Ann Arbor prides itself as a bike friendly community. The City serves its bicycling community with infrastructure improvements geared towards cyclists, and by promoting awareness of cycling opportunities and resources in the Ann Arbor area. As a result of its dedication, the City of Ann Arbor has received the following acknowledgements:
Know and follow the rules of the road. Ann Arbor and Michigan laws classify bicycles as vehicles and requires them to follow the rules of the road. Don't swerve in traffic or between parked cars, obey all traffic signals, and ride in the direction of traffic. It's the law, and it will keep you safe.
Yield to pedestrians. Cyclists are often safer on the road than on the sidewalk because cyclists are more easily visible in the road, where drivers typically scan for oncoming traffic. It is important to take care in places where sidewalks and roads meet, like crosswalks, intersections, and driveways. If a cyclist does not feel comfortable in the road and chooses to ride on the sidewalk, consider yourself a guest in the pedestrian space. Ride slowly, announce your presence to pedestrians who may not see you, walk your bike on crowded sidewalks, yield to pedestrians, stop or dismount before entering crosswalks, and watch for drivers who may not be watching for you!
- Ride with traffic, on the right. The city generally requires that all cyclists keep to the right of the road. This includes always driving in the direction of traffic flow, even in bike lanes. Notable exceptions to this rule include when the cyclist intends to turn left, in which case he/she should merge to turn out of the left-hand lane, rather than cutting across traffic. Also on one-way streets with two or more traffic lanes, it is acceptable to ride "as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable" (Section 257.660a of the Michigan Vehicle Code). If the lane is overly narrow or in unsafe condition, or the cyclist feels uncomfortable with the passable area that motorists have, a cyclist should consider cycling nearer to the center of the lane.
Ride at least 3 feet from parked cars to avoid risking a crash if a car door opens in front of you.
Always wear a helmet. Your brain is your most precious asset; protect it.
Be visible. The City of Ann Arbor requires that all cyclists use headlights and rear reflectors after sunset. By wearing lights, reflectors, and bright, retroreflective clothing, cyclists improve their visibility, allowing drivers and other cyclists to see them and avoid them.
Check your bike. Whenever going on a bicycling trip, cyclists should always verify that their bike is safe by checking the brakes, ensuring that all parts are secure, and making sure that the tires are properly inflated. It is always a good idea to carry water, snacks, a cell phone and bus fare in case plans change.
Please see this Road-Sharing Brochure (pdf) for more information on sharing the road with drivers.
The City of Ann Arbor Bicycle Map (pdf) shows the various bike lanes, bike routes, and shared-use trails available for trips within the Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County area. Print copies of the maps are available at City Hall's transportation information center, bike shops, and the Parks and Recreation Department.
The Border-to-Border Trail Map is a more detailed map of the portion of the trail connecting eastern Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti to Wayne County.
The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) provides bicycle travel information maps of the Southeast Michigan area on its website, and the Michigan Department of Transportation provides bicycle maps for the area ("University Region") on the MDOT Regional Bike Maps website.
The City of Ann Arbor requires that bicycle parking be included in all new construction projects. The requirements for parking can be found in Chapter 59 of the City's Codes.
There are several different types of bicycle parking, from protected storage lockers to simple bicycle racks. An explanation of each class of parking can be found in the bicycle parking guide "Bike Parking for Your Business." The guide was designed to help businesses take advantage of the new interest in bicycling by providing useful guidelines and graphical illustrations for adding bicycle parking.
By providing bicycle parking, a business can increase overall parking capacity at a small cost, attract customers who ride bicycles, eliminate the clutter of unplanned bicycle parking and encourage customers that generally drive to try biking instead.
If you are interested in having bicycle parking installed in the downtown area, you can contact the getDowntown Program by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This map shows the locations of downtown Ann Arbor bicycle parking spaces.
To report an abandoned bicycle for removal, please call the non-emergency police number, which is kept up-to-date on the City of Ann Arbor Police website. This will allow a list of abandoned bikes to be compiled for removal by staff.
