You are here

Projects Updates for Reduce Bicycle Theft on Campus

Search tips:
  • This form will search for words in the title OR the description. If you would like to search for the same term(s) across both the title and description, enter the same search term(s) in both fields.
  • This form will search for any of the words you enter in a field, not the exact phrase you enter. If you would like to search for an exact phrase, put double quotes (") around the phrase. For example, if you search for Bike Path you will get results containing either the word Bike OR the word Path, but if you search for "Bike Path" you will get results containing the exact phrase Bike Path.
  1. Meeting with University of Illinois Police Department (UIPD)

    On 07/25/2023, Sarthak and Hrushikesh had a meeting with the University of Illinois Police Department (UIPD) regarding:

    Meeting Notes-

    - Explaining how to use Field Maps and its functions to UIPD  

    - Citation/ Impound Fee for the abandoned bicycles is regulated by the Parking Department.

    - Th retrieval process of the abandoned bikes will begin by Mid September.

    - During that period non-registered bikes will be enforced to register their bike along with the impound fee.

    - Asked UIPD to complete a feedback form for VEO-Bikes On-Campus (Note: UIPD is concerned with the way people use them in terms of safety and parking)

    -To do List for Sarthak:

    - Enquire about ESRI ArcGIS and Field Maps unique login credentials and editing privileges for the UIPD 

    - Send the Login details to UIPD.

    - Check Main Quad and Chemistry Annex area for any other remaining abandoned bikes.

  2. Week 6 - Next steps

    The next steps for the project progress would be to review the past BFU applications from 2011 - 2019 to understand the stage we as a university are at currently and would help to identify, compare and contrast the work across these timelines to improve the status and make recommendations after reviewing the feedback. 


  3. Week 5 - Check in meeting

    In the past weeks,  Aparna reviewed the  BFU Application to understand the scope of work, did research/literature review work, and familiarized herself with the current initiatives taken by the university at present to combat bike thefts. Moreover, she also had a conversation with a transportation staff from UCLA and ASU who had recently reached out to me on their ideas/approach on this topic for a qualitative aspect of this project. The same was also discussed with her capstone advisor, Prof. Lindsay Braun to go over the progress and find better clarity. 

  4. Week 4 - Check in meeting

    This week Aparna got in touch with the staff of transit services from Arizona State University to understand their approach to achieving the Gold BFU certification. 

    Sarthak and Aparna also had a quick overview of the materials shared and brainstormed ideas/recommendations to raise awareness in the campus community as well as keep bike thefts in mind. 

    The next steps would be to familiarize with the topic better, collect all the research materials and make notes/highlight the existing implementation, and make comments on these.

  5. Week 3 - Check in meeting

    In this meeting,  potential ideas for secured bicycle parking were discussed as ways to promote awareness among the campus community. A capstone proposal outlining the final objectives and deliverables was drafted and Sarthak helped support this discussion sharing an Excel sheet that has all of the goals, current status, and plans for the future of some mentioned ideas towards achieving the said objectives with challenges that are yet to be tackled. 

    This week, Aparna is going to try to get in touch with the transportation team from other universities that have achieved the Gold BFU status to gather some ideas specific to raising awareness about bike thefts. This would navigate the research better. 

    Aparna is also spending her initial time on the project learning about the Bike registration process and other initiatives that are already ongoing at UIUC to help understand the way forward. She also has access to the iCAP portal to update and document the weekly meetings to keep a track of the project progress.

  6. Week 2 update: Objectives for capstone

    Questions and doubts regarding the literature review done in the past week were discussed including a capstone report outline highlighting the main topics of research. More research work to follow in the coming week to help familiarize with the project's background. Aparna got contact information from the transportation department of UCLA and Arizona State University to discuss the project with their transportation team as the 2 universities have achieved the Gold BFU status and hoping to get a sense of direction or any leads on this. She is also in touch with Prof. Lindsay Braun who is her capstone advisor, and Briana Barr, Thomas Valencia, and Lily Wilcock from the City of Urbana who are working on similar projects.

    The idea was to bring more concepts and recommendations for a bike-friendly university to the table. We might also try to involve the Student Sustainability Committee, which uses a comprehensive evaluative process to fund a project that incorporates student involvement and an ability to spark change on campus. Aparna would help identify a cause as a part of the bike-friendly project which would also serve as a student-led project to apply for the SSC funding. An excel sheet that charts out the current status of the project were shared by Sarthak for better clarity, which also includes feedback from BFU to help plan for the future and achieve the desired goal.

    Three main objectives of the proposal would be -

    1. To get the BFU application drafted and ready to submit by the month of May
    2. Ideas for SSC funding for the Bike Friendly University Project
    3. Educate students and create a plan for bike thefts so that incoming students are aware of how to protect their bikes and encourage them to use this mode of transportation.

    An overall capstone proposal that outlines the said objectives and a work plan will be shared in the upcoming week. Access to the iCAP portal will be granted soon to chart out real-time updates and minutes of meetings.

