Ever gotten a bike ticket? Want to know where, when, to whom, and by whom bike tickets are handed out in Champaign-Urbana? Read below to find out!
Bike tickets are not something a lot of people in Champaign-Urbana tend to worry about. True, each time you cumbersomely haul your bike out of your house or unlock your bike from its rack (breathing a sigh of relief that it is still there and has not been stolen), in the back of your mind you may be thinking “Will today be the day?”. But this fear is likely a remote one at best and it’s probably not one that will change how you ride.
That said, what if I told you there was a way – beyond following all the rules of the road – to minimize this risk? If you’re still reading, then I’m happy to tell you that Neutral Cycle is here to help you do just that. We’ve looked at the bike violations handed out by the Champaign, Urbana, and UIUC police departments and, based on these, have some suggestions for you. We’ll tell you where and when you’re most at risk of getting a ticket.
For the lazy, I’ve provided you with a simple numbered guide for how not to get a bike ticket in CU. You’re welcome.
- Don’t bike like an idiot on Goodwin. Period. Stop at the stop signs! Urbana loves to pull people over here. In the past 13 months, 180 citations have been given for improper biking on this road. That’s 46% of all tickets issued over this time period in both cities combined!
- Pay attention to one-way roads. It’s legal to ride on the sidewalk in most of the city. If you really must ride in the opposite direction on a one-way road, stick to the sidewalks. The rule of thumb is this: Treat your bike as a car when on the road and as a pedestrian when on sidewalks.
- Watch out for Spring and Fall. Most people don’t bike much in the Winter and there are fewer bikers in the Summer. Because of this, police departments set their bike traps mostly in the Spring and Fall. Urbana prefers April and October, while Champaign is most risky during August and October.
- Beware 10AM-1PM. Although there are many more bikers during this time of day, a seemingly disproportionate number of tickets are written between these times.
- Feel free to bike idiotically outside of campus. (… jk…) In the past 13 months, out of 390 violations written, only 6 were given outside of the campus and campustown area.
Seriously, though, biking safely and smartly is the best way to avoid getting a ticket.
Note: The above infographic notes the top-ten intersections where bike tickets were issued – all of them in the campustown area. Number of tickets issued includes data from the past 13 months. Other graphs include violations given as early as January 2012.
A special thanks goes out to Guy Tal for filing the FOIAs, entering in the data, and analyzing much of the data for us!