What to Know about Bikes on Campus
Welcome to Berkeley! We're glad you're choosing to ride a bike to get around, but we hope you will take steps to be a safe cyclist and do what you can to keep your bike out of the hands of thieves.Read more about Bike Licensing in Berkeley.
Current Schedule: When and Where
Thanks for checking this site regularly for the Bike Licensing schedule!
Bike licensing may also be available by appointment at times not listed above. Call 642-6760 between 6 and 9 PM and say you have a question about bike licensing. If your question can't be answered at that time, you may leave a message, or email UCPD at email@example.com.
Bike License Not Required by California Law
Although UCPD recommends you license your bike (a license may be helpful if your bike is lost or stolen), it is no longer required by law.
images courtesy of the SF Bike Coalition www.sfbike.org
To read more fom the SF Bike Coalition about locking, click here
Whether you're on the streets of Berkeley, San Francisco, or even on campus, you will want to use the right technique and equipment to lock your bike to an appropriate bike rack or pole. (See Rules about bikes blocking egress.)
- Learn how to go through wheel (no quick release) and main frame around bike rack.
- Use a cable to get all wheels.
- Be sure the U-lock secures the frame to your rack, not just a wheel.
Be sure to check out the interactive animation on the top that page. It was produced by the Bike Coalition and it's a great illustration of how to best keep a bike.
For a large view of the Flash animation, click here.
Bicycle Theft is a Fact
Bicycle theft is a tremendous problem on college campuses, and UC Berkeley is no exception. Bicycles and bicycle parts, including “quick release” seats and wheels, are in big demand, and thieves are well-equipped and organized.
Summary of Bike Locking Tips
• Always lock your bike to a bicycle
• USE a high quality “U” shaped lock. AVOID using lightweight cables or chains, or low quality U-locks.
• Always lock your bicycle through the frame and both wheels to a bicycle parking rack.
• Lock all free parts of bike or take them with you.
• Avoid leaving your bicycle locked outside overnight.
• Before leaving your bicycle, give the lock a tug to ensure it is secured.
• And the super obvious mistake we've actually seen some people make: Don't lock your bike to an object/pole that is short, AND has no obstacle at the top (i.e. parking meter without a "head"). Thieves will see that "locked" bike and lift the bike right off, lock and all.
Secure Bicycle Parking
It's a little known fact that our own Parking & Transportation Department offers Secure Bicycle Parking on campus. Using that service is perfect if you have a particularly valuable bike, or you can't risk the loss. Campus affiliates may apply for a space. Your bike must be licensed to use the facilities. The facilities are located in campus parking areas. Learn more about Secure Bicycle Parking
Speed. Right of Way.
On the UC Berkeley campus, pedestrians have the right-of-way at all times, except where signage directs pedestrians to give the right of way to bikes.
Bicyclists are subject to the same rules of the road as motor vehicle drivers. The maximum speed limit on roadways is 25 mph, except where posted otherwise. In driveways and parking lots it is 10 mph. Within 10 feet of a pedestrian, 5 mph.
Besides the Dismount Zone, there are Other California vehicle code laws bicyclists should know:
you cannot ride a bicycle while wearing headphones
you must have a headlight that illuminates the path when riding at night
- Other vehicle code for bicycles
Bicylists can ride everywhere on campus roadways, paths and courtyards except the Walk Zone. The Walk Zone is defined as Sproul Plaza, Dwinelle Plaza, Sather Rd. and any other clearly marked areas during the period of peak pedestrian traffic, 8am-6pm, M–F— when and where bicyclists must walk their bicycles or be subject to citation. The Dismount Zone applies to all others on wheeled transport too, like skateboards and scooters. When in doubt, WALK in the Zone!
BEST (Bicycle Education & Safety Training)
If you are cited for a "Walkt Zone" violation, you may reduce the fee to $50 by attending a 2 hour BEST class. Classes are held at UCPD twice monthly, the first Monday and the last Thursday of every month, at #1 Sproul Hall at 3:00 PM. Classes are administered by the East Bay Bicycle Coalition. If you decide not to attend the BEST class, citations will be submitted to the Clerk of the Court for normal processing.
* Where is Sather Road? It's the space right out in front of California Hall, between Dwinelle Plaza and Doe Library. See it on the interactive campus map. Click on "s"
This chart (PDF) summarizes the differences between certain popular motorized vehicles and devices. Note that for motor-driven cycles, a.k.a. "motor scooters", even if they are less than 150cc, you MUST have:
- M1 Class License
For the code, see this page at the California Department of Motor Vehicles
Licensing your bicycle increases the likelihood of recovery in case of theft. But there are other tools.
