Location: Bowdoin / Security / Bicycles

Office of Safety and Security

Bicycles


Students Walking with BikeThe use of bicycles on campus is encouraged as a safe and efficient mode of transportation.
Bicycles parked outside should always be locked to a bike rack with a strong lock.  U-bolt locks are recommended and are available for purchase at the Bowdoin Bookstore.  Bicycles should not be locked to trees, railings, and light or sign posts.  Bicycles may also be stored inside designated bicycle storage rooms available in many dorms. 

To help deter theft and assist Security in returning lost and stolen bicycles promptly, all bicycles used by students, faculty and staff on campus should be registered with the Office of Safety and Security.  There is no charge for registering your bicycle and bicycles need only be registered once.  You can easily register your bicycle online.

Campus walkways are shared by pedestrians and bicyclists.  Bicyclists must yield to pedestrians on walkways.  Many faculty, staff, students and visitors have vision, hearing or mobility disabilities and they may not be able to see, hear, or move quickly as bicyclists approach.  Please use caution and courtesy when approaching pedestrians.

bicycle locked to railingHand railings are provided at campus building entrances and stairs to assist people with disabilities.  People with vision impairments use railings as a guide, and people with other disabilities need railings for balance and support.  Bicycles that are locked to railings block the safe access to our buildings and can hinder egress during an emergency such as a fire alarm.  Even under ideal circumstances, it can be difficult for people with disabilities to move around campus.  Please assist our disabled faculty, staff, students and visitors by not parking your bike against railings.

It is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to hinder building access or egress.  Bicycles are NEVER ALLOWED to be locked to hand railings or parked in hallways, stairways, exit pathways, ramps, or anywhere where they may impede entry to or exit from a building.  Before locking your bike to any object other than a bike rack, consider whether your bike would be blocking someone from using a hand rail or the full width of the walkway.  Facilities Management reminds bicyclists that bikes may not be locked to campus trees, light posts, sign posts, or electrical and plumbing fixtures.  PLEASE LOCK YOUR BIKE TO THE BIKE RACKS FOUND OUTSIDE MOST CAMPUS BUILDINGS.  Violations will be strictly enforced and bicycles found in violation may be removed without notice.  

Maine Biking Laws

A Maine law change enacted in 2013 gives greater protection to bicyclists.  A person operating a motor vehicle near a bicyclist and proceeding in the same direction may not make a right turn unless the turn can be made without interfering with the safe operation of the bicycle.  A bicyclist must operate on the right portion of the roadway as far as practicable except when the bicyclist determines it is unsafe to do so.  And, a motorist operating in the same direction as a bicyclists must use due caution and pass the bicyclist at a distance of at least three feet from the bicycle.

Maine law generally gives bicyclists the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle operators. Bicyclists may use public roads, and they must obey traffic laws such as stopping at red lights and stop signs, yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks, and yielding to traffic when entering a road from a driveway.

Female Student BikingBicyclists must ride with traffic, not against it. They must ride as far to the right as practicable, except when passing, avoiding hazards, or preparing for a left turn.

Bicyclists are required to stop for school buses loading or discharging passengers when the red lights are flashing.

Bicyclists may ride on designated bike paths and in bike lanes, but they are not required to do so when such paths or lanes parallel a road. Bikes may be prohibited from riding on divided highways.

Students biking
Crosswalks are for pedestrians. A bicyclist is required to dismount and walk the bike across marked crosswalks.

Bicyclists must have and use headlights at night, as well as rear reflectors and foot/ankle/pedal reflectors. They also must have functional brakes on their bikes.

Bicyclists under 16 must wear bike helmets.

A bike may not be ridden by more persons than it is designed to carry.

The Maine Operating Under the Influence law does not apply to bicyclists, but bicyclists can be arrested for drinking and/or possession of an alcoholic beverage.

Town of Brunswick Ordinances Pertaining to Bicycles and Skateboards

Sec. 15-141.  License required. A resident of the town shall not operate a bicycle on any public way unless it has been licensed by the chief of police. The license must be evidenced by a tag furnished by the chief and affixed to the bicycle. (Ord. of 5-2-88, § 33)  Note: Bicycles registered with Bowdoin College are not required to also be registered with the Town of Brunswick.

Sec. 15-142.  License record. The chief of police shall keep a record of the name and address of the licensee, the number of the tag and a description of the bicycle so licensed. (Ord. of 5-2-88, § 33; Ord. of 10-21-91)

Sec. 15-143.  Method of riding on sidewalks. No person shall ride a bicycle on a sidewalk except in a prudent and reasonable manner having proper regard for public safety. In all cases, bicyclists on a sidewalk shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. (Ord. of 5-2-88, § 33A; Emergency/Regular Ord. of 6-16-97; Emergency Ord. of 8-4-97) Cross references:  Impoundment of bicycles, § 15-11. 

Sec. 15-144.  Skateboards prohibited in certain places. No person shall ride a skateboard on the sidewalks or in the street between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday in the following areas: (1)   Maine Street,  between Mill St. and Bath Road.  (2)   Pleasant Street,  between Union and Maine Streets.  (Ord. of 5-2-88, § 33B) Cross references:  Impoundment of skateboard, § 15-10.