Bike regulation aims to reduce theft

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    With spring here and summer quickly approaching, students are pulling the locks off their bikes and revving their motorcycles, but they aren’t the only ones noticing the change in transportation.

    In March, Parking and Transportation Services sent out an email warning students that illegally parked bicycles, motorcycles and mopeds/scooters would have a warning tag placed on them. 

    TCU’s policy regarding the parking of these types of transportation was also included as a reminder of the rules and regulations set by the university.

    The email was sent to shed light on parking policies, to address the issue of bicycle theft and to remind students of the importance of bicycle registration, Chief of Police Steven McGee said.

    Bicycle theft is a problem the campus has faced before, and it becomes harder to track down any stolen items without the proper serial numbers and registration, McGee said.

    Registered serial numbers are kept in a national database, making it easier for police to track down any recovered or pawned bikes, as well as the person who may have stolen it, McGee said. 

    “We want to first make sure student’s bikes are safe, and if we can arrest the person who has been stealing them, students can have their bikes recovered and we’re able to reduce the amount of theft on campus,” McGee said. 

    The following chart is comprised of data compiled from January 2011 to April 2015.

    The highest recorded amount of bike thefts on campus occurred in 2012, with 38 total cases opened or closed from January to December. 

    When broken down by month, October has the highest amount of reported thefts with 17, followed by January, February and November with 14 each. 

    McGee also said registration helps deal with any abandoned bikes on campus. Owners who no longer want their bikes have the option to donate them to charity and bikes left during the summer can be placed in a storage facility for up to a year until the owner returns. 

    Students can visit Crime Prevention Specialist Pam Christian to check out an engraving pen for bikes, motorcycles, laptops and any other valuable items.

    In regards to parking policy, scooters are not allowed to be parked next to buildings, and must be parked in a designated space like any other motorized vehicle. If needed, scooter parking can be designated in areas around campus to make things easier on students, McGee said. 

    McGee also said any motorized vehicles are restricted from being used in pedestrian areas on campus during class changes.

    For the full policy on bicycles, motorcycles, mopeds and scooters, see below:

    TCU Bicycle Policy

    1. Registration of bicycles is mandatory. As a deterrent to theft and to aid in prompt identification of a lost or stolen bicycle, the TCU Police Department will provide a free registration decal to an owner supplying the serial number or identification number of the bicycle.

    2. Bicycle parking regulations are in effect at all times, including evenings, weekends, holidays, vacations and breaks between semesters.

    3. Bicycles may only be secured at designated bicycle racks. Any bicycle not secured at a designated bicycle rack will be removed by any means necessary and impounded. Any impounded bicycle must be claimed within six months of it being impounded, or it will be disposed of according to state laws.

    4. Bicycle parking is available at bicycle racks located at or near most buildings. Bicycles are to be parked only in these areas, and must be properly attached to the racks.

    5. As a courtesy to fellow cyclists, the bicycle must be parked in only one space.

    6. Bicycles may only be ridden on approved pathways or on streets.

    7. A bicycle impeding pedestrian traffic including access for the handicapped and blind may be ticketed and impounded without prior notice.

    8. TCU will not be held liable for securing devices (locks) that are damaged during impoundment.

    9. Bicycles must not be ridden in the following manner
    a. Against the flow of vehicular traffic
    b. On grass, planting beds or any non-paved areas
    c. In university buildings

    10. Bikes are to be removed from all bike racks and stored off campus during summer break unless enrolled in classes. TCU will not be liable for any damage to or loss of bikes left on campus during summer break and moved for storage.

    Motorcycles/Mopeds/Scooters

    There are special regulations and state statutes applying to motorcycles, mopeds, scooters and motorbikes. Operators of these vehicles must be registered with the TCU Police Department and must display a parking permit. The same regulations apply to them as to other motor vehicles. This includes parking in legally marked spaces or any University approved area, ticketing, booting and towing. At no time should these types of vehicles be ridden on a sidewalk or other non-roadway or parked on a sidewalk, bicycle rack, handicap access space or ramp.