To review information about how Boston University cooperates with the City of Boston to regulate bicycle parking along Commonwealth Ave., please click here.
Parking & Transportation Services (PTS) administers an online bicycle registration program that is open to all members of the Boston University community. To register your bicycle, please click here.
Registrants will receive a permit to place on the frame of their bicycle. While you can register your bicycle at any time, we strongly encourage our community members to take immediate advantage of this convenient online service.
Benefits of Bicycle Registration
Only the owners of registered bicycles:
- can be granted card-swipe access to restricted University bicycle parking locations.
- will be notified about projects and activities that may significantly impact their on-campus bicycle use.
- will be personally contacted to correct a concern prior to impound whenever possible.
- are statistically more likely to have their stolen bicycles returned by the Boston University Police when a BU bicycle permit is displayed.
All members of the Boston University cycling community are expected to operate their bicycles with the care and skill needed to prevent injury to themselves and others. We understand that equal care must be shown by the motorists and pedestrians with whom we share our campus. To that end, Parking & Transportation Services works with many departments to promote the safe and proper use of bicycles on our campus and to enforce Boston University’s bicycle policies throughout the year, even when the University is otherwise closed.
Additionally, Boston University has been authorized to enforce the City of Boston’s bicycle parking regulations on public property adjacent to its Charles River Campus (i.e., parking meters, fences, benches, trees, hydrants, trash receptacles, blue emergency call phones, etc.). Cyclists are expected to park only at one of the many bicycle racks located throughout the campus.
If you discover a location with insufficient bicycle parking, we encourage you to inform us of that location in an email sent to Parking & Transportation Services. Please take the time to specify a suggested location of a rack(s). We will quickly evaluate and respond to all suggestions.
Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the bicycle-related policies we enforce.
Bicycle Policies & Regulations for the Charles River Campus
Bicycles will be considered a public safety hazard and may be removed and impounded by PTS without notice and at their owners’ risk and expense when locked:
- in a manner that blocks
- any building entrance or exit
- pedestrian pathways
- safety or handicapped / accessibility equipment, including blue emergency phones
- to stairway handrails
- in any area posted to prohibit bicycle parking, such as on Marsh Plaza
- to trees, as this practice often kills them over time and destroys surrounding landscaping
- to fencing, trash receptacles, and benches, which degrades their finish, leads to rusting, and reduces their usefulness
Boston University is responsible for the upkeep of the Commonwealth Ave. planters and their associated fixtures; therefore, this equipment should be treated with the care shown University property. Boston University has also partnered with the City of Boston to keep bicycle racks and public structures free of abandoned bicycles and those parked in a manner that creates a public hazard.
Bicycle owners will be warned of less egregious policy infractions via warning tags attached to their bicycle frames. Multiple infractions may result in a bicycle being removed and impounded. Should a bicycle be removed, Boston University will NOT reimburse owners for the cost of locks damaged during the impound of bicycles parked in any of the above-mentioned ways.
The University provides long-term parking only to students enrolled in classes on the Charles River Campus. Students should not leave their bicycles parked on campus during the Summer Term unless they are enrolled in summer classes.
Removal of Bicycles
Bicycles parked in violation of the above-mentioned Boston University policies may be impounded. All impounded bicycles will be stored at a Parking & Transportation Services facility until the owner claims the bicycle or it is donated or recycled. Parking & Transportation Services is authorized to enforce its policies on all University-owned property and the immediately adjacent city-owned property.
The following guidelines will be followed when Boston University impounds a bicycle.
- Bicycles that are in violation of the above regulations and present a public safety hazard as defined by Parking & Transportation Services will be tagged and removed immediately.
- Bicycles that are deemed abandoned will be tagged and removed after seventy-two (72) hours. The Removal Notice shall contain the following information: the date the bicycle was tagged, its location, the nature of the violation, and the date the bicycle will be removed by Parking & Transportation Services. Bicycles are considered abandoned when they are locked to University or adjacent city property in an apparently inoperable or dilapidated condition.
- If registered, Parking & Transportation Services will attempt to contact the owner of the bicycle to confirm it is abandoned.
- If the owner of a registered bicycle cannot be contacted or if that owner fails to remove the bicycle by the specified date, Parking & Transportation Services staff will remove the bicycle.
- All bicycles removed by Parking & Transportation Services will be moved to the University’s bicycle impound area, where they will be kept for at least forty-five (45) days.
- Parking & Transportation Services will regularly inform the Boston University community of the number of bicycles it impounds, donates, and recycles via its Bike Safety website.
- Forty-five (45) days after impound, the bicycle becomes Boston University property and may be donated or recycled as scrap.
How to Claim an Impounded Bicycle
When bicycles are removed, they are placed in a secure Parking & Transportation Services impound facility. Please follow these procedures to claim an impounded bicycle:
Send an email to Parking & Transportation Services and include this information:
- The last known date and location of the bicycle
- A description containing the make, model, primary color, identifying marks or equipment (i.e., fenders, lights, racks, etc.)
- Permit number (if registered with Boston University)
- Your telephone contact information
Parking & Transportation Services staff will respond to your email to let you know if your bicycle is in our impound inventory and schedule a time for its retrieval, if necessary.
The owner will be asked to bring the following items to the meeting to confirm their ownership of the bicycle being recovered:
- Their Boston University Terrier Card (or state-issued picture ID / passport, if not affiliated with the University)
- The key or combination to the lock used to secure the bicycle when it was impounded
Bicycle thefts should be immediately reported to the Boston University Police Department (BUPD) in person at 32 Harry Agganis Way (map). In the event that your bicycle is stolen, Parking & Transportation Services will work with BUPD in an effort to recover it. Bicycles displaying Boston University permits may be more easily returned to their owners. As such, online registration is strongly encouraged.
University Events & Construction Projects
When construction projects or University events require a restriction or prohibition of bicycle parking, Parking & Transportation Services staff will make every effort to provide the cycling community with advanced notice via signage, website news posts, and/or email.
To properly prepare the Charles River Campus for Boston University’s school and college convocations each year, bicycles must be removed from outside bicycle racks in the following areas by the Wednesday preceding the All-University Commencement. A two (2) week notice will be given to all students, faculty, and staff of the requirement to remove all bicycles parked in the following areas by that time:
- Agganis Arena / FitRec Center
- Babcock Street
- College of Engineering
- College of Fine Arts
- Commonwealth Avenue
- Harry Agganis Way
- School of Management
- Track & Tennis Center
- Warren Towers (exterior racks)
- Buildings surrounding the West Campus Plaza / Nickerson Field
Bicycles parked at bicycle racks located on the West Campus Plaza, from Rich Hall to Harry Agganis Way, will be removed and impounded at their owners’ risk and expense on the Wednesday morning immediately preceding the All-University Commencement.
The bicycle rooms at Warren Towers and 504 Park Drive (South Campus) will close for the academic year at 4 p.m. on the Monday immediately following the All-University Commencement. All bicycles remaining in these bicycle rooms at the time of the closures will be tagged for removal. Tagged bikes remaining in the Warren Towers and South Campus bike rooms on Wednesday of the following week will be removed and impounded at their owners’ risk and expense.
The bicycle rooms at 10 Buick Street and 33 Harry Agganis Way will close for the academic year at 10 a.m. on the Tuesday following the All-University Commencement. All bicycles remaining in these bike rooms will be removed and impounded on the Wednesday of the following week at their owners’ risk and expense.