Parking: Bicycle Rules, Regulations, and Safety

Last Updated

We have developed rules and regulations alongside the UW System for proper parking for your bicycle.


Rules and Regulations

  • Bicycles may only park in designated areas located around campus. To prevent theft, please lock your bicycle.
  • Permits are not required.
  • Parking in non-designated areas (railings, signposts, buildings, trees, etc.) may result in immediate removal if access to vehicular parking, buildings, etc is prohibited.
  • Bikes not parked in designated parking areas, will be given a warning requesting the bike be moved within 48 hours of the notice. If bike owners do not remove them within 48 hours of the warning, the bike will be removed and impounded by the facilities department, Bike owners will have 30 days from the day of removal to claim their bikes by calling 715-836-3411. Any bikes not claimed after 30 days will be sold in the facilities surplus sale. 
  • Temporary bike racks are removed each fall. Notices will be posted prior to the removal of the racks. If your bike was attached to a rack and was removed along with the bike rack, please contact Facilities at 715-836-3411.



A bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle, and its rider is granted the same rights and responsibilities as a driver of any other vehicle. Because bicyclists regularly share paths with a variety of different commuters, they must be especially aware of their own rights as well as the rights of pedestrians and other vehicles. No matter where you choose to ride, there are a few safety concerns that every bicyclist should be aware of:

  • Bicycle and moped operators are not legally required by the state of Wisconsin to wear a helmet. This does not negate the importance of helmet use for personal safety. Most serious injuries resulting from a fall or crash while riding a bike are to the head and can be prevented by wearing a helmet. 

  • Any bicycle being operated on a street, path, or sidewalk must be equipped with working brakes. 

  • Any bicycle being operated during hours of darkness must have a white front headlight that can be seen from at least 500 feet away and a red rear reflector that can be seen from at least 50 feet away. 

  • Bright or reflective clothing provides the greatest visibility to others.

Riding Down "The Hill"

Traffic arms have been placed at the top and bottom of the campus hill in order to allow only university vehicles to pass. Bicyclists are allowed to use the road to get up and down the hill as long as they practice extreme caution when doing so. Unfortunately, the bottom of the hill has been the scene for some serious bicycle accidents in the past. Bikers who do not utilize their brakes when descending the hill are in danger of colliding with the traffic arms placed at the bottom of the hill. To avoid serious injury, bicyclists are urged to ride slowly and carefully down the hill and around the traffic arms. Before riding down the hill, consider these safety tips:

  • Check that your bike has working brakes. When riding downhill, both the front and rear brakes should be applied equally. Avoid making sudden stops using just your front brake, as your forward/downward momentum can send you flipping forward over the handlebars of your bike. 

  • Keep your body weight low and positioned slightly towards the back of your bicycle when riding downhills. 

  • As always, wear a helmet!

  • Anticipate the traffic arm at the bottom of the hill. Approach it slowly in order to maneuver safely around it. 

Riding on the Sidewalk

  • Remember, a bicycle is a vehicle. Anyone operating a bicycle on a sidewalk must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian.

  • In the case of experienced and fast-riding bicyclists, it is often safer to ride in the street and obey all traffic laws rather than to ride on the sidewalk and maneuver around slow-moving pedestrians. If you chose to ride on the sidewalk, ride slowly and communicate your presence to nearby pedestrians. 

  • In the City of Eau Claire, bicyclists are not allowed to ride on the sidewalks within certain designated districts. Please ride in the street in these areas:

    • Central Business District: The area bounded by Madison Street, Dewey Street, Lake Street, and the Chippewa River.

    • Madison Street/Bellinger Street District: The area bounded by Oxford Avenue, Cameron Street, Bellinger Street, and Randall Street.

    • Water Street District: The area bounded by the Chippewa River, First Avenue, Chippewa Street, and Sixth Avenue, except from First Avenue to Third Avenue on both sides of Water Street.

Riding on the Road

  • Bicyclists using the roadways must follow all regular traffic laws, including stopping at all stop signs, obeying traffic lights, and yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks. You will fare better with other road users if you function like a legal vehicle operator, which you are.

  • Bicyclists should ride at least three feet from the curb and from all parked and moving vehicles. It is important to avoid swerving in and around parked vehicles so that you remain visible to other traffic at all times and so that you may avoid being hit when the doors of parked vehicles are opened in front of you.  

  • When making a turn, do not wait until you come to a crosswalk and then attempt to cross traffic lanes from a full stop. If you need to cross as a pedestrian, leave the vehicle lanes and enter the crosswalk from the sidewalk. 

  • When biking downhill, your speed will be closer to that of other traffic or to posted speed limits. Keep to the center of traffic where you will be most visible to other vehicles in your lane and to oncoming traffic in the left turning lane.