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New Campus Bicycle Safety Plan

By Tamara Keith, Public Affairs
posted September 2, 1998

Starting this fall, the campus will be a bit safer for bicyclists and pedestrians, thanks to a program created by the UC Police Department and the Office of Parking and Transportation. The new bicycle safety plan replaces a rarely enforced campus rule that prohibited bicycle riding on trails and walkways.

"Policy has changed so that bicyclists can ride on campus," said Terri McWilliams, field operations manager in the Office of Parking and Transportation. "Now we have to protect the pedestrians."

The bicycle safety plan involves increased freedom for bicyclists as well as strict enforcement of new bicycle policies (see sidebar for rules). These rules take their cue from the California vehicle code and campus regulations, said McWilliams.

The first several months of the program will be dedicated to ensuring that cyclists know about the new rules. Officers will be handing out warnings and information pamphlets instead of tickets.

"What we're really hoping for is compliance instead of an increase in citations," said UC Police Captain Bill Foley. "We're not anticipating writing a lot of citations."

Other bicycle-related changes include new signs marking dismount zones, a bike path that runs from Dana St. to Spruce St. past the Valley Life Sciences Addition, increased enforcement of mandatory California bicycle registration, more bike racks, warning notices for improper parking, and a bicycle court. The non-criminal bicycle court will allow cyclists to choose two hours of bicycle traffic school in exchange for reduced fines.

New Campus Bicycle Riding Rules

A new bicycle safety plan created by the UC Police Department and the Office of Parking and Transportation introduces several new bicycle riding rules. Here are a few of the new regulations:

• Bicycle speed limits are 25 mph on roadways; 10 mph in parking lots and driveways, and on walkways and paths; 5 mph within five feet of pedestrians.

• In the congested Sproul and Dwinelle plazas, cyclists must walk their bikes on weekdays between 7:45 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. These dismount zones are clearly marked by signs and ground stencils.

• Pedestrians have the right of way. Cyclists are responsible for avoiding collisions.

• Cyclists will be cited by UC Police or Parking and Transportation personnel for riding recklessly or inappropriately.

• All bicycles on the Berkeley campus must be registered with a California State bicycle license. Bicycles can be registered for three-year intervals for a fee of $6, at 2427 Dwight Way, just west of Telegraph. For information call 642-4936.

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