Biking on Campus: Know the Laws!

With the start of the fall semester on the UW Madison campus, we are seeing an increase in bicycle-related accidents. Some of these accidents involve bicyclists colliding with other bicyclist, motor vehicles, and even pedestrians.

We receive daily complaints of bicyclists not stopping at stop signs, not yielding to pedestrians, and riding their bicycles on the sidewalks around campus. As a bicyclist, you are required by Wisconsin State Law to follow the same rules of the road as a motor vehicle.

Here are a few of the big rules that we consistently see not being followed:

  • All operators of bicycles are required to follow the laws regarding traffic control signals (including stop signs)
  • When bicyclists are allowed to ride on sidewalks (due to no bicycle lane present) they must yield to pedestrians and give audible warning of their passing
  • Follow all directions of travel for bicycle lanes when they are posted one-way travel.

Library Mall — located between North Park Street and North Lake Street — is a major thoroughfare for bicycle and pedestrian traffic — make sure you pay extra attention in this and other busy sections of campus.

UWPD Community Officers will be conducting bicycle education and enforcement at various intersections and sidewalks all across campus throughout the months of September, October, and November. If you have any areas of concern please contact your Community Officer with information so education and enforcement can be done in the area of concern.

Please remember these four important safety tips:

  1. Act like a vehicle (obey all traffic control signals including stop signs).
  2. Protect your bike — register your bike, park appropriately, and lock your bike when unattended.
  3. ALWAYS use personal safety equipment, like a helmet and lights
  4. Have fun, but be safe.

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