The University recognizes that concerns exist within the University community regarding the safe use of bicycles on campus. Pedestrians are concerned with potential physical encounters with cyclists, particularly in heavy traffic areas. Many University community members have concerns about bicycles impeding the free ingress/egress of buildings, especially in the event of an emergency. Aesthetics and safety are concerns when bicycles are secured to trees, rails, signposts, benches, trash receptacles, and other inappropriate fixed objects.
Cyclists have legitimate concerns of their own, including the concerns that regulatory reaction by the University might impair their functional use of bicycles for transportation on campus, that additional bicycle racks should be available, and that they may be victimized by the theft of their bicycles or component parts.
In order to address these concerns, the University has adopted the following Bicycle Regulation which seeks to balance the needs and concerns of all parties. This Regulation is not intended to be highly punitive in nature to those that do not comply. However, it will be necessary to use nominal fines, storage/retrieval fees, and other assessments when violations occur.
This Regulation was developed as a joint effort of University Recreation, Housing & Residential Communities, The University of Alabama Police Department (UAPD), University Planning & Design, Transportation Services, Risk Management, and Facilities.
- To enhance pedestrian and rider safety on campus, with heightened emphasis during peak vehicle and pedestrian traffic periods.
- To provide for the safe and free ingress/egress to and from all the University buildings and facilities.
- To reduce bicycle theft and vandalism losses.
- To identify, establish, and publish written guidelines and regulations to facilitate the movement of bicycle traffic on campus while safeguarding the needs of the community population at large.
This policy applies to all University faculty, staff, and students who own, operate or store any pedal drive, human-powered vehicles on the University of Alabama campus.
How to Register your bicycle:
- Students may log in to their myBama account to purchase a bicycle parking permit. Click on the Student tab and under the Campus Services section, select the link Register for Parking located under the Parking Permit Registration heading. Follow the step-by-step instructions to complete the permit purchase.
- Faculty/Staff may log in to their myBama account to purchase a bicycle parking permit. Click on the Employee tab and in the right column near the bottom there is a section titled Public Safety, select the link Register for a Parking Permit. The Purchase Permit option is located at the bottom of the page. Follow the step-by-step instructions to complete the permit purchase.
Registration of Bicycles Required
- The University will require that every bicycle owned, operated, or stored on campus be registered. This process is available online through myBama.
- UA will have an efficient process to establish the ownership of a bicycle that has been removed from a person’s control. Return of the property, and if appropriate, the arrest of a thief or receiver of stolen property will be emphasized.
- If your bicycle is stolen, report the theft to UAPD immediately. If the bicycle is not registered, UAPD will take your report of stolen property; however, verification of ownership will be impeded, including verification to your insurance carrier.
- Bicycles remaining in the custody of The University of Alabama without identification of ownership and/or without being claimed after appropriate notice will be periodically sold at public auction. Dates, times, and places of auctions for bicycles will be advertised throughout each academic year, with periodic reminders as necessary based on changes in the University population, such as the beginning of the spring semester and the summer sessions.
- To indicate a bicycle has been registered, the registrant will be given a permit with a specific identification number. This will allow UAPD and Transportation Services to quickly identify the owner. This permit must be placed on the bicycle frame just below where the seat attaches to the frame.
- By registering a bicycle, the owner acknowledges that they have read and understood the University’s Bicycle Policy and agrees to the rules and regulations set forth therein.
- There will be no charge to register your bicycle at this time.
Synopsis of Alabama law
Alabama Code §§ 32-5A-260 through Section 32-5A-266, and 32-5A-280 through 286 address bicycles. Such laws generally entitle cyclists to the rights of vehicle drivers but also require cyclists to comply with the duties of vehicle drivers. Cyclists are also required to use bicycle paths, when available. State law also requires riders under 16 to use helmets and the use of restraints for children under 40 pounds. Violations may be enforced by law enforcement officers, according to the Code.
Riding Restricted by Time or Place
In order to enhance the accident-free passage of both pedestrians and cyclists the following riding restrictions are instituted:
- Cyclists should ride their vehicles on campus in bike lanes or in traffic lanes in accordance with Alabama State Law. If heavy pedestrian traffic occurs, it is expected that riders will dismount in deference to pedestrians.
- Cyclists will walk their bicycles in pedestrian areas.
