For Comment: Revised Bicycle Policy
April 22, 2014, Volume 60, No. 31
At the request of the Facilities Committee of the University Council, Penn’s Department of Transportation and Parking Services under the Division of Business Services was asked to lead a Committee to review biking options on campus with a focus on routes and paths, construction detours, public safety and facilities needs and concerns and parking for bikes on campus. Committee membership includes representatives from the Divisions of Business Services, Facilities and Real Estate Services and Public Safety; Student Health Services and PennCycles.
As part of this effort, the Committee has been charged with updating the University’s Bicycle Policy (see below). If you have comments or questions about the new policy, please direct them to Tracy Hawkins, executive assistant to the vice president of business services, at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 23, 2014.
The University promotes safe, responsible and legal bicycle use on the streets adjacent to campus, as well as limited use of pedestrian walks within the campus. To achieve this intent, the University provides secure and convenient bicycle parking corrals at the periphery of campus, accessible from adjacent streets and close to popular destinations. The University has adopted the following bicycle use policy to balance and provide for the needs of all University faculty, staff, students and visitors. Enforcement of the policy is authorized by the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, Philadelphia Code, Philadelphia Fire Code and University of Pennsylvania’s Police Department (UPPD). However, like most policies, it relies on the thoughtfulness, cooperation and consideration of the entire University community.
University of Pennsylvania Bicycle Policy
- Enhance pedestrian, vehicular and rider safety
- Ensure safe ingress/egress to and from all University facilities
- Reduce bicycle thefts
- Encourage bicycle registration
1. Excerpts from Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Law
UPPD is authorized to enforce both the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code and all City of Philadelphia Ordinances.
A. Human powered, pedal cycles (legal terminology for bicycle) are considered vehicles according to the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, and are therefore subject to the provisions of the Vehicle Code when operated on roadways, and may not stop, stand or park where prohibited or where controlled by official traffic control devices to include fire lanes, handicapped zones, etc.
A. The Philadelphia Code prohibits any person above the age of 12 from riding a bicycle on any sidewalk or pedestrian walk.
B. A person walking a bicycle is considered a pedestrian.
C. The Philadelphia Fire Code requires clear passage from all exits and stairways at all times. No obstruction shall be permitted. No bicycles can be parked or stored in a manner that restricts such egress, such as at building entrances and exits.
2. Bicycle Riding Restrictions and Dismount Zones
In order to provide the opportunity for the safe passage of both pedestrians and cyclists, the following riding restrictions are instituted:
A. Cyclists shall dismount and walk their vehicles on all campus walks during the day between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and during other periods of heavy pedestrian traffic.
B. University Police and security personnel on bicycles will be exempt from riding restrictions in order to provide enforcement, efficient patrol service and emergency response.
3. Parking and Securing of Bicycles
In order to prevent theft, the University provides secure, monitored bicycle parking corrals at the perimeter of the core campus adjacent to public streets and bicycle lanes.
A. Lock bicycles at designated corrals. These corrals are continuously monitored by camera by UPPD to deter theft.
B. Do not lock bikes to handrails, fences, trees, railings, benches, etc.
C. Do not lock bikes in any other location that obscures the access to or from any facility as required by the Philadelphia Fire Code, the US Americans with Disabilities Act and/or this Policy.
D. Locking Devices and Methods:
1. Use a flat key U-lock to secure bicycles to rack.
2. When physically possible, secure the main frame to the rack.
3. If wheel(s) are quick-release, secure lock through the frame and the wheel. If necessary, use an additional lock to secure all the parts together.
4. If the bicycle is equipped with a quick-release seat adjustment, consider removing the seat and taking it with you.
5. Never secure a bicycle to an object which can, itself, be disassembled, cut or removed.
For more information, please refer to the DPS website on bike safety: www.publicsafety.upenn.edu/bicycle-safety-information/
E. Summer Months: All students must take their bikes with them when they check out of University Housing. Do not store bicycles on racks. Any bicycles left secured to University owned bicycle racks over the summer will be considered abandoned and will be removed and donated to local non-profit organizations.
UPPD enforces campus Bicycle Policy.
A. Parking: Owners or operators of bicycles in violation of parking rules in this Policy may be subject to potential confiscation of the bicycle by removal to UPPD headquarters or by adding a UPPD lock. See Section 5 (below) on confiscation policy.
B. Operation of Bicycles:
1. Cyclists operating bicycles in violation of this Policy qualify under the Vehicle Code for issuance of a Traffic Citation or a Non-Traffic Criminal Citation under City Ordinances. Normally the Traffic Citation will be used. Such citations can be issued by City Police or by UPPD.
2. In addition, disregard for traffic control devices, operation of the bicycle in such a manner as to be considered reckless or to reasonably be considered to have caused damage or injury by negligent operation are some of the more common provisions of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code which will also qualify for the issuance of a Traffic Citation.
3. All citations require payment of a fine to civil authorities upon conviction.
The University recommends that every bicycle owned, operated or stored on or about the campus, should be registered with UPPD via its Campus Express Property Registration.
Advantages of bicycle registration are listed below:
1. Police can quickly establish ownership of a bicycle that has been removed.
2. The potential return of the property or arrest of a thief or receiver of stolen property will be increased.
3. If your bicycle is lost or stolen, UPPD will verify the existence of that bicycle to your insurance carrier, if requested. If the bicycle is not registered, UPPD will take your report of lost or stolen property. But, in the absence of registration, UPPD cannot provide verification of the prior existence of that bicycle as your property to your insurance carrier.
Bicycles remaining in UPPD custody without identification of ownership after 30 days are donated to local non-profit organizations. Dates, times and places of registration for bicycles will be widely advertised throughout each academic year, with periodic reminders as may be appropriate in response to changes in the University population such as the beginning of the spring semester and the summer sessions.