student riding a bike in Evanston

Bicycles can be an excellent way to get around campus and Evanston. It's important, however, that you ride in a safe, courteous manner. View the City of Evanston bike map (pdf).

Biking Areas and restrictions

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

  • The Central Business District designated as D1, D2 and D3 districts in the Evanston zoning ordinance or in any other district where signs prohibiting sidewalk riding are posted.
  • Ridge Avenue, between Howard and Emerson Streets

Evanston City ordinances(10-9-4) prohibits:

  • riding bicycles on the sidewalks in the downtown business district,
  • operating a bicycle after dark without a white front headlight and a red rear reflector (visible 500ft. away),
  • or riding a bicycle in an unsafe or reckless manner or in a way that obstructs traffic.

When riding on sidewalks where permitted, such person shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian, shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian, and shall have the bicycle under control at all times.

Make sure to keep an eye out for signs prohibiting bicycle use. Helmets are required for riders under the age of 18, but all students are strongly encouraged to wear helmets and use other safety gear.

Violators of any of the policies above are subject to a maximum fine of up to $100.

Bicycle Registration, Parking and Storage

  • 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. The registration process is FREE of charge.
  • Bicycles that are locked to anything but designated bike parking areas (including: railings, stairwells, or handicapped access ramps or are parked in hallways, to benches/posts, doorways, or rooms in residence halls or academic buildings) 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.
  • Students who have had an illegally parked bicycle removed should contact Facilities Management, 847-491-5807, to identify and claim it for a fee of ($25--check or money orders only). Bicycles will be stored in the University storage area for a minimum of 30 days. After 30 days the impounded bicycles are turned over to Facilities Management and may be auctioned to the campus community, but are generally turned over to local bike resources or disposed of. The University shall not be responsible for any bicycles illegally secured in campus buildings or on campus property or abandoned on University property.
  • If the bicycle is identified and claimed, a citation will be issued to the owner. A fine of $25 must be paid before the bicycle will be released to the owner. In addition, when bicycles have been removed from areas that are defined as a “means of egress or access,” the violators may be referred to the Division of Student Affairs for potential disciplinary action.