  7. Captstone meeting Week 1: Introduction to the topics

    I, Aparna Padmakumar from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning am pursuing a master’s degree with a concentration focus in the field of transportation and currently is looking to take up a potential capstone project with the transportation iCAP team hoping to contribute to better bicycle safety/access on the UIUC campus. After multiple discussions and meetings with Sarthak Prasad,  the projects that I will be helping out with would be the ‘Bicycle Friendly University Status’ and ‘Reducing Bicycle Theft on Campus’ through the months of October until May. In today’s kick-off meeting (10/3/2022) previous data, studies, and information were shared with me for better clarity and expected to go through all the previously collected information on the iCap portal. Sarthak guided me through the 2022 Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) application to achieve Gold-level BFU certification and also the Bike at Illinois website as a source of information for the second ongoing project. I am also in constant touch with the other concerned team members to note down important background information on these 2 projects for a better sense of direction before our next weekly Monday meeting’

  8. Archived background

    Associated Project(s): 

    Between August 4, 2011 and March 9, 2016, there were 373 bicycle thefts reported to the University of Illinois Police Department (UIPD).  This number is beleived to be a low estimate, due to under-reporting, and because some bike thefts on campus may have been reported to the local Champaign or Urbana city Police Departments. 

    That is an average of 82 reported bicycle thefts a year!

    A map of these theft locations can be found here:




    Top areas of bike theft from August 2011-September 2013 (two years):
    Area Number of Bikes Stolen
    1010-12 W Illinois (ISR) 15
    201 N Goodwin Av (Seibel Center) 15
    College Court Area (PAR/FAR) 10
    405 N Mathews (Beckman) 8
    1005 W Gregory Dr (Allen) 7
    1005 S Lincoln Av (LAR) 6
    205 N Mathews (Newmark) 6
    1110 W Green Street (Daniels Hall) 5
    1401 W Green St (Illini Union) 5

    Source: UIPD 9/17/13

  9. Addition to the original description: Keys to reducing bicycle theft

    Associated Project(s): 

    Keys to reducing bicycle theft:

    1. Never leave your bicycle unlocked!
    2. Always lock your bicycle to a bicycle rack! Learn how to properly lock your bicycle Lock Your Bike Right (LYBR) video from 2019.
    3. Register your bicycle and install the registration sticker (529 Shield) to your bicycle. Learn more at Bike at Illinois' Register Your Bike page or
    4. Report a bike theft to UIPD immediately at (217) 333-1216.
  10. Bike Theft Prevention Ideas from Peter Davis

    Associated Project(s): 

    Let's make C-U a bike thief Un-Friendly Community.

    I think that our local cycling community would benefit from a relatively simple system which would compile and distribute information on stolen bikes.  I gave it some thought last night and we discussed and refined a possible system at our weekly staff meeting this morning.  This is not a finished product and I'd welcome suggestions to improve it.  But here's the idea.

    The system would consist of three parts:

    1. An easy way for the owner to register their bike as stolen.
    2. A way to disseminate that information to appropriate people in our community.
    3. An accessible list of stolen bikes that people could refer to.

    Champaign Cycle is volunteering to set up and run this system.  We could implement it in the following manner:

      1.  Register your bike as stolen.

    The bike owner would email  (I'm changing this to with "Stolen Bike" as the subject and provide the information on the stolen bike.  We will develop an email form that they could fill out and email back.  That form would include:


    • *Serial Number
      • Check with the bike shop you bought the bike from.  They should have recorded the serial number and have that record for you.
    • *Brand
    • *Model
    • *Color
    • *Frame type (men's or women's frame)
    • *Bike Shop Sticker
    • *Distinctive Features (white aero wheels, yellow baby seat with frog stickers, 12" rusty scratch on top tube, black fenders and rear rack)
    • Size (frame size or wheel size)
    • Style (road, mountain, hybrid, cruiser, kids, etc)
    • Where it was purchased
    • Year Purchased
    • Date Stolen
    • Location of theft (First and John, Cherry Hills, UI Library)
    • Locked with (U lock, cable, chain, in garage, unlocked)
    • *Name
    • *Email
    • *Phone

    We would ask that the Police departments also submit their stolen reports so we could disseminate their information.

    All this information would help everyone identify the bike to help return it to its owner.  The information could also provide a view of how big a problem bike theft is and where and how bikes are stolen.

      2.  Dissemination of stolen bike information to interested parties.

    We would maintain an email list and we would send the information on the stolen bike to:

    • Police: Champaign, Sheriff, UI, Urbana
    • CCB eMail list
    • KMBC eMail list
    • PCC eMail list
    • UC Bike Ride eMail list
    • Bakers Bikes
    • Bike Project
    • Bikeworks
    • Durst Cycles - Urbana and Champaign
    • Itty Bitty Bike Shop
    • Neutral Cycle Workshop
    • The local pawn shops

       3.  Maintain an accessible list of stolen bikes.

    We would maintain a list of the stolen bikes on a page on our website to which anyone could refer at any time.  It would be under the Service Tab as Stolen Bikes.  The list would include all the stolen bikes reported to us and would be sortable by column of the categories listed on the report form.  So you'd be able to sort the list by brand, serial number, or whatever.  That way you wouldn't have to print out each report or keep a list which might be out of date. 

    So that's the system as we envision it.  We could have it up and running next week.  Any ideas on improving it would be welcome.  We don't suggest that this is a finished project.  It can evolve as we gain experience with it.  I would especially appreciate input from our Police departments.  I'd also be glad to hand this off to another organization, but we are happy to develop and maintain it.  I don't think it will be much of a job for our staff.  We've assigned a person to administer it.  The thing that will make it work and be effective is that we list all the stolen bikes.  So promoting notifying the system of your stolen bike is very important. 

    As this system became more widely used, and more widely known, it should act as a bicycle theft deterrent.  If prospective thieves know there is a system to register stolen bikes and that there are Police, bike shops, pawn shops, and individuals on the outlook for stolen bikes, it may make stealing less attractive.  Think of this as a Bicycle Community Watch.

    What do you think?

    Peter Davis
    Champaign Cycle