Bicycle Policy

Northwestern University is committed to supporting a comprehensive bicycle program for the University community which includes the following:


We encourage you to register your bike with the Northwestern University Police Department (NUPD), as registered bikes are much easier to identify and recover should they be stolen or removed. Please complete your free bike registration here.

If you register your bike with NUPD, you can purchase a U-shaped Kryptonite lock at a discounted price at either campus:


Riders are highly encouraged to lock and secure their bicycles at all times. Designated bicycle storage areas, including bicycle racks and storage rooms, are provided around campus. A map of available bike racks can be found here.

Bikes should be secured within designated bike parking areas, and not secured to railings, stairwells, handicapped access ramps, posts, or benches, which impede accessibility and may pose a safety hazard. Please see the Retrieving bikes section below for additional information.


To ensure that riders can safely store their bikes while on campus, please accommodate fellow cyclists by removing your bike from bike racks in a timely fashion. The bicycle racks on campus are intended for short-term bike parking. Bikes displaying signs of significant neglect, such as a rusted chain, bent or flat tires, or missing parts will be tagged with a purple “Notice of Violation” and are subject to removal. If you feel your bike may have received this notice in error, please see the Retrieving bikes section below for additional information.


If your bike has been removed due to it being designated as either abandoned or illegally parked, please contact Facilities Customer Service, 847-491-5201 or to identify your bike and schedule pick-up.


Northwestern University partners with local non-profits to donate abandoned and unwanted bikes. More than 1,000 have been bikes donated since 2011. Our partnerships currently include:

No longer need or want your bike? Donate it! Please contact Facilities Management Customer Service, 847-491-5201 or and we can pick up your bike at no charge.


The Evanston campus has several bike repair stations where you can pump up your tires, adjust your seat height, brake cables, or derailleurs, change out a tire, put on a basket, or grease the chain. Please contact Facilities Management Customer Service, 847-491-5201 or for more information, or if you visit a bike repair station in need of maintenance.


Divvy is a bicycle sharing system provided through a partnership between Northwestern and the City of Evanston.


The University has 2.5 miles of bicycle paths on the Evanston campus connected to Evanston’s bicycle rights-of-way. Links to Chicago and Evanston bike routes can be found below:

For all things bike related in Evanston, please visit Bike Evanston which compiles all the information about local events, plans and projects, bike safety videos, and maps.


“Student Cycling in Chicago” booklets are available at the Northwestern University Police stations, the Norris Center and Student Affairs (Scott Hall – basement).

To read the complete Northwestern University student bicycle policy, see p. 66 of the Student Handbook.