Times, CNN, Voice of America, El Diario NY, Bicycling Magazine and all major New York TV networks but also media outlets from around the world including the United Kingdom and China.
“Ghost Bikes” – bicycles painted white with plaques above them to recognize deceased cyclists – are intended to honor cyclists killed on city streets and remind drivers to use caution and be aware of bicyclists. Time’s Up! and Visual Resistance worked together in the placement of 38 ghost bikes around New York City at each known crash site where a cyclist was killed by a motor vehicle in 2005 and 2006. Along with the Street Memorials Coalition, Time’s Up! continues working on the Ghost Bike Project and for safer, more secure streets for cyclists and pedestrians.
2006 Time’s Up! releases an extensive study prepared with economist Charles Komanoff to inform New York taxpayers of the monies spent by the city and state to suppress the monthly Critical Mass ride.
The study calculated the financial cost to arrest, prosecute and bring suit against law-abiding cyclists on this traffic calming group ride (which is replicated in hundreds of cities around the world). In addition to being covered in major media outlets, the study is referenced in the NYC Bar Association’s statement opposing new NYC parade permit regulations.
2007 Time’s Up! teams up with New York University’s Sustainability Taskforce to promote non-polluting transportation and environmental education among the NYU student body.
In a project known as “Bike To School,” Time’s Up! volunteers remove and recycle abandoned bicycles from NYU buildings, design bicycle parking infrastructure on campus, and educate incoming freshmen, enabling them to become bicycle commuters. This groundbreaking program sets a precedent for the way bicycles can be recovered, recycled and respected in New York. Many privately owned spaces are now using these strategies and sustainable design.
2007 Time’s Up! celebrates two decades of initiating environmental change. Non-polluting transportation and environmental awareness are at an all time high and the strength and success of Time’s Up! continues to rise in New York City. With dozens of successful campaigns that have been replicated across the country, Time’s Up! currently has more than 100 active volunteers who create and coordinate hundreds of free environmental events, bike rides and campaigns each year. Time’s Up! now has a worldwide network of more than 5,000 friends and supporters working for positive environmental change, and we encourage you to become part of our community! Visit our membership and volunteer pages to find out how.
2009 Introduced themed public space awareness events including dance rides and fountain rides
Through the introduction of fountain and dance themed bike rides, Time’s Up volunteers increase New Yorker’s awareness of their right to reclaim public space. This strong message was a crucial precursor to the creation of the city’s various pedestrian plazas around the city.
This is a continuation of our “Reclaim the Streets” campaign, which we started in 1998 in New York City with huge sound systems and dance parties in the middle of public streets. We have transitioned these dance parties to mobile transportation– on our bikes. Time’s Up Fountain Rides, Dance Rides, and Clown Rides helps to remind New Yorkers that many fountains and plazas are “privately owned public spaces” or POPS that developers built as part of a real estate deal. Since these “bonus plazas” are truly public spaces, Time’s Up initiates dance and fountain rides to reclaim the spaces and make them accessible to the public. The purpose of these rides are to show that public spaces belong to the public and can be used as a gathering place, meeting place, dancing place, and a place for people to enjoy themselves without the ever-present danger of the automobile.
2009 Time’s Up! refocuses on Climate Change and holds a seminar at Klimaforum, the global civil society counterpart to the Copenhagen UNCCC
Times’ Up worked on dozens of local campaigns to call attention to energy use and climate change. While continuing our work on promoting non-polluting transportation and renewable energy, such as wind, solar, wave, geothermal, and human power, we also started several campaigns to educate people on unsustainable energies and their dangers. These include nuclear, oil, and coal. We also spent a great deal of time holding workshops, seminars, and events on new technologies and continuously alerting communities of harmful new energy sources such as fracking, tar sands, and mountaintop removal.
In 2009 Time’s Up volunteers traveled to Copenhagen to participate in the Klimaforum, a counterpart forum to the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Time’s Up held on seminar on how the group uses tactics, campaigns, and direct actions to alter New York City’s path towards a more sustainable design and greater respect for the environment.
