Biking & Walking Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the questions to reveal the answers.

Are there showers and clothing lockers on campus?

Faculty and staff with IMA memberships and all students can use the shower facilities at the IMA and at Pavilion Pool. Call 206-543-4590 for details. A few other buildings on campus also have shower and clothes locker facilities. Contact your building coordinator about availability of facilities in your building.

Where can I park my bike on campus?

Use one of many convenient bike racks throughout campus or apply to rent a bike locker or space in a secure bike house. Bikes may not be parked in buildings or secured to trees WAC 478-116-605. Visit our bike parking page for more information.

Where are bike lockers and how do I get one?

There are close to 600 secure bicycle lockers in 31 campus locations for those who regularly commute to campus from an off-campus location. If you find your preferred area is currently full, you can place yourself on up to three waiting lists. Visit our bike parking page for more information.

Can I receive a citation for riding in the Bike Walk Zone?

The HUB lawn and environs are a Bike Walk Zone, which means that bikes are to be walked when pedestrians are present. Violators can be issued a citation. For more information, visit our page on bike regulations, rules and safety.

Who has the right of way—a pedestrian or a bicyclist?

The law requires cyclists to yield to pedestrians and give an audible warning. Look for posted stop signs, yield signs and pedestrian signs, and please obey speed limits by riding at safe speeds. Typically, bicyclists should keep to the right and pass on the left.

Is it okay to ride on sidewalks?

You may ride bicycles on campus sidewalks, except where posted. Please remember to ride where you are predictable. Pedestrians may not be expecting you on the sidewalk or may not see you as they approach a driveway or crosswalk.

Can I take my bike on a bus or a vanpool?

All buses and most vanpools have easy-to-load bike racks. We have a practice rack for you to try out in front of the Transportation Services building at 1320 NE Campus Parkway. Bikes may be loaded and unloaded on buses at any bus stop. Be sure to let the driver know that you have a bicycle to load on the rack before you board, and let them know you’ll be removing a bicycle from the rack when you disembark.

How can I practice loading my bike on a bus?

Transportation Services has a full-sized practice bus bike rack to you to try out 24/7. It’s located in front of our building at 1320 NE Campus Parkway, right next to the bike rack in the courtyard. Using the bus bike rack is easy, and trying the practice rack a few times will give you the confidence to load your bike on a real bus.

What is a sharrow?

Sharrow is an abbreviation for “Shared Lane Marking,” and is the pavement marking depicted by two chevrons above a bicycle. Sharrows are included in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) as a tool for marking a street as a shared roadway environment.

Why does the UW have sharrows on campus roads?

The UW is committed to creating safe and predictable conditions for traveling on campus, and sharrows are a tool that contributes to that goal. Sharrows alert all roadway users to watch for bicyclists and show bicyclists the best position to ride on the roadway.

What should I do in the presence of sharrows when I’m riding a bicycle?

Sharrows tell bicyclists where to position themselves in a shared roadway environment and remind bicyclists to share the road with pedestrians, people in cars, and other people on bicycles. When riding a bicycle on a shared roadway:

  • Be courteous and respectful of pedestrians, people in cars, and other people on bicycles
  • Ride predictably
  • Follow the speed limit and all other rules of the road
  • Ride in the correct direction of travel

What should I do in the presence of sharrows when I’m driving a car?

Sharrows let motorists know where on the roadway bicyclists are likely to be, and remind those drivers to share the road with pedestrians, people on bicycles, and other people in cars. When driving a car on a shared roadway:

  • Be courteous to pedestrians, people on bicycles, and other people in cars
  • Drive predictably
  • Follow the speed limit and all other rules of the road
  • Keep an eye out for pedestrians, people on bicycles, and other cars when turning and changing lanes
  • Where passing is allowed, pass people on bicycles on the left at a safe distance and speed. Do not pass people on bicycles in the “No Passing” areas on Stevens Way.
  • When parking your car, check for people on bicycles before opening your door

What is the difference between sharrows and bicycle lanes?

Bicycle lanes are portions of the roadway designated for the exclusive use of people on bicycles, and motor vehicles are generally excluded from this space.

In contrast, sharrows are used to indicate that a roadway is a shared space where bicyclists and drivers are all welcome.

If I don’t see sharrows on a road, does that mean bicyclists aren’t supposed to be there?

No. People on bicycles are allowed to ride on all University of Washington roadways, regardless of whether they are marked with sharrows. The sharrows alert drivers to expect bicyclists on the road. In general, UW roads marked with sharrows carry higher volumes of bicycles and cars.