Bicycling at Texas State
Texas State University-San Marcos is committed to giving priority to alternative modes of transportation such as bicycles and buses over automobiles to promote a pedestrian-oriented campus, and to reduce the demand for parking on campus. The Texas State Campus Master Plan for 2006–2015 has determined that it is important to establish a network of pedestrian and bike paths that connect the main campus, student residential areas, and the city of San Marcos.
New demands in bicycle ridership require basic bicycle rules and regulations which outline the basic responsibilities of all Texas State students, faculty, and staff when bicycling on campus. These rules were developed in an effort to protect pedestrians, bicyclists and property.
Texas State Parking Services offers a free annual registration program to all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Registration offers the following advantages:
Registration can be completed at Texas State Parking Services in the Nueces building located at the corner of North LBJ and Bobcat Trail.
An owner-applied number can be engraved on the bicycle by the university police at no charge.
Registration is complete when the registration decal is permanently affixed to the bicycle’s frame on the down tubing leading from the seat post.
Change in bicycle ownership must be reported to Texas State Parking Services in order to update registration records.
Bicyclists are to operate their bicycles in a responsible and courteous manner and observe the following operating regulations.
Crosswalk – A crosswalk is defined in the Texas Transportation Code, Section 541.302 (2) as the portion of a roadway, including an intersection, designated as a pedestrian crossing by surface markings, including lines or the portion of a roadway at an intersection that is within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway measured from the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the traversable roadway.
Highway or Street – A highway or street is defined in the Texas Transportation Code, Section 541.302(5) as the width between the boundary lines of a publicly maintained way any part of which is open to the public for vehicular travel.
Roadway – A roadway is defined in the Texas Transportation Code, Section 541.302 (11) as the portion of a highway, other than the berm or shoulder, that is improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel. If a highway includes at least two separate roadways, the term applies to each roadway separately.
Safety Zone – A safety zone is defined in the Texas Transportation Code, Section 541.302 (12) as the area of the roadway officially designated for exclusive pedestrian use and that is protected or so marked or indicated by adequate signs as to be plainly visible at all times while so designated.
Sidewalk – A sidewalk is defined in the Texas Transportation Code, Section 541.302 (16) as the portion of a street that is between a curb or lateral line of a roadway and the adjacent property line and intended for pedestrian use.
Operating on Campus Streets
When bicyclists ride a bicycle on the streets of the Texas State campus, they are drivers. Bicyclists must follow Texas state laws.
The Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 551 governs the operation of bicycles on public roadways or paths set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. All bicyclists must operate under Texas motor vehicle laws while on public roadways, including stopping at stop signs, yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks, displaying proper illumination, and riding with the traffic flow on streets without designated bicycle lanes.
Operating in a Safety Zone on Campus
When operating a bicycle in a safety zone, the bicyclist must dismount and walk the bicycle through the safety zone.
The pedestrian walking mall west to east from the LBJ Student Center to Old Main, and other safety zones as designated. These are high-use pedestrian pathways and bicyclists must always dismount and walk their bike through these zoned areas.
The operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing a roadway in a crosswalk if: no traffic control signal is in place or in operation; and the pedestrian is on the half of the roadway in which the vehicle is traveling or approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger. The operator of a vehicle approaching from the rear of a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross a roadway may not pass the stopped vehicle.
Bicyclists must give an audible signal before overtaking a pedestrian. An audible signal can be a bell, horn or voice; anything which will alert a pedestrian of an approaching bicycle and the direction they are traveling.
Required Safety Equipment
The Texas Transportation Code, Section 551.104 Safety Equipment states:
“A person may not operate a bicycle unless the bicycle is equipped with a brake capable of making a braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
A person may not operate a bicycle at nighttime unless the bicycle is equipped with a lamp on the front of the bicycle that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet in front of the bicycle and on the rear of the bicycle a red reflector that is of a type approved by the department and visible when directly in front of lawful upper beams of motor vehicle headlamps from all distances from 50 to 300 feet to the rear of the bicycle or a lamp that emits a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear of the bicycle.”
Unless required by Texas law or City of San Marcos ordinance, bicycle helmets are not required during the operation of a bicycle on campus; however, the university strongly recommends the use of bicycle helmets for the prevention of serious head injury.
The Texas Transportation Code, Section 542.401 (General Penalty) indicates that a person convicted of an offense that is a misdemeanor under this subtitle for which another penalty is not provided shall be punished by a fine of not less than $1.00 or more than $200.00.
Bicyclists should always use bicycle racks to protect property, pedestrians and access to university facilities. Texas State strives to provide adequate bicycle parking for persons traveling to campus by bicycle. Inadequate parking should be reported in writing to the Transportation and Parking Committee. However, current capacity issues will not excuse parking violations identified in these regulations.
o Parked inside university buildings unless these areas are specifically marked and equipped, or a private office;
o Attached to or rested against trees or shrubs;
o Attached to or rested against signage, handrails, or parking meters;
o Attached to or rested against outdoor campus furnishings;
o Parked in a manner, which limits access to, or use of any university facility or safety device; and
o Parked in specifically prohibited parking areas.