2010 Time’s Up! opened its Williamsburg Brooklyn location
For years, Time’s Up! campaigns have focused on new ridership. Keeping the bridges open for riders from Manhattan to Brooklyn has been a major challenge to our organization. The Williamsburg Bridge has the highest number of new riders crossing it and new ridership continues to flourish in Williamsburg. By opening this location right under the Williamsburg Bridge, along with our Manhattan location, we are able to support riders on both sides of the bridge. Our Brooklyn location offers a 24 hour bike vending machine, bike classes and workshops that have empowered over 20,000 people, thousands of low-cost recycled parts , a recycle-a-bike program, a Dutch bike program, a Hasidic lending library, and many other campaigns to help non-polluting transportation flourish.
2010 Times Up! introduces low cost Dutch bikes to its Brooklyn space
While Time’s Up! recycle-a-bike program offers all different styles of bikes, we focused on providing a very practical Dutch-style non-gender specific recycled bicycle. This single speed bicycle can be ridden in the rain and includes full fenders, both front and rear, full chain guard, and in most cases rear rack baskets, and a kick stand. The upright safe design of a Dutch Bike provides more visibility than typical bicycles. The introduction of low-cost (just over $100) Dutch bikes is a way to change the mindset of New Yorkers. Many times in America, biking is viewed as more of a sport rather than a mode of transportation. Through the use of more practical and leisurely designed Dutch Bikes, the American concept of biking can be transformed from solely sport biking to an enjoyable method for everyday commuting or enjoying the city’s bike paths and greenways. Subsequently, bike ridership can spread to various groups of people and increase non-polluting forms of transportation. This program has been remarkably successful. We are starting to see more and more Dutch bikes all over NYC.
2010 Time’s Up! created their own energy bikes
Time’s Up! volunteers designed energy bikes that produce mechanical energy through the power of pedaling. These energy-producing bikes received national attention in the Occupy Wall Street movement. Time’s Up! produced short videos on how to make your own energy bike. Thanks to support from Annenberg Foundation, Occupy Wall Street and Ben and Jerry’s, we were able to produce these bicycles not only for NYC but in other cities as well.
2011 Started a partnership with Viridian Energy , a wind power company
Due to deregulation, people have the freedom to request renewable energy exclusively from their energy provider in their own homes. Times Up! campaigns for people to make the renewable switch in their own homes. Each time a consumer switches to Viridian Energy, Times Up! receives a donation.
2011 Increased education on the harmful effects of natural gas fracking and nuclear power
Times Up! hosted extensive educational campaigns about the harmful effects of natural gas fracking and resulting water contamination. This year we also increased awareness and education about the Alberta tar sands and the potential harmful future effects caused by the proposed gas pipeline. We also worked with several campaigns focusing on the harmful effects of nuclear power and launched a campaign to shut down Indian Point power plant. Check out the video of us working with the Clearwater Environmental Organization sailing up to Indian Point.
Photos of Indian Power- http://www.flickr.com/photos/txup/sets/72157627276699421/
Photos of Anti-pipeline- http://www.flickr.com/photos/txup/sets/72157629757676708/
2011 Involved with the Occupy Wall Street Movement
Time’s Up! was involved with Occupy Wall Street since its conception, which began in New York City. Many of our volunteers played key roles in helping to get the movement started. Times Up! proudly took the lead on the sustainability committee and environmental education portions of the movement and introduced energy bikes.
Watch a video of Time’s Up! energy bikes powering Occupy Wall Street.
2012 Time’s Up! activist efforts are recognized in an exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York
2012 Launched the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Spaces
The mission of the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS) is to preserve history and promote scholarship of grassroots urban space activism by researching and archiving efforts to create community spaces. We will also exhibit materials that document these actions, to educate people on the political implications of reclaimed space.
This small, innovative history museum and living archive will highlight how East Village community members and grassroots organizations stepped up and helped transform abandoned buildings and vacant lots into vibrant community spaces and thriving community gardens. Many of these grassroots, sustainable efforts spread to communities outside the neighborhood and can be seen today throughout the world. Time’s Up! environmental group will lend some of its extensive archives to the museum.
Bill Di Paola explained in a article in Time Out Magazine, “People can get involved in their community and make proper choices about what they buy. The solution is all around us. We don’t really need a revolution. We just need to support things that already work.”
The museum is located on the ground floor of the historic C Squat in 155 Avenue C, between 9th and 10th streets.
This timeline represents just a small portion of Time’s Up!’s events and campaigns over the last 20 years. These achievements would not have been possible without the hundreds of volunteers and supporters like you who have contributed over the years. Thank you.