Abandoned Bike Policy

UC Davis Campus Abandoned Bike Policy

With 15,000-20,000 bicycles in use at UC Davis on peak-use days, coupled with the regular "turnover" of the UC Davis population, it's inevitable that over time, some bikes will be abandoned. As the campus has grown, so has the number of bikes increased – both those being used for transportation and those discarded when their owners leave Davis.

Not only do abandoned bicycles represent an eyesore, but they take up valuable bike parking spaces, may present tripping hazards, and most importantly tempt thieves.

Per UC Davis Traffic and Parking Code Transportation Services and University Police are authorized to impound abandoned bikes.

6.03: "The Police Department and Transportation Services are authorized to impound bicycles and other transportation devices found in violation of this code.

6.06: No bicycle or other transportation device shall be parked, stored, or left: 
...i) on campus in such condition that it can be considered abandoned as evidenced by signs of disuse or neglect."

The Transportation Services Bicycle Program has a variety of procedures to deal with abandoned bicycles. Transportation Services personnel regularly patrol the campus and impound bicycles that appear to be abandoned. Typically, warning notices are affixed to the bikes in advance of their impoundment. The notice indicates that the bike appears to be abandoned and that the owner has at least 48 hours to remove the bike or correct any deficiencies that identify the bike as possibly being abandoned.

Another technique employed by Transportation Services is to identify the owners of possibly abandoned bikes through the bicycle registration records. If the owner's e-mail address can be found and is still valid, a message is sent to notify that person that the bike is subject to impound, just as the paper warning notices do.

When a bike is impounded, procedures are followed to determine if the bike has been reported stolen anywhere in California. Additionally, if the bike has been registered with the university, attempts are made to identify and contact the owner. A notice is sent to inform the owner how to recover the bike and it also gives the option of relinquishing claim on the bike, allowing Transportation Services to dispose of the bike without the restrictions imposed by state law. Notices may be sent electronically, by regular mail or both.

Most unclaimed abandoned bikes go up for public auction, and others are donated to various charitable groups or organizations. Transportation Services currently holds two general public auctions annually plus occasional online auctions. More information about the auctions is available here.

Students, staff and faculty who no longer want their bicycles are encouraged to remove them from campus property. There are many options for their disposal:

  • Donate it to the Bicycle Program, contact us by phone for an appointment (530-752-2453)
  • If the bike is in reasonably good condition, consider donating it to a local thrift shop.
  • Local bike shops that sell used bikes may also be interested in taking your bike.
  • The Davis Bike Collective located at 1221 1/2 4th Street, (near L St.) in Davis, takes all donated bikes for eventual refurbishment or as parts sources.
  • Davis Waste Removal at 2727 2nd Street in Davis has metal recycling bins where you may deposit bikes or metal bike parts any time day or night.

If nothing else, contact the Bicycle Program and let us know where your bike is on campus. If you can unlock it in advance of us picking it up, that would be preferred. But if you've lost the key, we can always remove it. Please don't abandon your bike. Others may find uses for it and your fellow cyclists will appreciate the vacant bike parking space!