Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

UA encourages bike registration

Beginning in fall 2011, students will be introduced to a new bicycle policy. Generated out of concern for both pedestrians and cyclists, this new policy encourages students to register their bicycles if they plan to park them on campus. Registration is currently free to all students and not mandatory for the fall semester.

On July 19, students will be able to go online at to register their bikes, where they will be required to provide the serial number, brand name and color of the bike. They may also attach a photo of their bike online if they desire. Each registrant will be given a decal with a specific identification number that should be placed on the bicycle frame below the seat. Bike permits can be picked up in 101 Student Services Center.

Ronnie Robertson, director of transportation services, said the bicycle policy “seeks to balance the needs and concerns of all parties.”

“With the growing number of bicycles on campus, the University recognizes that concerns exist within the University community regarding the safe use of bicycles on campus. Pedestrians are concerned with potential physical encounters with cyclists, particularly in heavy traffic areas,” Robertson said. “Cyclists also have concerns, including safety, being aware of rules for bicycle use on campus, the availability of bicycle racks and theft of bicycles and their parts.”

According to Robertson, University Transportation Services will be charged with enforcement action, fines, penalties or other actions against the cyclist. The policy states that it “is not intended to be highly punitive in nature to those that do not comply. However, it will be necessary to use nominal fines, storage or retrieval fees and other assessments when violations occur.”

Some students, however, have not received this new policy favorably. Jake Smith, a senior in New College, does not see many incentives to register his bike.

“I’m glad that [UA has] taken an interest in cycling, but there definitely seem to be fewer incentives for pedalers to register than the fines that are likely to occur,” he said. “For example, if my bike is stolen, it’s not the University’s problem. Though they may have more of a chance to recover [it], the first thing that’s going to come off is that registration sticker. On the other hand, if I park my bike to a tree for five minutes, and I’m in a hurry, I could catch a $25 fine, which will add up. I suppose we’ll see how much more bike parking space there is and where they put it.”

Ross Owens, a senior majoring in anthropology, has ridden his bike to class every day for three years and said the bike lanes on campus are not observed as solely bike lanes, as they are either shared with buses or also used as walkways.

“If UAPD gives me a ticket for riding on a sidewalk, they better ticket anyone who walks in the bike lanes or through the lanes without looking,” he said. “If this policy is to be taken legitimately, campus has to become car-free and/or bikes have to be treated as vehicles.”

Joe Robertson, a senior majoring in photography, registered two of his bikes after having an unregistered bike cut from the bicycle rack by Transportation Services. Upon having his bike returned and UA purchasing him a new lock, they explained the new policies and intent, and he decided to register his bikes.

“Registration was fast and easy, and free. I can’t say that I am thrilled with having a sticker on my bike, but the whole point is to help with bicycle theft, something I’ve had to deal with multiple times,” Robertson said.

The UA bike policy can be accessed at


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