Bicycle Parking & Removal
- Responsible Office: VCU Office of Sustainability, Facilities Management , Division of Administration
- Current Approved Version: 02/11/2019
- Policy Type: Administrative
Policy Statement and Purpose
Virginia Commonwealth University encourages the use of bicycles as a convenient, environmentally sound and efficient means of transportation to, from and around campus.
VCU is working to reduce emissions in all areas of campus life as part of its plan to become climate-neutral by 2050. In 2012, and again in 2016, the League of American Bicyclists designated Virginia Commonwealth University as a Bicycle Friendly University at the Silver level. This award is presented only to colleges and universities with remarkable commitments to bicycling.
The continuation of a sustainable bicycle culture depends on those who ride bicycles to exercise good judgment and courtesy while operating or parking their bicycles. According to the Code of Virginia (VA Code 46.2-800 et seq.) bicycles are considered to be vehicles when operated on highways, and therefore subject to the same traffic laws and ordinances as automobiles.
To promote safe and sustainable bicycle use on campus, VCU sets forth requirements in this policy for parking and other use of bicycles on university property. VCU reserves the right to remove any bicycle found in violation of the requirements of this policy and to dispose of it in compliance with Virginia law governing tangible personal property lost or abandoned at an institution of higher education. Va. Code § 23.1-104(B).
Noncompliance with this policy may result in disciplinary action. VCU supports an environment free from retaliation. Retaliation against any employee who brings forth a good faith concern, asks a clarifying question, or participates in an investigation is prohibited.
Who Should Know This Policy
All members of the university, including faculty, students and staff are responsible for knowing this policy and familiarizing themselves with its contents and provisions.
For the purpose of this policy, a bicycle is abandoned if it has not been moved in 30 days.
A device propelled by human power, upon which a person may ride either on or astride a regular seat attached thereto, having one or more wheels in tandem, including children's bicycles, except a toy vehicle intended for use by young children.
An outdoor structure specifically designed for the parking and/or securing of bicycles.
Impounded bicycles are secured or removed by VCU because they are determined to be abandoned, stolen, or parked in violation of this policy.
A bicycle is considered inoperable when broken and/or missing integral components, including but not limited to wheels, seats, handlebars, chains and other major components, prevent safe usage for the bike operator.
Non-sanctioned Parking Area
Any area or structure on campus not designed for the parking of bicycles. These areas include, but are not limited to, handicap or building ramps, guide or hand rails, posts, lamps, telephone poles, sculptures, benches, trashcans, trees, shrubbery and any location where an entrance or exit door is blocked.
Any area of VCU that prohibits the use of motorized vehicles by the general public. VCU considers Shafer Court and Linden Court to be a pedestrian way.
RamBikes is the VCU Bicycle Program, managed by the Office of Sustainability. It provides free services for students, faculty and staff and manages many of the aspects detailed in this policy. It is located at 201 North Belvidere. The VCU Bicycle Program will be referred to as RamBikes for the remainder of this document.
A bicycle owned by a student, faculty or staff member that has been registered with the VCU police. Information about how to register a bicycle can be found in the Forms and FAQ section of this policy.
These are Shared Roadway Bicycle Markings which are intended to help bicyclists position themselves away from parked cars, to avoid being struck by suddenly opened car doors, and to alert car drivers to expect bicyclists to occupy travel lanes. These markings are also used in situations where it may not be obvious where bicyclists should be riding, such as intersections with multiple turn lanes.
A bicycle is totaled if the cost to repair the bicycle is greater than the original retail value of the bicycle. The cost of the repair in this case will not include labor, as labor is free at RamBikes. Therefore, if the cost of the parts necessary to fix the bicycle are greater than its original retail it shall be considered totaled.
VCU Office of Sustainability officially interprets this policy and is responsible for obtaining approval for any revisions as required by the policy Creating and Maintaining Policies and Procedures through the appropriate governance structures. Please direct policy questions to bicycle program coordinator or director of sustainability.
Policy Specifics and Procedures
1. Bicycle Parking
Any person who desires to park a bicycle on university property must follow these rules:
- All bicycles must be parked on a designated bicycle rack. It is recommended that they be secured to these bicycle racks to deter theft.
