» Bicycle Rules and Regulations

Regulations for Bicycle Operation and Parking

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Bicycle Operations Guidelines

Bicycles are an efficient way for students, faculty, and staff to get around campus. If you are one of the many people here at Chapman University who will be riding a bicycle to and from the University, please take a few moments to become familiar with this information. Here at Chapman University we encourage the safe and courteous use of bicycles. It is unlawful to operate a bicycle in a manner that could endanger pedestrians, other cyclists, and motorists. A bicycle is considered a vehicle. So, when riding on city streets, you must obey all traffic laws. Please be particularly cautious at intersections, especially those surrounding the University. 

When riding your bicycle around campus, please respect the rights of those who can't get around as easily as you can! There are students on campus who have challenges which limit their hearing, vision, or mobility. Pedestrians do have the right-of-way so, when passing pedestrians, please bear this in mind.

Bicycle Parking Regulations

Bicycle parking regulations are in effect at all times, including holidays and summer months. Bicycle parking is available at bicycle racks located throughout Chapman University, including the residence life areas. Bicycles are to be parked only in these areas and should be properly attached to the racks. As a courtesy to fellow cyclists, please use only one space. 

Bicycles must not be parked or stored:

  • In any University building excluding residence hall rooms and apartments. Refer to Section 8.09 (parking or storing) of the Bicycle Regulations.
  • On any access rail, ramp, or blocking an entrance or exit to any University building. Bicycles attached to any of these prevent people from getting into the building and people with disabilities could easily be injured in falls over carelessly placed bicycles.
  • Against or fastened to any water, steam, or gas pipe, or any electrical fixture, ornamental bench, trash can or emergency safety device.
  • Against or fastened to any tree, plant, bush or foliage.
  • In any handicap area. 

Any bicycles found illegally parked or attached to access handrails will be ticketed and will have a Public Safety lock attached to them. For any bike not claimed within 24 hours, the bike locking device will be cut off and the bike impounded. There will be a $20.00 impound/release fee for all impounded bicycles. Bicycles can only be released during business hours Monday to Friday (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.). All fees must be paid at the Cashier’s Office and the receipt taken to the Public Safety Department. During non-University business hours only money orders will be accepted for bicycle release. 

It is lawful for the University to remove locking devices in order to impound a bicycle. The University is not responsible for damage done to locks or bicycles during impoundment. When an impounded bicycle is not registered and its owner is unknown, notice of its impoundment will be located at the Public Safety Department. To claim your bicycle following impoundment, call Public Safety at (714) 997-6763. Public Safety is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Any impounded bicycle that remains unclaimed for 30 calendar days will be considered abandoned by its owner and will be treated as University property. Such bicycles will be donated to charity.

For Your Bicycle's Security

The Department of Public Safety requires that all bicycle owners register their bikes. Bicycle owners can come to the Public Safety office to have their bicycles registered. Licenses and renewal stickers are provided complimentary to Chapman University constituents with valid ID.   The cost to register through the Orange Police Department is $6 for the license and $3 for a renewal sticker.

Bicycle owners should use a sturdy, good quality “Krypton” U-Lock. This type of lock can be purchased at a local bike shop. Although cable locks are most frequently used, they do not provide adequate security (by the time you finish reading this sentence, your cable lock can be cut and your bicycle stolen). Most bicycles that are stolen here at Chapman are bicycles that have been secured with poor quality locks and/or have been improperly secured. 

Safety suggestions: 

When locking your bicycle, lock both wheels and the frame to the bicycle rack when you park. Also, leave as little space as possible inside the U-Lock to minimize the space for thieves to insert their tools.

  • Position your lock with the key mechanism facing the ground.
  • Lock components and accessories, which make easy targets
  • Take your bike seat with you.
  • Lock your bike in a well-lighted area.
  • Don't lock your bike in the same area all the time. A thief may notice a pattern and target your bike (especially important for commuters and resident students)
  • Don't lock your bike to small trees, aluminum or wood posts, or chain link fences. These can be easily broken or cut.
  • Keep your bike locked at all times.
  • Don't lock your bike to itself (the front wheel lock to the frame). If a thief wants your bike, it can be easily lifted up and carried away
  • Don't position your lock low to the ground. A thief can attack the lock easier and less obviously in that position.
  • Double check your lock before leaving your bike to make sure it's secured. 

Also, for an added security measure, Public Safety offers Operation Identification. This involves the application of your Driver License number on the bike frame. This is another way law enforcement agencies can identify your bike

Bicycle Licenses

Reasons why you should license your bike: 

Theft prevention & recovery: 

  • Sends a warning to would-be thieves: This bike is registered with law enforcement agencies.
  • Enters your bike into a statewide system of identification, recovery and notification.
  • Increases the likelihood of your stolen bike being found and returned. 