We also recommend the Bike Index. https://bikeindex.org
The Bike Index is a free nationwide index of bicycle ownership. The index has been used successfully in Berkeley to retrieve bicycles that were lost or stolen.
Secure Bike Parking on campus is only provided by Parking and Transportation for bikes that are licensed. A California Bicycle License provided by UCPD is valid for three years. Renewals, also available, are valid for up to three years.
NOTE: As of 2010, Section 6.02 of the Campus Traffic Code, regarding impounding or citing unlicensed bicycles, has been repealed.
Bike licensing is offered regularly by UCPD. Times and locations will be posted on this page (at police.berkeley.edu/prevention/bike.html#license. )
If you have questions about bike licensing, contact UCPD at 642-6760.
Don't park carelessly or your bike may be impounded. Fines and parking tickets can exceed $200.
Parking bicycles in corridors, stairwells, exit pathways, or anywhere else where it may impede emergency exit from a building is NEVER ALLOWED. This applies even if there is no signage specifically prohibiting bicycle parking.
Before locking your bike to any object on campus that is not a bike rack, consider whether your bike would be blocking passage or access to someone requiring use of a handrail, or the full width of a throughway. Fines for tickets for parking improperly on campus can exceed $200.
For more information about rules regarding egress and bicycles, download the UC Berkeley, Traffic and Parking Code, or read more about Illegally Parked Bicycles at the Office of Environmental, Health & Safety (EH&S) website.
- Always ride with traffic.
- Signal your turns and moves.
- Ride in a straight line, to the right of faster-moving traffic.
- Ride as far to the right as is safe, but not so far that you’ll hit garbage cans or opening car doors.
- If there is a bike lane, use it.
- Wear a bicycle helmet.
- Be visible. A headlight for night riding use is required by law. A red rear reflector, two side reflectors on each wheel and reflector pedals should be used. Light-colored, reflective clothing is also a good idea.
- Communicate. Ride predictably, visibly, and communicate with motorists by your actions and signals
-- it's extra nice to let pedestrians know you're approaching and which side you'll pass them on: i.e. call out a hearty, "On your right!" so that you're sure you are heard.
If you want to be a truly savvy urban cyclist, consider the free classes at the East Bay Bike Coalition. With an office on Shattuck between Allston and Kittredge, the EBBC is a conveniently located source for more information about biking in the area. Stay tuned for upcoming classes at www.ebbc.org/safety.
For further info on campus cycling and a list of cycling resources, visit the the Parking and Transportation website at pt.berkeley.edu.
Consider checking in with the Office of Sustainability about bike resources on campus. They are working towards building a program for our campus community.
Safety Counts - UCPD's Annual Security Report — Contains three years of bike theft statistics for various areas on campus.
- Daily Activity Bulletins (scan for reports mentioning bicycle theft)
- Crime Map (read disclaimer then click "Accept" to access map, search Crime Type: Theft; Agency: UCPD)
UC Berkeley Parking & Transportation Department, Bike Info page— Offers extensive information about bicycling in the area and about equipment and safety. P&T has worked with the campus to develop the Campus Bicycle Plan, which is available to review here.
- Parking & Transportation's Secure Bicycle Parking option.
Biking Through Berkeley -- UC Berkeley Parking & Transportation Department Brochure (784 KB PDF)—Clear information about biking on campus to print out and carry.
Map of Campus Bike Routes -- shows the campus's primary and secondary bikeways, as well as the locations of numerous bike racks and secure bicycle-parking facilities.
Illegally Parked Bicycles--EH&S site's overview provides helpful information
University of California, Traffic and Parking Code -- Full text of rules and regulations (January 2000)
- UC Berkeley Sustainability, Transportation Overview, including the Campus Bicycling Plan
San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Locking Page — The generous source of the animation shown on this page. This page details the best bike locking strategies.
- East Bay Bike Coalition, Safety Page
- And for those of you who've read this much so far: See this vintage Bike Safety video, and the mashup a Boards of Canada fan made of it. Some advice never goes out of style.
Email the police
Visit us at 1 Sproul Hall (basement), near Telegraph Avenue & Bancroft Way
Office Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Station Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Mail us at University of California Police Department, Berkeley, Records Unit
1 Sproul Hall, MC #1199, Berkeley, CA 94720-1199
Phone: 510 642-6760
Fax: 510 643-4655