Bicycle Policy

The University has 2.5 miles of bicycle paths on the Evanston campus, connected to Evanston's bicycle rights-of-way. Bicycle riding is prohibited on the following streets:

  • Sheridan Road, between Chicago Avenue and Isabella Street
  • Green Bay Road, north from Emerson Street to the Evanston city limits
  • Ridge Avenue, between Howard and Emerson Streets
  • Main Street, between Chicago and Ashland Avenues

Bicycle riding is not allowed on the sidewalks in the Evanston business district. Bicycles stored or parked on campus must be registered with the University Police Department and kept in designated areas, which include bicycle racks and bicycle storage rooms. Bicycles locked or parked anywhere else can create a safety hazard in the event of fire and are subject to removal at the owner's expense. The University will not reimburse individuals for locks that have been cut to remove bicycles not parked in bicycle racks or storage rooms. Those who have had an illegally parked bicycle removed should contact Facilities Management at (847) 491-5201 to identify and claim it.

Bicycles will be held in the University storage area for a minimum of 30 days. After 30 days, the impounded bicycles are subject to resale, recyclcing, or disposal. The University will not be responsible for any bicycles illegally secured in campus buildings or on campus property or abandoned on University property. Bicycle parking racks are to be used for parking bikes and not for long-term storage. Bikes that appear to be abandoned are subject to removal.

A fine of $30 must be paid before the bicycle will be released to the owner. If the bike is not registered, an additional fine of $10 will be imposed. For students living in residence halls, University Residential Life sponsors a winter bike storage program, offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Winter bike storage starts the week after Thanksgiving and ends the week after spring break.

Release and Waiver of Liability

Northwestern University will not be liable for—and registered bicycle owners must waive— all claims for loss, theft, or damage to property or the property of any person claiming by, through or under this bicycle policy resulting from:

  • Wind and weather
  • The failure of any sprinkler, heating or air-conditioning equipment, electric wiring or gas, and water or steam pipes
  • The backing up of any sewer pipe or downspurt
  • The bursting, leaking, or running of any tank, water closet, drain or other pipe
  • Water, snow or ice on top of or coming through the roof, skylight, stairs, doorways, windows, walks, or any other place near the building
  • Any act of omission of any part other than the negligence of the University; the University will insure itself against such losses.

No trustee, officer, director, employee, or agent of licensor is personally liably for the performance of licensor's obligations under this agreement. The liability of the University for any registered bicycle owner obligations under this policy will be limited to $100. The registered owner will not look to any of the University's other assets for enforcement or satsifaction against any trustee, officer, director, employee, or agent of licensor.