The University of Michigan (U-M) promotes bicycling as a sustainable means of transportation for faculty, staff and students. Bicycling provides an excellent, inexpensive and time efficient way to get around and between the various U-M Ann Arbor campuses as well as to other destinations in the City of Ann Arbor (City). Cyclists have a great deal of route options with an ever growing network of bike lanes and offroad pathways in the City. Also, many of the roads on and around campus are low volume and low speed roadways where bicycles and motorists may easily share the road.
In March of 2012, The University of Michigan was named a Bike Friendly University (BFU) by the League of American Bicyclists. U-M received a bronze designation and is one of the few campuses nationwide to receive the designation of a BFU.
There are a lot of reasons that U-M's faculty, staff and students choose to bike. They include:
- More flexibility than U-M and AATA bus routes offer
- A way to incorporate physical activity into daily activities
- Free and convenient parking!
- Less environmental impact than driving a car or taking a bus
- A more pleasant way to get around
- A lot less expensive and a lot less hassle than owning a car
Bicycles also work with other alternative transportation options. The AATA's buses all have bike racks on them. Also, zipcars are located around campus for those times you really need a car and U-M students, faculty and staff can join at a discounted rate.
Several bicycle amenities, funded by Planet Blue Student Innovation Funding (PBSIF), have been installed to provide the infrastructure to support increased biking on campus. They include two public air pump stations (at North Quad and Pierpont Commons) and a “fix it” station near the Central Campus Transit Center, where cyclists can access available tools for quick repairs.
Cyclists are encouraged to travel in the roadway whenever practical to minimize conflicts with pedestrians on sidewalks and for their own safety. Sidewalk cycling is discouraged, as it can be very dangerous. Sidewalk cyclists are often out of the field of vision of motorists pulling into and out of side streets and driveways. This is especially the case when cycling on the sidewalk in the opposite direction of traffic in the adjacent lane. The Bicycling Guides highlight commonly biked roadways.
When bicycling in the roadway, cyclists must generally follow all of the same rules of the road as motorists. The Bicycle Safety Guide highlights key laws and bicycling techniques. When bicycling on walkways cyclists should slow down and yield to pedestrians. Please note that bicycles must be walked in certain areas of campus such as through the West Hall arch and the arch at Randall Laboratory.
Bicycling Guide and Bike Parking Locations
The following guide maps provide information on common bicycle routes around campus along with the location and the type of bicycle parking available.
- Central Campus (1.6 MB PDF)
- Medical Campus (1.6 MB PDF)
- North Campus (1.7 MB PDF)
- South Campus (1.3 MB PDF)
- Sout State Street Area (1.4 MB PDF)
- East Campus (1.3 MB PDF)
- Bicycle Safety Guide (1.1 MB PDF)
Blue Bike Rental Program
As part of the University's mission to provide affordable and green transportation alternatives to the U-M community, Parking & Transportation Services, the Office of Campus Sustainability, the University Planner's Office and Rec Sports have worked together to launch Blue Bikes, a new campus bike rental program. Operated by Outdoor Adventures within Rec Sports, Blue Bikes are now available for rental at Outdoor Adventures (near Elbel Field) and the North Campus Recreation Building (NCRB).
For more information about rental locations, hours of operation and rates, click here.
Bicycles should only be parked at designated bike racks and should not be taken into UM buildings. Bicycles parked such that they block sidewalks or roadways are subject to citation and impoundment by U-M Police Department (UMPD). Please see the U-M Ordinance for more information regarding bicycle impoundment and removal.
The UMPD now offers bicycle registration. If your bicycle is lost or stolen, you can easily be identified as the owner when it is recovered by law enforcement. Learn more about the program and officially register your bicycle.
When parked at a bike rack, bicycles should be secured through the frame and one or both of the wheels. While quick release front wheels are the easiest to be removed, the rear wheel actually has more value components; both can be targets for thieves. Expensive saddles and bike accessories such as lights can also be targets and should be removed or secured.
There are over 8,500 bike parking spaces (each hoop provides 2 parking spaces) on U-M's Ann Arbor campus. This translates to about 1 place for every 10 people within an academic, research and office building on campus and 1 place for every 4 people living in a residence hall. These ratios fall within common guidelines from around the country and are the result of a concerted effort over the past ten years to increase the number of bike parking spots on campus.
The majority of the bicycle parking spaces are of the inverted "U" design where each hoop accommodates two bicycles. The hoops are typically clustered, placed on hard surfaces and located in the vicinity of building entrances. Some larger bike parking clusters are centrally located to serve numerous buildings. Most of the parking spots are uncovered, but where possible some racks are located under building overhangs and within parking decks. Cyclists should park bikes at designated bike racks and refrain from locking their bikes to fences, sign post or trees.
In addition, there are a limited number of bicycle lockers that provide covered and secured parking for individual bicycles. Lockers are located at the Medical Campus and Wolverine Tower. The lockers are available for lease at a nominal fee plus a refundable key deposit. For inquiries regarding bike lockers please contact Parking Customer Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Secured, indoor bicycle parking facility is now available - out of the elements and accessible to only those with rented space. Two doors, accessed via programmed Mcards, with a 50-bike capacity - either on floor loops or on wall racks.
The bike storage facility is located on the South side of the Thompson St. Parking Structure and has capacity for 50 bicycles in a combination of wall-mounted racks and floor loops.
Rental of bicycle storage space is $72.00 per parking permit year (July through June at $6.00 per month). The fee must be paid in full at the time of purchase. Payment methods include cash, check (payable to University of Michigan) or credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover). To rent space in the facility, please contact Parking Customer Services at 764-8291.
Bicycle Parking Requests
U-M continues to evaluate bicycle parking needs around campus. The evaluation is based on: bicycle parking guidelines, visual assessment of existing bicycle parking use, bicycle parking requests, and a site assessment of bike parking feasibility. It is U-M's intent to provide an adequate supply of bicycle parking where feasible. Given site restrictions and budgetary limitations, the parking provided may not be located at the most convenient location for each user but in the general vicinity of the building being served. If you feel a particular building or area needs additional bicycle parking please review the Bicycle Guides to see if alternative bicycle parking locations are located nearby. If no alternate locations are available or the alternate locations are full please submit a Bicycle Parking Request form to ask for more parking.
U-M Shower Facilities
Staff showers are available for bicyclists at five campus locations. MHealthy provides a list of the shower locations on their website. The information is listed towards the bottom of the page.
Motorcycles, Mopeds, and Restricted Vehicles on Campus
Motorcycles and mopeds provide an effective means of transportation to and around campus. Motorcycles and mopeds are restricted from all pathways on campus except when a moped is being walked to a designated parking space away from the roadway. For more information, see the Motorcycles and Mopeds page.
Links to Other Bicycling Resources
The following are links to websites that may provide useful information to cyclists. Please note that by clicking on these links you will be leaving U-M's Website and that UM has no control over the content of the Web pages.
Links to other Bike Maps
City of Ann Arbor Bike Map
MDOT University Region Bike Guide
SEMCOG Bicycle Travel Information Maps
Bicycling Techniques, Safety and Tips
What Every Michigan Bicyclist Should Know
Bicycling Street Smarts
Bicycle Clubs and Advocacy Organizations
League of American Bicyclists
League of Michigan Bicyclists
Michigan Trails and Greenway Alliance
Michigan Mountain Biking Association
Washtenaw Walking and Bicycling Coalition
Ann Arbor Touring Society
University of Michigan Cycling Team
University of Michigan Cycling Club