Rice University recognizes there are competing interests within the University community regarding the safe use of bicycles on the campus. Because of the campus layout, it is the current practice that bicycles and pedestrians share many campus sidewalks (meaning all outdoor walkways on campus regardless of how they are surfaced). Pedestrians’ interests lie in avoiding physical encounters with cyclists, particularly in heavy traffic areas. Cyclists are interested that any bicycle regulations not unfairly impair the use of bicycles for transportation on the campus. To balance these and other competing interests, the University has adopted the following bicycle safety rules, which seek to address the needs of all interested parties. Like most Rice rules, these rely on the thoughtfulness, cooperation and consideration of the entire University community.
All bicycles on campus must be registered. Registration helps RUPD to identify owners of lost, stolen or impounded bicycles and to disseminate safety information. Bicycle registration is free. Unregistered bicycles risk receiving a citation and removal by RUPD. For information on how to register your bicycle, please go to the Bikes at Rice Website http://www.rice.edu/bikesatrice/, stop by the RUPD, or call 713 348-6000.
Cyclists riding in the street are required to comply with motor vehicle traffic regulations. Cyclists should obey traffic signs and always ride with the traffic. At all stop signs, cyclists must stop and yield the right-of-way to other vehicles and pedestrians already at the intersection. RUPD will ticket cyclists for right-of-way violations at intersections. Click here to view links to traffic laws relevant to cyclists.
Pedestrians have the right of way on sidewalks, in crosswalks, and around any stopped bus. Pedestrians are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings, but it is the cyclist’s responsibility to yield to a pedestrian. Cyclists may not pass any bus that has stopped to pick up or discharge passengers. Rice has adopted a “Bell or Yell” program for cyclists to announce their approach when encountering pedestrians. You will get a free bicycle bell when you register your bicycle.
Covered walkways are off limits to bicycle riding. Because covered walkways have blind corners and are located in front of building entrances, cyclists must walk their bicycles in these areas of the campus. RUPD will issue citations for riding a bicycle in these prohibited areas.
Cyclists are encouraged to use the streets rather than the sidewalks whenever possible and to walk their bicycles on congested sidewalks. Except for covered walkways and where otherwise posted, such as around the Brochstein Pavilion, bicycle riding is permitted on sidewalks. Every person riding a bicycle on a sidewalk must (i) ride in a careful and prudent manner, (ii) slow to a near walking pace within 10 feet of any pedestrian or building entrance, (iii) yield the right of way to pedestrians, and (iv) give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian. Cyclists should keep in mind that a pedestrian may be visually impaired, hearing impaired, infirm, or a campus visitor and that pedestrians may make sudden, unpredictable movements. Accidental collisions may seriously injure pedestrians or other cyclists. A cyclist who strikes someone may be liable for personal injuries and property damage.
Cyclists are expected to secure their bicycles in the bicycle racks. Rice has bicycle racks that are conveniently located throughout the campus. Bicycles secured to fences, sign posts, stair railings or locations other than bicycle racks may be ticketed or impounded. Locks damaged in the removal will be the responsibility of the owner. Unsecured bicycles may be impounded for safekeeping.
Bicycles left unattended for an extended period of time are presumed to be abandoned and as such will be removed by the RUPD. Suspected bicycles will be tagged with a removal end date. Abandoned bicycles will be held at the RUPD for 60 days before they may be disposed unless prior notification has been made to RUPD. To retrieve an impounded bicycle, the owner must provide proof of ownership.