Accident victim identification: 

  • Provides a means of identifying accident victims--especially people and children who do not carry any form of identification. 

Revenue for bike programs: 

  • The citation fees and the impound fees support the Chapman University bike program which directly benefits the Chapman University Community. 

It's complimentary:

  • License and renewal stickers are provided complimentary to all Chapman University constituents.

It's easy: 

  • Just bring your bike to the Public Safety Department Monday to Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. 

It's the law: 

  • All bikes operated on campus must be registered with a current bicycle license.
  • All unlicensed bikes on campus are subject to impoundment and/or citation

Bicycle Registration-Licenses

Section 7.01 Licensing Of Bicycles. All bicycles used, stored, parked, or operated on the University shall be licensed with a valid California bicycle license.

Bicycles may be licensed at the Public Safety Department or at the Orange Police Department. Proof of ownership may be required to register and license a bicycle. 

Section 7.02 Impounding Of Unlicensed Bicycles. The University Public Safety Department is authorized to impound unlicensed bicycles or bicycles with expired licenses and remove them to an area designated for storage. Bicycles impounded may be recovered only upon proof of ownership and after required fees are paid. No bicycle shall be released unless it is licensed in accordance with Section 7.01. Unclaimed bicycles, which have been impounded because they were unlicensed or impounded for violation of parking regulations set forth in this Code, shall be held for a minimum of 30 days at which time the owners are presumed to have relinquished their legal title. Such bicycles will be donated to charity. The same disposition will be applied to bicycles which remain unclaimed after storage with the University Public Safety Department and stolen bicycles which have been recovered by the Public Safety Department if said bicycles remained unclaimed for a period of 30 days.

Section 7.03 Displaying Of Bicycle Licenses. Bicycle licenses and renewal stickers shall be displayed on the front seat tube of the bicycle frame consistent with the guidelines outlined in the California Vehicle Code Section 39001(b). 

Section 7.04 Transfer of Ownership. Whenever any person sells or otherwise disposes of a bicycle, he/she will endorse upon the registration certificate previously issued for such bicycle a written transfer of name, address, telephone number of the transferee, date of transfer, and signature of the transferor, and shall deliver the registration certificate, so endorsed, to the licensing agency within 10 days.

Section 7.05 Notification Of Change Of Address; Duplicate License Or Registration Form. Whenever the owner of a bicycle licensed changes his/her address, he/she will notify the Public Safety Department within 10 days of new address. In the event that any bicycle license or registration form issued is lost, stolen, or mutilated, the licensee of such bicycle will immediately notify the Public Safety Department and a new or duplicate registration form will be issued.

Bicycle Parking

Section 8.01 Bicycle Parking, Where Permitted. Bicycles shall be parked, stored or left at the University only in areas specifically designated by the presence of racks or other devices designed for bicycle parking or when designated by the posting of signs indicating the space as a bicycle parking area. 

Section 8.02 Signed Areas: Bicycle Parking Prohibited. No bicycle shall be parked, stored or left in an area where signs are posted indicating that bicycle parking is prohibited. Such signs will bear the legend “NO BICYCLE PARKING" or symbols indicating no bicycle parking. 

Section 8.03 Blocking Entrances-Exits. No person shall park, store or leave a bicycle in such a manner as to cause said bicycle to block or otherwise impede normal entrance to or exit from any building at the University.

(a) No bicycle shall be parked, stored, or left within six feet of an entrance or exit unless in a bicycle rack, parking device or marked bicycle space provided within that distance.

(b) No bicycle shall be parked, stored or left on any building access or egress ramp. 

Section 8.04 Blocking Traffic. No bicycle shall be parked, stored or left so as to block or impede the normal flow of traffic on any highway, roadway, street, alley, sidewalk, mall, patio, and parking area or bicycle path at the University. 

Section 8.05 Blocking Ramps And Stairways. No bicycle shall be parked, stored, or left so as to interfere with or impede the normal movement of disabled persons, pedestrians or bicyclists upon ramps, stairways or curb cuts. 

Section 8.06 Red Zones. No bicycle shall be parked, stored or left on any street, highway, roadway, alley, bicycle path or parking area adjacent to a curb or cement device that is painted red. 

