Mopeds and Bikes @ MSU

I get asked about the issue of the exploding moped population on our campus quite often.  They have become regular illegal users on our sidewalks and pathways on their way to park at bike racks (see photo of example signage at the racks).  They’re required to walk their mopeds on sidewalks/ paths to get to bike parking according to MSU Police/ Parking which I’ve rarely ever seen done in practice.  They have rapidly become a large percentage of the vehicles parked at the already over-crowded bike racks all over campus, in some cases (like on the east-side of Broad Business College) making up over 1/3 of them.  See recent photos in the gallery below all taken in 2016 except where noted.  A series of three videos (College of Business, Wells Hall, Jenison Fieldhouse) taken earlier in the fall of 2016 add additional visual confirmation of the extent of the problem at its peak.

Well, hope is on the horizon via a long-standing board-created campus committee called the AUTTC (All University Traffic & Transportation Committee) which advises the Chief of the MSU Police.  For those of you who don’t know, the AUTTC has done a lot of great things to help improve the bike-friendliness of MSU; for example, the MSU Bikes Service Center is a result of an AUTTC recommendation.

We finally put together a comprehensive set of recommendations to help resolve the moped issues that we’ve been observing over the past bunch of years.  These recommendations were based on the established examples of several peer universities and their successful strategy to reign in the abuses (referenced in the recommendations appendices (pg. 34-35).

The Police Chief accepted our 2015-2016 recommendations (which can be viewed here in detail) and  the Committee has been assured that the Police and Parking departments have staff working on implementing our recommendations on campus.  We haven’t been told of a time line for those coming changes but suffice it to say things will hopefully be much improved for the safety of our campus community on our sidewalks and pathways.


Author: Tim Potter

Sustainable Transportation Manager, MSU Bikes Service Center; member of the All University Traffic & Transportation Committee (; founding member of MSU Bike Advisory Committee (; advocate for local & regional non-motorized transportation issues thru the Tri-Co. Bike Assn. Advocacy Committee (; board member of the Ride of Silence (; year-round bicyclist of all sorts; photographer; soccer player; father of 3; married 30 yrs. to Hiromi, Japanese national (daughter of former Natl. Keirin Champion, Seiichi Nishiji); Christ follower.

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