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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

June 7, 2007

Register your bike: it's free, easy and forever

bike sticker

Thinking about using your bike to get to work a little more often this summer? Good for you! As part of its crime prevention efforts, the ISU department of public safety (in a joint program with the city of Ames) offers a free bicycle registration program. All bicycles on campus must be registered. It's free and your registration never expires. Inside talked with public safety's Doug Houghton about riding and parking bikes on campus.

How do I register my bike?

Bicycle owners fill out a short form, either online or in person, at the options listed below. The information is recorded in a database, and you receive a sticker (about 1.5 inches square) with a registration number to affix to the frame of your bike.

Is the local registration networked with a larger (ex., state or regional) system?

No, but by having a registration ID on your bike, police in, say, Dubuque, would know to contact us if your bike showed up there.

Why should I register my bike?

You will help deter bike theft. If your bike is lost or stolen, you have a better chance of getting it back.

What happens if I don't register my bike and park it in a campus rack?

You'll most likely receive a warning from the department of public safety, with a recommendation to register your bike.

Are there any special rules for riding on campus?

Bicyclists should use roads and designated campus bike paths. Don't ride across lawns or on sidewalks (except those that are designated as bike paths). We hope bicyclists will learn the designated bike paths and use them whenever they can.

Where should I park my bike?

Bikes should be parked in the racks provided. Don't chain your bike to a light pole, tree, fence, bench or building railing. Bikes parked on disability access ramps to buildings especially cause problems. Campus police will immediately remove and impound a bike parked on an access ramp.

I ride an expensive bike. Is it OK if I park it inside my building?

No, not without permission from a public safety official. One bike in a building may not seem like a problem, but we don't have room for 6,000 bikes in our buildings. Whatever we made the rule to be, it had to apply to everyone. So, we went this way with it.

But the nearest rack isn't next to my building.

Bike racks intentionally have been installed along roadways and designated bike paths -- to be easily accessible to riders. The plan is not that you'd be able to ride up to your building. The intent is that you'd park your bike near your building and walk to your office.

Public safety and facilities, planning and management work together to build adequate, appropriate bike parking across campus. If you think a location warrants a bike rack, contact FP&M (4-6001) or the parking division (4-3388) and we'll evaluate the site.


All bicycles on campus must be registered. Registration, which is free and never expires, is available online or in person.