Campus Bike Guidelines

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

In addition to outlining important bicycling traffic laws (no riding on the sidewalk!) and parking restrictions, the guidelines explain how to claim a lost or stolen bike, or donate your bike to charity through the DOTS office.

We recommend that cyclists become acquainted with the campus bike regulations as soon as they complete the required Bike Index registration and/or sign up for the mBike bikeshare!

Bike Parking

Maryland State law requires that bicyclists abide by the same traffic laws as vehicle drivers.This means that cyclists must ride in the street and may not ride on sidewalks. Cycling on sidewalks is dangerous for both cyclists and pedestrians. If the only way to access a destination on a bicycle is via a sidewalk, the cyclist must dismount the bicycle and walk.

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 room 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 Department of Public Safety. 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

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

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 bike@umd.edu.

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 pick up. Submit this form before 9:00 a.m. on a Tuesday in order to pick up your bicycle for the week. Bicycles will be available for pick up on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 8:15 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Forms submitted after 9:00 a.m. on a Tuesday will be available for pick up the following week.

In order to reclaim your impounded bicycle, you'll need to:

  • Provide Proof of ownership (bicycle registration, key/pin to your lock, a purchase receipt, or a picture of you with your bike)

  • Pay a $35 impound fee to reclaim your bike, by cash or card at the DOTS office. 

  • Register your bicycle on Bike Index and pick up your registration sticker from the DOTS front desk or the RecWell Campus Bike Shop.

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.

Students, staff and faculty who no longer want their bicycles are encouraged to remove them from campus property. DOTS works with a number of local non-profit organizations and will accept donations for these charities. Simply drop off the bike at the DOTS office in Regents Drive Garage between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or email bike@umd.edu.