Bike Impoundment

Bike Impoundment

The Ohio State University enforces bike impoundment policies on a regular basis. To avoid having your bike impounded, please follow the guidelines below.

Junk Bikes

Bicycles that are in a visible state of disrepair are referred to as “junk bikes.” If a bicycle has a flat and/or deteriorating tire(s), bent rims, rusted or broken chains, frozen brakes, cables, or shifters, it may be determined as junk and be tagged for removal. Tagged bikes will be given seven (7) days from the date of being tagged before impoundment.

Abandoned Bikes

In order to keep bike racks free from abandoned bikes that decrease the available bike rack storage spaces, bikes are "tagged" and impounded regularly throughout the year. If bikes are left unattended and have not moved for an extended period of time, it is presumed that they have been abandoned. To determine whether a bike has truly been abandoned, and to let bike owners know that their bike may be impounded, Transportation and Traffic Management (TTM) hangs a bright tag on the bike's handlebars, indicating that the bike must be moved by a specific date. The date written on the tag is seven (7) days from the date of being tagged. If the bicycle has not been moved within seven (7) days, it will be issued a citation for abandonment, removed from the bike rack, and impounded. The bike will be stored in our impound facility and held waiting owner pick up for 90 days.

Please also note that items such as locks, wheels, and helmets left and locked on the bike racks may also be considered abandoned and subject to impoundment. These items will also be tagged and removed after seven (7) days if still present.

Bicycles in Violation

Bicycles may only be parked and locked in designated bike racks. Bicycles parked and locked anywhere else may be subject to immediate impoundment without being tagged. 

Some examples of areas not to be used for bicycle parking include:

  • Bike Share racks
  • Landscape areas (trees, plants, mulch beds, etc.)
  • Hardscape areas (walkways, signs, fences, lampposts, building, etc.)
  • Safety areas (disability ramps, fire hydrants, stairways, railings, etc.)
  • Places that block or impede the normal flow of traffic or emergency personnel on a roadway, street, alley, sidewalk, mall, patio or parking area

Bike Rack Removal for Construction Projects

Occasionally, construction projects on campus will require bike racks to be removed and relocated. When this is the case, bike will need to be moved prior to the rack removal or they will be impounded. Typically, a notice of three (3) or more days is given to bike owners by placement of signage near the area of the bike rack and/or bright tags placed on the bike noting date of removal.  If the bicycle has not been moved by the date of the bike rack removal, it will be issued a citation, removed from the bike rack, and impounded.

Summer Removal

Students, faulty, and staff who leave campus during the summer are strongly encouraged to find an alternate location to store their bikes for the summer. TTM operates a summer abandoned bicycle abatement program by collecting all bikes left at the University as abandoned over the summer months. This sweep cleans up unwanted and abandoned bikes left on campus, clogging busy bike racks, and helps prepare the campus for the new student arrivals in the fall. This large scale abatement normally occurs a week or two after Spring Semester/Maymester. Bicycles will be tagged as abandoned and given two (2) weeks to be moved. Bicycles not moved after those two (2) weeks will be impounded and issued a citation for abandonment, removed from the bike rack, and impounded. The bike will be stored in our impound facility and held waiting owner pick up for 90 days.

Emergencies

In rare cases, bicycles may need to be removed without notice due to campus emergencies.  Bicycles removed for emergencies will be impounded and held for safekeeping in the impound storage facility awaiting owner pickup.

Bike Recovery

If you think your bike may have been impounded, please contact the OSU Transportation and Traffic Management office at 614-292-7433 or e-mail ttminfo@osu.edu. (Please note that the locks have been cut during impoundment and a new lock will be needed.)

To release a bike, owners will need to provide proof of ownership (bike lock key, sales receipt of bike purchase, etc.), show a photo ID, complete paperwork, and make payment for the citation in order to claim the bike.  After 90 days, the university has the authority to sell, surplus, destroy, recycle or otherwise dispose of any removed bicycle.

Transportation and Traffic Management is not responsible for the cost of locks, chains, other security devices, or any other item that may be damaged or destroyed as a result of removing any bicycle, including incidental damages that may occur to the bicycles during the impoundment process. Transportation and Traffic Management has no responsibility or liability to replace or make compensation for such items.