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Bicycle Safety & Security

Bicycle Safety

The City of Evanston has specific regulations for bicyclists. A summary of the main Evanston regulations is presented below. In support of bike safety and Evanston's regulations, Northwestern University Police offers free bike helmets and lights to all students, faculty and staff who register their bikes with the City of Evanston or City of Chicago.

New protected bike lanes are now available along Chicago/Sheridan Road. Please see the flyer from the City of Evanston about navigating them safely.

Know Before You Go: Five Key Bike Regulations in Evanston

1.     Bike riding is prohibited on sidewalks in the central business district, on the west side of Sheridan Road, or in any other district with posted signs prohibiting riding on sidewalks. (Central business district borders are Elgin and Clark on the north, Hinman on the east, Lake on the south, and Ridge on the west.)

2.    In areas where riding is permitted on sidewalks, you must yield the right of way to pedestrians and give audible signals before passing pedestrians.

3.    You may not ride a bike on a public roadway or sidewalk while (a) using any device, such as a phone or headphones, that impedes awareness of auditory or visual warning signals and (b) carrying anything that obstructs your vision or prevents the use of both hands on the handlebars.

4.     During hours of darkness: (a) the bike or rider must have a lamp emitting a white light visible at least 500 feet to the front and (b) the bike must also be equipped with a red reflector visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear.

5.     You may not obstruct vehicle traffic while bike riding on a public roadway.

Bicycle Security

Kryptonite brand U-shaped locks are sold at-cost for $40 to University affiliates in the Evanston Parking Office at 1841 Sheridan Road and the Chicago Parking Office at 710 North Lake Shore Drive (Abbott Hall, Room 100). Please click here for details. These locks are sold elsewhere for approximately $63.

Theft of bicycles and bicycle parts are common crimes on college campuses. To protect your bicycle: