Pertinent State College Borough Ordinances* That Apply to Pedalcyclists

Pedalcycle/Bicycle Registration
  • All permanent and temporary residents of the area shall register their pedalcycles and display a valid registration sticker. All riders who ride within or through the Borough must register their pedalcycles.
  • Registration of pedalcycles can be done in person through the State College Police Department (243 South Allen Street), Penn State University or any participating area bicycle/ pedalcycle shop. In addition to personal contact information, you will need the make, model, color and serial number for each pedalcycle to be registered. 
  • You can print out the registration form here and bring it into the Police Station to receive a registration sticker. 
  • If you are a member of the Penn State faculty, staff or a Penn State student you can register your pedalcycle online. You can then choose to have your permit mailed to your local address or you may pick it up in the Penn State Parking Office in the Eisenhower Parking Deck.
  • Registration period for pedalcycles are from June 1 to May 31 each year. Registration is good for a period of up to two years.

Operation of Pedalcycles
Every person operating a pedalcycle upon a street shall be granted all the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the operator of a vehicle by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and regulated locally by the Borough of State College as set forth by ordinance.

Riding on Sidewalks. No pedalcycle shall be ridden upon a downtown sidewalk. Downtown has been defined as the area containing that portion of the Borough of State College bound by College Avenue, Beaver Avenue, High Street, and Atherton Street, as well as the 200 blocks of South Pugh Street, South Allen Street and South Fraser Street. Operation of pedalcycles is permitted on sidewalks outside of the downtown area. Downtown District map.

Riding on Streets and Bicycle/Pedalcycle Paths. Every person riding a pedalcycle upon a street shall ride as near to the right side of the street as practicable and shall ride in the same direction as other vehicular traffic. Any person operating a pedalcycle upon a one-way street with two or more marked lanes may ride as near to either curb or edge of the street as practicable. Persons riding pedalcycles upon a bicycle/pedalcycle path shall ride to the right side of the path.

Limitations of Riding Abreast. Persons riding pedalcycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of pedalcycles.

Slower than Prevailing Speeds. A pedalcycle operated at a slower than prevailing speed shall be driven in the right-hand lane when available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except when preparing for a left turn at an intersection.

Right-of-way to Pedestrians. A person riding a pedalcycle upon a sidewalk or bicycle/pedalcycle path shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and shall give an audible indication before overtaking and passing a pedestrian.

Passengers Illegal. A person operating a pedalcycle shall ride upon or astride a permanent seat. A pedalcycle shall not be used to carry more persons on it at one time than the number for which the vehicle is designed and equipped.

Clinging to Vehicles Prohibited. No person riding upon any pedalcycle shall attach either the pedalcycle or himself or herself to any moving vehicle upon a street for the purpose of being pulled along with the moving vehicle.

Carrying Articles. No person operating a pedalcycle shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars or obstructs the driver's vision.

Improper Riding, Trick Riding, Racing. No person operating a pedalcycle shall participate in any race, speed or endurance contest, unless such race or endurance contest has obtained the necessary permit(s) and approval through the Borough. No person operating a pedalcycle shall perform any acrobatic, fancy, or stunt riding unless it is an organized activity and the organizers have obtained the necessary permit(s) and approval through the Borough.

Obedience to Traffic Control Devices. All persons operating a pedalcycle shall obey the instructions of official traffic-control devices (traffic signs) applicable to vehicles, unless otherwise directed by a police officer. Pedalcyclists may dismount from their pedalcycle in order to continue their intended direction of travel, thereby disregarding the traffic-control device, if such movement is permitted for pedestrians.

  • A person may park a pedalcycle on a sidewalk, unless prohibited or restricted by an official traffic control device. However, no person shall park any pedalcycle against windows or parking meters or on the main traveled portion of the sidewalk, nor in such manner as to constitute a hazard to pedestrians, traffic or property.
  • No person shall chain or secure a pedalcycle to any stop sign, parking sign or any other official sign, including trees in the street rights-of-way within the Borough.
  • Bicycle/pedalcycle racks are to be used, where available. No person shall chain or secure a pedalcycle to a bicycle/pedalcycle rack within a street right-of-way in excess of 72 hours. No person shall chain or secure a pedalcycle to a bicycle/pedalcycle rack in a municipal parking facility in excess of 30 days.

Safety Equipment Required
  • Pedalcycle operated between sunset and sunrise must be equipped with:
    • A front lamp emitting a white light
    • A rear red reflector to the rear
    • Amber reflectors to each side.
  • Every pedalcycle shall be equipped with a braking system which will stop the pedalcycle within 15 feet from an initial speed of 15 miles-per-hour on a dry, level and clean pavement.
  • Pedalcycle helmets must be worn by all persons under 12 years of age while operating a pedalcycle or riding as a passenger of a pedalcycle. This includes children being transported in a restraining seat or a tow trailer.

Any person 15 years of age or under, who violates any provisions of the ordinance is subject to the following penalties:

First Offense. Reprimanded, in writing, State College Police. The letter to be sent by Certified Mail, addressed to the parents or person in loco parentis of the offender. The letter will state the nature of the violation and a warning that, if repeated or if any other violation is committed, the registration certificate will be suspended for a designated period of time during which the offender cannot ride his pedalcycle on the streets or sidewalks where permitted in the Borough.

Second Offense. The offender is summoned to appear with his pedalcycle at the State College Police Department (243 South Allen Street). A parent or guardian must accompany him. After a discussion on violation, if, in the discretion of the Chief of Police or his representative it is decided that punishment is in order, the pedalcycle may be impounded for not more than 14 days. Parental approval of this measure is desirable, but the Department?s decision prevails as to impounding the pedalcycle. At the end of this period, the pedalcycle will be surrendered to the parents or guardian.

Persons Over 15 Years of Age. Any person over 15 years of age violating any of the provisions of this ordinance shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine not to exceed $25.00 and costs of prosecution, or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 3 days, or both. Any corporation or partnership violating any of the provisions of this ordinance, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to a fine not to exceed $50.00 and costs of prosecution.

*SUMMARIZED for further information or exact wording see Borough Codes.

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