F.10 Bicycles

The bicycle is a convenient and popular form of transportation at USC. Thousands of riders may be seen on campus on any given day; most are students, but faculty and staff also use bicycles for traversing campus. In view of the number of bicyclists, it is paramount that each rider act in a responsible manner to avoid injury. To maintain a safe environment for pedestrians and bicyclists, the following bicycle policy and related operational guidelines have been developed for all riders.

The success of this program (i.e., the safety of campus users) requires that those individuals who ride bicycles exercise sound judgment and courtesy at all times while operating and parking their bicycles.

All applicable sections of the California Motor Vehicle Code pertaining to bicycle use are to be observed on the properties of the University of Southern California. Any person operating a bicycle on USC property implicitly accepts responsibility for adherence to all state and local laws governing bicycle operation, as well as this bicycle policy.

California bicycle laws and bicycle safety tips can be found on the California Department of Motor Vehicle’s Website, www.dmv.ca.gov.

Riding your bicycle on the sidewalk while on campus is permitted, except where noted by signs on campus.

I. Licensing/Registration

  1. Bicycle registration is mandatory for all faculty, staff and students who ride or park a bicycle on the USC campus. By registering your bicycle, you will help DPS identify your bike if lost, stolen, recovered or impounded. Registration can be completed online at capsnet.usc.edu and is free. After completing the registration process, you will receive an automated receipt by email which should be kept for your personal record. Print and take a copy of this receipt to the DPS office to pick up your registration decal. DPS is located at PSA on campus. For more information, please call DPS at (213) 740-5519.
  2. Upon change of ownership or destruction of the licensed bicycle, it is the responsibility of the owner to notify DPS in writing at 3667 S. McClintock Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90089 or by email at bikereg@caps.usc.edu.
  3. Valid California Bicycle Licenses obtained from other agencies will be accepted by DPS. However, it is recommended that owners register their bicycles with DPS to assure that current information is available in the event of a theft or if your bicycle is impounded. There is no charge for this informational registration.
  4. It is unlawful for any person to tamper with, destroy, mutilate or alter any license, indicia, registration tag or serial number on a bicycle (CA Vehicle Code 39002(b)).
  5. Any person who knowingly buys, sells, receives, disposes of, conceals, or has in his or her possession any personal property from which the manufacturer’s serial number, identification number or any other distinguishing number has been removed, defaced, destroyed or altered is guilty of a crime (CA Penal Code 537e(a)).

II. Parking Regulations

  1. Bicycles may be parked only in those areas which have been specifically designated for this purpose. A bicycle parking area is indicated by the presence of bicycle racks. All bicycles must be parked in bicycle racks, and it is recommended that they are secured to these bicycle racks to deter theft.
  2. Bicycles may not be parked in a way that would block or impede the access to a building entrance or exit. Bicycles may not be left within six feet of an entrance or exit unless the area is designated for bicycle parking by racks. Additionally, bicycle parking is prohibited at any entrance, exit or access ramp to any building on campus.
  3. Bicycles parked in a manner that impedes the normal access to ramps designated for wheelchair or handicapped access to facilities are subject to impound and fines.
  4. Bicycles may not be parked or left on any lawn or landscaped area except those that have been designated for bicycle parking with the presence of bicycle racks.
  5. Bicycles may not be chained or attached to shrubbery, trees, plants, guide rails, posts, doors, lamps, telephone poles or other objects not designated for the purpose of securing bicycles.
  6. Bicycles may not be parked or left standing in any lobby or hallway of any building.

III. Parking Regulation Enforcement

    1. A public safety officer or other individual specifically authorized by DPS may issue a citation, relocate or impound a bicycle which:

a. is in violation of any regulation stated in Section I and II; or

b. appears to have been abandoned, inoperable; or

c. has been reported stolen by its owner.

  1. DPS may remove the securing mechanism of the bicycle by whatever means are necessary for impounding a bicycle or locking the bicycle in place. DPS officers are authorized to remove the device and impound the bicycle in this manner, and the university shall not be liable to the owner of the securing device or the bicycle for the cost of repair or replacement of such securing device.
  2. Any bicycle that has been impounded will be secured at its location or in the impound area of DPS. Persons retrieving an impounded bicycle will be required to show proof of ownership (with complete description: manufacturer, model, color, size and serial numbers) and his/her picture identification (student ID or appropriate state driver’s license).
  3. Bicycles are not to be left on campus for storage during winter and summer breaks. Bicycles considered abandoned will be tagged and issued a three-day warning. If no action is taken within three days, these bicycles will be considered abandoned and impounded with a fee assigned.

IV. Bicycle Operation

    1. All bicycles must be walked in and around the following areas, Monday through Friday, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.:

a. Trousdale Parkway, between Hellman Way and Downey Way

b. Childs Way, between Watt Way and the eastern boundary of Trousdale Parkway

c. All construction areas at all times for the continued safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.

d. Gate 5, at times, on McClintock, between Jefferson Boulevard and 34th Street

  1. Bicycles may not be operated at a speed that exceeds the university speed limit for vehicles (15 miles per hour on streets and 5 miles per hour on campus grounds).
  2. Bicycles may be operated on the streets and pedestrian malls on campus; however, bicycles are to be walked on sidewalks in designated areas delineated by signage.
  3. Bicycles must always yield to pedestrians anywhere on the pedestrian malls. Bicycles must be walked in crosswalks since they are many times filled with pedestrians.
  4. When operating a bicycle, bicyclists must remain in the marked bike lane, if there is one. Otherwise they must remain to the far right of the street or paved area.

V. Fine Structure

Violators receiving a citation are referred to Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards, and may receive a monetary fine.

  • The impound fee is $20 for each occurrence. A bicycle will not be released until after the payment is made and ownership is established. If an owner is unable to pay the fine, he or she must sign a promissory note in order to retrieve his/her bicycle. If the owner does not return with the fine within three days, the charge will be added to the student’s fee bill and a registration hold will be placed if the amount is not paid.
  • The impound fee for bicycles blocking building access, wheelchair ramps or handicapped access is $35.
  • The impound fee for bicycles locked to a wheelchair ramp or handicapped access is $75.
  • Bicycles not claimed in 90 days will be presumed to be abandoned and will be sold or donated to charity.

VI. Cautionary Note

Bicyclists are urged to be very cautious when riding on campus. Accidental collisions may seriously injure pedestrians or other bicyclists. In the state of California, Bicycle riders (cyclists) on public streets have the same rights and responsibilities as automobile drivers and are subject to the same rules and regulations as any other vehicle on the road. A bicyclist who strikes anyone is liable for all medical expenses of that victim and any damage done to the victim’s property.

A bicycle operator who strikes a pedestrian or other bicyclist and does not stop to inquire whether any harm or damage has been done, has committed the crime of “hit and run” (Calif. Motor Vehicle Code, Section 20001). This could result in the arrest and prosecution of the bicycle operator. Such an offense carries a ONE-YEAR sentence in jail or state prison or a fine of $10,000 or BOTH.

Riding a bicycle on campus grounds is good exercise and provides transportation to the rider. However, it also carries with it the necessity of operating a bicycle responsibly. Please ride your bicycle carefully and with all due consideration for the rights of other bicyclists and pedestrians.

If you operate a bicycle, you are also urged to review your homeowner and automobile insurance policies, or other personal liability coverage to be sure you, and your family if you are a dependent, are protected.

Revised March 2013.