Section 8.07 Parking on Lawns or Other Landscaped Areas. No bicycle shall be parked, stored or left on any lawn or landscaped area except in those areas designed as a bicycle parking area by the presence of racks or other parking devices or signs indicating the area as a bicycle parking area. Bicycles parked in designated parking zones may not extend into landscaped areas. 

Section 8.08 Locking To Unauthorized Objects. No bicycle shall be chained or otherwise locked or attached to any handrail, tree, shrubbery, door, signpost, lamp, telephone pole, lamppost, fence, or other object not maintained or designed for the purpose of securing bicycles.

(a) Impounded bicycles in violation: Whenever any bicycle is found in violation of any of the said sections, a Public Safety lock will be secured to that bicycle in violation.

(b) Removal of bicycles in violation: Whenever any bicycle is found in violation of these sections and the owner has not notified the Public Safety Department within 24 hours, the locking device will be removed and the bicycle impounded. The Public Safety Department is authorized to impound bicycles and remove the securing mechanism using whatever reasonable measures are necessary to impound the bicycles. The University is not liable to the owner for the cost of repair, damage or replacement of such parts or components.

(c) Removal or alteration of obstructing bike part: Whenever any bicycle is found in violation of this section, any University personnel authorized to enforce bicycle parking may use whatever reasonable measures necessary to move, alter or remove any part or component of the bicycle which may interfere or impede the normal movement of bicycles, or persons with disabilities or other pedestrians. Employees so authorized to alter a bicycle in this manner and the University shall not be liable to the owner for the cost of repair or replacement of such parts or components. (d) Removal of locks and locking devices: Locks or locking devices left on parking racks or parking devices not securing a bicycle, or left attached to any handrail, tree, shrubbery, door, sign post, lamp or lamp post, telephone pole, fence or other object not maintained or designated for the purpose of securing bicycles may be removed by authorized University personnel. Employees so authorized and the University shall not be liable to the owner of the securing device for the cost of repair or replacement of such securing device. 

Section 8.09 Parking or Storing Inside Buildings. No bicycle shall be parked, stored or left in any lobby, hallway or room of any building unless said area is specifically designated for bicycle parking. Designated areas must be in accordance with all Federal, State and local fire and safety regulations. This section is not intended to prohibit the storing or parking of a bicycle in an area by any person to which the area or room has been assigned as that person's office or residence, e.g., a residence hall room or apartment provided it's with mutual consent with your tenant and/or roommate. However, use of any assigned area for bicycle parking or storage may be restricted when, in judgment of the person(s) responsible for the area, movement of the bicycle to or use of the assigned space for bicycle parking or storage interferes with the routine activities normally conducted in the area or creates other problems. 

Section 8.10 Authority To Remove Or Impound Bicycles. The University Public Safety Department and any University personnel authorized to enforce bicycle parking are authorized to move, relocate, immobilize or impound any bicycle which:

(a) Blocks or otherwise impedes the normal movement of persons with disabilities and other pedestrians, or equipment using entrances or exits of any University building;

(b) Blocks or otherwise impedes traffic on any street, highway, roadway, path, sidewalk, mall or patio;

(c) Is parked in violation of any of the sections of this chapter;

(d) Appears to be abandoned as evidenced by signs of non-use or neglect;

(e) Is left unlocked or otherwise inadequately secured so as to be at risk of theft or vandalism.

Section 8.11 Bicycle Impound Fee. Any bicycle impounded pursuant to any section of this Chapter shall be stored in a secure facility designated for such purpose. A fee shall be charged to the owner prior to the release of any impounded bicycle. Any bicycle being released must be properly licensed prior to release, unless the owner or his designee can show reasonable proof that the bicycle will not be operated in or on the University. Fees collected pursuant to this section shall be retained to support programs related to bicycle safety, bicycle facilities improvement, the security of bicycles or the enforcement of those laws and regulations relating to bicycles or reasonably related matters. 

Section 8.12 Unauthorized Storage. No bicycle shall be parked, stored, or left at any residence hall bicycle parking area between the end of spring semester and the beginning of fall semester unless its owner is a current resident or employee at the residence hall where the bicycle is located. 

Section 8.13 Temporary "No Parking" Signs. The Director of Public Safety is authorized to erect or place temporary "No Parking" signs on the University when necessary. No bicycle shall be parked or left in violation of such temporary restrictions

Bicycle Equipment and Operation

Section 9.01 Laws Applicable To Bicycle Use. Every person operating a bicycle anywhere on the University has all of the rights and is subject to all duties applicable to the operator of a vehicle by Division 10 of the California Vehicle Code, except those provisions which by their very nature can have no application. 