- A bicycle parked on VCU property anywhere other than at a designated bicycle rack is in violation of this policy. This includes all non-sanctioned parking areas and bicycles left in a lobby, classroom, hallway, or stairwell of any building or in any location where it may impede access or create a hazard for other individuals. This policy is in accordance with the VCU Reservation and Use of Space Policy, which prohibits the damage of university property, the obstruction of any traffic and the obstruction of any entrance or exit of a
building, driveway, path, stairway or walkway.
- Each student living in a residence hall may store a single bike in their assigned room. Residents of suites or apartments may store a bicycle in a shared living space of the suite or apartment only if all residents of that space agree to its storage and the bike does not impede ingress or egress. Each resident may not store more than one bike. Bikes may not be stored or ridden in common spaces within residence halls.
- Each faculty/staff member may store one bicycle in an office workspace only if all of the following criteria are met: all occupants of the space approve in writing, the appropriate supervisor approves in writing, the building manager is notified if applicable, the bike does not impede ingress or egress, and the bicycle does not lean on or damage walls or any other part of the building during its storage or as it is moved in and out of the building. If the bicycle impedes ingress or egress, the bicycle will be subject to immediate removal. Any damage done to the building as a result of parking a bicycle inside may be charged to the department.
2. Bicycle Parking Enforcement
RamBikes, VCU Police, or Facilities Management Department may remove any bicycle parked in a manner that blocks access to any walkway, entrance or exit, including any emergency exit or accessible entrance, or is abandoned, inoperable, or is reported stolen. Other VCU departments may contact RamBikes to report a bicycle that is inoperable, abandoned, or in violation of this policy at (804) 828-2453. The following rules apply:
- Bicycles that are parked in violation of this policy may be impounded immediately.
- Bicycles parked on designated bicycle racks that are abandoned or inoperable may be impounded only after a notice has been attached to the bike specifying the removal date, to be no fewer than 10 days after posting the notice.
- Bicycles removed by RamBikes will be impounded for a period not less than 120 days before disposal.
- The university assumes no liability for the cost of any damage to the bicycle or securing device incurred during the removal of the bicycle.
3. Bicycle Retrieval
The owner of any bicycle that has been impounded must provide the key to the lock that previously secured the bicycle. If the bicycle was not secured with a lock or the owner has lost the key, they will need to provide a description of where the bicycle was left as well as bicycle identification in the form of a VCU bicycle registration, proof of purchase or a description to include manufacturer, model, color, size and/or serial numbers. Upon satisfactory proof of ownership, VCU shall return a claimed bicycle to its owner.
- Bicycles that are removed due to violation of this policy are stored at RamBikes. Contact RamBikes at (804) 828-2453 for more information about claiming a bicycle.
- If RamBikes does not have the bicycle, VCU Police may have impounded it in connection with a crime or current investigation. To contact VCU Police call (804) 828-1196. Impounded bicycles reported stolen may be returned to their owner, as authorized by VCU Police.
- If neither office has the bicycle, it may be in the possession of the City of Richmond. In this case, the owner of the bicycle should call Richmond Police Department at (804) 646-6727 with the same information as described above.
4. Disposal of impounded bicycles
RamBikes will dispose of bicycles not claimed from impound after 120 days in accordance with Code of Virginia, section 23.1-104(B)(2)4, which may include sale, use by VCU or donation to an appropriate charitable organization. When RamBikes removes an abandoned or inoperable bicycle from a university rack the Bicycle Program Coordinator will assess the bicycle and determine its value at the time of purchase, accounting for inflation in value as well. If it is determined that the bicycle is totaled it will remain in storage for a period of only 30 days before it is recycled. If a bicycle is not totaled it will remain in storage for the full period of 120 days.
- VCU Office of Sustainability
- Bicycle safety tips and information for cyclists in the Commonwealth (Virginia Department of Transportation)
- Code of Virginia section 23.1-104
- Code of Virginia sections 46.2-800 to 46.2-1000
- Bicycle locking laws for the City of Richmond
This policy supersedes the following archived policies:
|None – New Policy|
1. How do I register my bike?
Bicycle registration is recommended for all faculty, staff and students who ride or park a bicycle on the VCU campuses. Registering bicycles will help VCU Police identify the owners of bikes if lost, stolen, recovered, or impounded. Registrations are valid for four years.
Visit the VCU Police website for the Registration Form
- Once your bike is registered, you have the option to receive a registration decal from the VCU police department, which may help deter theft.