- UAPD on bicycles will be exempt from the above-described restrictions in order to provide enforcement, efficient patrol service, and emergency response, consistent with their specialized training and the guidance of their supervisors.
- Violations of the law may be addressed by law enforcement officers. Violations of University policy may be addressed as appropriate via a Conduct Referral.
Parking and Securing of Bicycles
In order to reduce the opportunity for theft, the University has significantly increased the number of structurally sound bicycle security racks distributed at convenient locations throughout campus.
- Bicycles should be secured to a bike rack each time they are left unattended on campus for any period of time. To protect your bicycle and to prevent theft, lock it. The only acceptable location to lock your bicycle is a bicycle rack. Bicycles locked to anything other than a bicycle rack are subject to removal. Bicycles left in pedestrian pathways or create a safety hazard are subject to removal.
- Locking devices and methods may vary, but the U-shaped type of bicycle lock is the preferred type of locking device. When physically possible, secure the mainframe to the security rack. If wheels are of the quick-release type, attempt to secure the lock through the security rack, the bike frame, and the wheel. If necessary, use an additional lock with a long shackle or a cable and lock to secure all the parts together. If the bicycle is equipped with a quick-release seat adjustment, consider removing the seat and taking it with you. Never secure a bicycle to an object which can be disassembled, cut, or removed. Use the bicycle security racks on the inner campus.
In order to preserve the intent and the integrity of any policy, there must always be a means to encourage compliance. The office of Transportation Services is charged with enforcement action where fines, penalties or other actions against the cyclist or owner may be necessary. Transportation Services will be involved in removing bicycles that may be parked and/or secured in an inappropriate manner and/or location. Violations of law may be addressed by law enforcement, and violations of the Student Code of Conduct may be addressed by Judicial Affairs.
Violation of Bicycle Parking Procedures
Owners or operators of bicycles parked in violation of this policy will be subject to the following sanctions:
- Transportation Services staff will impound the bicycle and place it in a designated location that is deemed secure. As necessary, the locks, chains or other devices used to secure a bicycle may be removed with bolt cutters or other tools resulting in damage to the locking device. Any damage to the owner’s lock, chain or other device used to secure a bicycle will not be assumed by The University.
- An impounded bicycle will be released upon proof of ownership and a $5 storage fee may be collected.
- When the bicycle is also parked in violation of the Vehicle Code or City Ordinance the officer may, at their discretion, issue a Parking Violation or a Traffic Citation, each of which requires payment of a fine.
- Violations of the Student Code of Conduct may be addressed via a Conduct Referral.
Operation of Bicycles When/Where Prohibited
- Cycles operated in violation of this policy may qualify under the Vehicle Code for issuance of a Traffic Citation.
- In addition, disregard for traffic control devices, operation of the bicycle in such a manner as to be considered reckless, or reasonable consideration that a person has caused damage or injury by negligent operation are some of the more common provisions of the Alabama Vehicle Code, which will also qualify for the issuance of a Traffic Citation by UAPD.
- All citations require payment of a fine and costs to civil authorities upon conviction.
- Violations of the Student Code of Conduct may be addressed via a Conduct Referral.
- Any bicycle with obvious damage that would not allow for normal operations or would be reasonably considered unsafe to operate may be removed and placed in a designated location that is deemed secure until claimed by the owner. There will be no fines, penalties, or charges resulting from this action and it should be understood the action may be taken to protect the owner from injury, reduce the potential for vandalism and allow ample space in bicycle racks for bicycles that are fully functional.
- If a bicycle remains in the same location and appears unused for a minimum of 30 days, it will be considered abandoned property. Any bicycle that is considered abandoned will be “tagged” by Transportation Services to notify the owner of the suspected abandonment. The tag will serve as notice to the owner that the University intends to remove the bicycle after 30 additional days and place it in a designated location that is deemed secure until claimed by the owner.
The University will make a reasonable attempt to contact the owner at the address reflected on the registration. All bicycles after 3 months in storage, may be sold or used for official University business (i.e., parks, recreation, etc.). The University of Alabama assumes no responsibility for the loss, damage, theft, care, or protection of any bicycle or attached accessory, including locking devices or contents, at any time. Individuals who bring a bicycle onto the University’s campus assume all risk of loss or damage of the bicycle. All persons on campus should be reasonably aware of his/her own safety, whether as a pedestrian, cyclist, or vehicle operator.