Section 9.02 Bicycle Equipment. All bicycles operated anywhere on the University shall be equipped in accordance with the California Vehicle code section 21201 entitled "Equipment Requirements". These requirements are:

(a) Bicycle must be equipped with brakes.

(b) Handlebars must not elevate the operator's hands above his/her shoulders in order to grasp the normal steering grip area.

(c) The bicycle must not be of a size which will prevent the operator from safely stopping the bicycle. The operator must be able to support the bicycle in an upright position with at least one foot on the ground, and restarting the bicycle in a safe manner.

(d) Every bicycle operated during darkness will be equipped with:

• A white headlight.

• A red rear reflector

• A white or yellow reflector on each pedal visible from the front and rear of the bicycle.

• The operator in violation of such requirements may be issued a citation and would also need to appear before the Director of Public Safety.

Section 9.03 Bicycle Operation. All bicycles operated on the University are subject to the provisions of the California Vehicle Code for violation of any such provisions the operator of any bicycle may be issued a traffic citation to appear before the Director of Public Safety.

The Vehicle Code Sections applicable to the operation of bicycles also include but are in no way limited to those which pertain to safe speed, turning (hand) signals, right-of-way, stop signs and traffic signals. 

Section 9.04 Excessive Speed. No person shall operate a bicycle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the existing conditions. Maximum vehicle speed limit on main campus is 5 MPH. Maximum vehicle speed limit in any parking lot or parking area is 10 MPH. 

Section 9.05 Riding Bicycles. No person shall operate a bicycle:

(a) On any pedestrian walk, ramp, mall, or patio where signs are posted indicating that bicycle riding is prohibited.

(b) On any sidewalk where there is an adjacent, parallel roadway or bicycle path. Such sidewalk need not be posted.

(c) On any ramp established for the use of persons with disabilities.

(d) On any landscaped area. For the purpose of this section, a landscaped area shall be defined as any unpaved area that has been planted with grass, trees, or shrubbery or which has been graded or improved for purposes other than use by vehicular traffic including undeveloped fields and agricultural areas.

(e) On any pedestrian corridor.

(f) In any building on campus. 

Section 9.06 Riding On A Bicycle. Any person operating a bicycle shall not:

(a) Ride other than on a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle.

(b) Allow a person riding as a passenger, and no person will ride as a passenger, on a bicycle other than on a separate seat attached to the bicycle. If the passenger is four years of age or younger, or weighs 40 pounds or less, the seat will have adequate provision for retaining the passenger in place and for protecting the passenger from the moving parts of the bicycle. 

Section 9.07 Carrying Articles. No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the operator from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars.

Section 9.08 Impounding Of Bicycles With Altered Serial Numbers. The University Public Safety Department is authorized to impound any bicycle with an altered, mutilated, defaced or otherwise removed serial number and remove it to an area designated for storage. Any bicycle impounded under Penal Code Section 537e shall be held until ownership can be determined and may be retained by the Public Safety Department if no owner can be identified or contacted. Unclaimed bicycles which have been impounded under this section shall be held for a minimum of 30 days at which time the owners shall be presumed to have relinquished their legal title. Such bicycles shall be sold at public auction without reserve. Notice will be sent whenever possible to the owners of all bicycles removed to a storage area

OCTA Smart Cycling Near the Railroad Tracks

As the weather warms up in Orange County, and you find yourself riding more often, please remember to practice safety when crossing railroad tracks. Most cyclists are aware of general traffic safety rules and regulations, but railroad safety requires extra caution. Follow these tips to stay safe around trains and railroad tracks!


When approaching a railroad crossing:

  • Slow down to maintain control. Rough gravel and slippery tracks can cause a decrease in traction.
  • Identify where motorists, pedestrians and other cyclists are around you. Be sure to signal appropriately.


When crossing railroad tracks:

  • Always cross at a 90-degree angle with both hands on the handlebars. This angle will help avoid getting your wheels stuck in the grooves of the tracks.
  • Cross only at designated crossings. Never ride in the railroad right-of-way because it is illegal and dangerous. Gravel service roads and vegetated spaces are usually railroad property.


When a train is approaching a railroad crossing:

  • Stay at least 15 feet from the railroad tracks and behind any gates or pavement markings. Trains can be twice as wide as the tracks and extend beyond the rails on both sides.
  • Never go around a lowered gate arm. Warning signs and signals are in place for your safety.



The Orange County Transportation Authority established its countywide comprehensive railroad safety education program in 2009. If you are interested in learning more about railroad safety or have any questions, please contact railsafety@octa.net or visit http://octa.net/Metrolink/Rail-Safety/.

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