Abandoned Bike Removal Guidelines


The Regents of the University of Michigan have enacted an ordinance allowing for the impoundment of a bicycle that is left unattended for 48 hours; left in a manner as to unreasonably obstruct the flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic; or otherwise in violation with the ordinance. The ordinance allows for the impoundment of bicycles that are determined to be abandoned.

University of Michigan Grounds Services is responsible for removing bicycles that are determined to be abandoned from general areas and the residence halls of the U-M campus. U-M Grounds Services only removes abandoned bicycles on an annual basis. The University of Michigan Division of Public Safety and Security (DPSS) removes bicycles that are improperly parked or need to be removed to complete emergency project work, construction, or facilitate necessary facility repairs. Athletics has their own policies and are responsible for the removal and storage of bikes in their respective areas.


Bicycle parking on the university campus is intended for short term use only. Removing abandoned bikes ensures that the maximum number of bike racks are available for active bicyclists to use. Removing abandoned bikes also promotes a pleasant campus appearance and facilitates maintenance of the areas.

Abandoned Bike Removal Process

15 days before Spring Commencement bicycles that appear to be abandoned will be tagged by U-M Grounds Services staff. Deteriorated tires, bent rims, rusted or broken chains, frozen brakes, cables, or shifters will be used as indicators that the bike is abandoned. Bikes will be identified with bright colored tags that will be attached to the bike. During the tagging process Grounds Services staff will photograph the bike, record its location, the model and color, and the serial number or registrations if visible. This information will be turned over to DPSS. Bikes that have been tagged will remain in place until 15 days after Spring Commencement. This will be considered the 30 day tagging period. The owner will need to remove any bike tagged during this 30 day tagging period. All tagged bikes remaining after the 30 day tagging period ends will be determined to be abandoned.

Once the 30 day tagging period has expired all bikes that have been determined to be abandoned will be removed by U-M Grounds Services staff. Removal will include cutting any locking device necessary to remove the bike. No compensation will be made for locks that have been cut after the bike has been determined to be abandoned. 

Bikes with identifying features will be taken to a U-M Grounds Services storage area where they will be kept until 30 days after the first day of fall classes following their removal. Once this 30 day period has expired any abandoned bikes that remain will be disposed of. No compensation will be made for any abandoned bike that is disposed after this 30 day period.

Bicycle Recovery Process

Bike owners may retrieve their bicycles removed during the summer abandoned bike removal process up to 30 days after the first day of fall classes by contacting UM Grounds Services at (734) 763-5539 between the hours of 7:00AM and 3:30 PM, Monday through Friday. If UM Grounds Services determines that the bike was removed during the abandoned bike removal process a meeting between the owner and UM Grounds Services will be scheduled at the U-M Grounds Services storage area. If ownership is determined the bike will be released to the owner. No fines or fees will be assessed. 

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