Bike Regulations

The campus bike guidelines listed below are a critical resource for UMD cyclists.

Get acquainted with the campus bike guidelines as soon as you complete the required Bike registration. Guidelines cover: 

Terps should review our bike safety tips before hitting the road.  

Bike Parking

Maryland State Law indicates that bicycles must be operated on the road and follow all traffic laws. This includes, but is not limited to, stopping at stop signs, obeying traffic signals, riding in the direction of traffic, the prohibited wearing of headsets or earplugs in both ears, and yielding to other vehicles and pedestrians.

Cyclists should ride on the road. If it is necessary to access a destination on a bicycle via sidewalk, dismount your bicycle and walk. Always yield to pedestrians. Stick to low-traffic and low-speed areas and use bike lanes when possible. Exercise caution if it is necessary to cross or briefly travel on a busy road.

When riding in roadways, note that many streets on campus have shared-lane markings. Bicyclists are allowed to use the whole lane and cars are required to give at least 3 feet of space when passing. Cyclists must also obey traffic control signs, yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and use hand signals to indicate direction.

All state regulations related to traffic laws are enforced by the UMD Police Department. Maryland State Uniform Citations may be issued by police personnel for bicycle moving violations. The bicycle operator is responsible for all traffic citations.


Bikes may only be parked on bike racks. Locking to trees, benches, railings or other objects is prohibited. Improperly parked bikes will be impounded. You may view all of the bike racks on campus by opening the Interactive Campus Map. DOTS is responsible for enforcing bike parking regulations.

If you feel there are not enough bike racks or need to report a bike rack repair, please submit a request.


When locking your bike, use a u-lock. U-locks are the most secure type of bicycle lock for the price. The solid steel of a u-lock is more difficult to cut than the braided steel of cable locks or the thinner steel of chain locks. The thicker the lock you purchase, the more difficult it will be to cut.

Entry-level u-locks are available for purchase from the DOTS office at Regents Drive Garage and from the RecWell Bike Shop. Always lock your frame to the bike rack with the u-lock. Locking just the front fork or single wheel is easier but allows thieves to get away with most of the bike. If you have questions about where or how to best lock your bike, email

Impounded Bikes

Bikes that are not parked at bike racks may be impounded immediately for improper parking. This includes bikes that are locked to trees, railings, gates or signs. Parked bikes may not block disabled access or be a fire hazard. Abandoned bikes left on racks surrounding residence halls are removed every summer. Bike racks near academic buildings are checked for abandoned bikes on an ongoing basis. Bikes that appear abandoned (excessive rust, flat tires, missing components) will receive a warning tag. This tag indicates that the bike must be moved before a set date, usually two weeks from the placement of the tag. If the bike is not moved, it will be impounded.

Lost or Stolen Bikes

If you are unable to locate your bike, check the impounded bikes database and follow the reclaim procedures in the next section. All reclaimed bikes will be assessed a $35 bike impound fee.

If you think your bike was stolen, call the Department of Public Safety immediately at (301) 405-3555.

DOTS currently has hundreds of bicycles in our bicycle impound that have been lost, abandoned or impounded. Many of these bikes are similar models and colors and therefore we are unable to identify your bicycle without detailed information and time to look for it. If you think your bicycle has been impounded, check the Bicycle Impound Database and see if you can identify your bicycle. All impounded bikes are on this list. 

If you can identify your bicycle in the database: 

Please fill out the Bicycle Reclaim/Retrieval Form to reclaim your bike and arrange for a contactless pick-up. DOTS will confirm your pick-up time via email. At the time of your appointment, your bike will be locked to the bike rack outside of Regents Drive Garage, which is now dedicated for contactless pick-up.

In advance of reclaiming your impounded bicycle, you'll need to:

  • If your bike is not registered with the Bike Index, you will need to do so and include the email address you linked to your registration in your proof of ownership email to
  • Pay a $35 impound fee to reclaim your bike by calling DOTS to pay over the phone or arrange to charge the fee to your student account.

If you cannot identify your bicycle in the Bicycle Impound Database:

DOTS does not have your bike and we highly recommend you contact the Department of Public Safety (301) 405-3555 to report it as missing. 

Bike safety

Safe cycling starts with you! Follow these guidelines to prevent accidents and create a safe transportation environment at UMD.