Ann Arbor Bicycle Lanes
The City of Ann Arbor is committed to establishing a bicycle lane network that residents and visitors can use to travel within the city. Every year, the city commits resources to expand, improve, and evaluate its bike lane system. To evaluate bicycle lanes, transportation program staff create an inventory of every bicycle lane in the city including photos and data tables on its condition (as shown below). The latest information is available in the 2010 Inventory Report.
There are many resources for cyclists in Ann Arbor. For information on cycling in Washtenaw County, visit the Washtenaw Biking and Walking Coalition Website . For information on commuting to work by bike, visit the getDowntown Program Website for safety tips and additional resources.
In addition, visit these websites for more information for cyclists in Ann Arbor:
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Rules of the Road for cycling in Ann Arbor?
The State of Michigan recently updated parts of the Michigan Vehicle Code, redefining some of the rules of the road for cyclists. The City of Ann Arbor removed portions of the city ordinance Chapter 127: Bicycles relating to the operation of a bicycle to make local law more consistent with updated state laws. Click Here to see the changes.
Cyclists should use the Michigan Vehicle Code as a guide. The rules for cyclists can be found at the Michigan Legislature website.
Can I bike in either direction in a bike lane?
No, bike lanes are designated as one-way only. You must bike in the same direction as the lane of traffic in which the bike lane is nested.
How do I report a bike lane maintenance issue?
If you encounter a pothole or similar maintenance issue in a bike lane during your ride, please use the online Citizen Request System. When you make the request, be sure the report it as a "pothole repair" issue in Step 2.
What happens to abandoned bikes?
In response to a complaint, the Ann Arbor Police Department downtown patrol officers place 48 hour notice tags on bicycles that appear to be abandoned. After 48 hours, the bikes are impounded by officers.
Why is bike parking important?
Bicycle parking is important for many reasons. Investing in safe and convenient bicycle parking can benefit your business, office, or residential complex. More and more people in Ann Arbor are taking advantage of the convenience, flexibility and cost-effectiveness of traveling by bicycle. One of the most crucial parts of that travel is a safe and secure place to park your bike. Having such a place in front of your business can increase your overall parking capacity at a small cost, attract customers who ride bicycles, eliminate the clutter and damage of unplanned bicycle parking and encourage customers that generally drive to try biking instead.
For more information, see: Bicycle Parking, above.
Where can I find information on bike lockers?
Bike locker information can be found on the getDowntown website.
If I have a question about bicycling in the City of Ann Arbor, who should I contact?
The City of Ann Arbor is dedicated to making bicycling an easy, dependable, and fun way to make trips. The Ann Arbor Transportation Program Manager is Eli Cooper (email@example.com), and any questions or comments about bicycling in Ann Arbor should be directed to him.
What is the Alternative Transportation Committee?
Ann Arbor's Alternative Transportation Committee is an internal committee of city staff, county staff, citizen advocates, the DDA, and many other organizations. The committee meets on a monthly or bi-monthly basis to discuss relevant issues in nonmotorized transportation, including bicycling. If you are interested in presenting, or if you have any questions, please contact the city's Transportation Program Manager, Eli Cooper.
How does the city plan for bike lanes and other bicycle facilities?
The City of Ann Arbor Non-motorized Plan 2007 guides the city as it continues to build and maintain more bike lanes, pedestrian crossings, and other non-motorized facilities. Information on the Plan can be found on the Transportation Program website.
What is the 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation?
The 2010 campaign is a coordinated effort to “elevate trails, walking, and biking nationally by doubling the federal investment in active transportation” (from the Rails-to-Trails website). For Ann Arbor and the surrounding communities, the campaign could result in significant federal investment in the active transportation infrastructure, resulting in a complete network of bike-lanes and sidewalks, in improved connections across highway and interstate overpasses, and in continued investment in the Allen Creek Greenway. More information on Ann Arbor's campaign can be found on the Transportation Program website.