- In the event that your bike is stolen, bike registration information may help in recovering your bike.
- If your bike is impounded, the Office of Sustainability will attempt to contact you based on the registration information provided for your bike.
2. What should I do if my bike is missing?
Call RamBikes at (804) 828-2453 if you think it may have been removed. If it has been stolen, please call the VCU Police Department at (804) 828-1196.
3. What are the City of Richmond’s policies on bicycle parking?
The City of Richmond has its own policies about securing bicycles. If your bike is locked to a tree, it may be removed immediately. If you bicycle is inoperable and locked to city property, it may be removed after three days. Bikes are considered abandoned by the City of Richmond after they are locked to city property for a period of ten consecutive days. It may be removed after this period of time. The City of Richmond holds impounded bicycles for 30 days, during which you may call and retrieve it at (804) 646-6727. After 30 days, your bicycle may be sold or donated to a non-profit organization.
4. Who should I call if I lose the key to my bike lock and need to have it removed?
Call the VCU Police Department at (804) 828-1196.
5. What are the expectations of bicycling safely at VCU?
- Cyclists are expected to operate their bikes with all due consideration for the rights of other cyclists, motor vehicles and pedestrians.
- In order to bike safely and lawfully at VCU, it is recommended that all cyclists familiarize themselves with state and local ordinances pertaining to riding a bicycle.
- The Code of Virginia (46.2-800 et seq.) considers bicycles to be vehicles when operated on highways.
- Unless otherwise noted, the Code of Virginia (46.2-903 et seq., 46.2-904 et seq.) states that bicycle operators may operate bicycles on sidewalks but must yield the right of way to pedestrians at all times. Bicycles riding on sidewalks shall have all the rights and duties of a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
- The Code of Virginia (46.2-905 et seq.) states that bicycles on roadways shall ride as close as
safely practicable to the right curb or edge. Exceptions apply for passing, turning, and avoiding hazards. It is recommended that bike riders utilize marked bike travel lanes, or streets that are designated with “sharrows”. Individual facilities may have other restrictions that apply.
- The Code of Virginia (46.2-1015 et seq.) requires the use of a white headlight at night on all roads and a red taillight at night on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or greater. Broad Street and Belvidere Street have a speed limit of 35 mph, so it is recommended that you have both lights.
- Riding a bicycle inside a VCU parking deck is not permitted.
- Riding with a helmet is encouraged for safety while operating a bicycle on a VCU campus.
6. How can I donate my personal bicycle?
VCU students, faculty and staff may donate their gently used bikes (e.g. cruisers, road, mountain and BMX bikes) to RamBikes at 201 N. Belvidere Street. A RamBikes technician will carefully evaluate the condition of each donated bike. Bikes determined to be in good condition may be cleaned and refurbished. Bikes determined to be in poor condition are dismantled and usable parts are salvaged. For more information about this service contact VCU RamBikes at email@example.com or call (804) 828-BIKE.
7. What resources are available for cyclists on campus?
RamBikes, located at 201 North Belvidere Street, offers a full-service bike shop where students, faculty and staff can repair their bikes themselves or get assistance from the experienced staff. RamBikes also offers free commuter bike rental, educational workshops on riding and bike maintenance, group rides and information about bike education and advocacy in Richmond. Students will have to provide their own replacement parts if necessary. For more information about these services contact VCU RamBikes at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (804) 828-BIKE. You can also visit https://bikes.vcu.edu/.
The Outdoor Adventure Program, located at 301 South Linden Street, offers low cost rentals of road and mountain bikes to all members of RecSports. Bicycle tools and repair are available, as well as educational workshops and road and mountain group rides. Customers will need to provide their own replacement parts if necessary. For more information about these services contact the Outdoor Adventure Program at email@example.com or at (804) 828-6004. You can also visit https://recsports.vcu.edu/programs/outdoor-adventure-program/bike-shop/.
VCU’s Fixit Bike Self-Repair Stands provide another measure of reliability to VCU bike commuters. For bicycle commuters who need to make minor adjustments or repairs, tools suspended from cables at each of these stands are free and simple to use and available 24 hours a day/seven days a week. They are conveniently located on either campus and are easily accessed by a short walk. These stands are maintained by RamBikes and their locations can be found by visiting bikes.vcu.edu.