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Student Handbook - Traffic and Parking Regulations

Students are advised to read the parking and traffic regulations for the University. Below are opening paragraphs of the booklet -- which indicate some reasons students need to read the entire booklet.

Guiding Principles For Rice University Traffic and Parking


For those new to the Rice University community, there are a few guiding principles that may help you understand what is expected of you when you drive or park a vehicle on campus. 

  • All members of this community of students, faculty, and staff are adults.  Those who enforce these regulations and the laws of the city, state and nation appreciate your adult status in our community and society.  As an adult, it is your responsibility to acquaint yourself with the rules and regulations of Rice University and the laws governing our community.
  • The regulations describe traffic and parking standards for the campus and environs. They are not written to cover every possibility or condition.  Your time at Rice may be less problematic if you understand and observe the regulations.
  • Rice values its cordial relations with area institutions, businesses and residents and looks to the members of the Rice community to help maintain these positive relationships.  Accordingly, just as many campus amenities are open to the general public but intended for the primary benefit of Rice students, staff and faculty, so available on-street parking in the residential neighborhoods near the Rice campus should be reserved for the primary use of the residents of these neighborhoods and their visitors. When visiting, residing or working at Rice-owned properties, Rice contractors and Rice students, staff, faculty and their guests are expected to park in university-provided parking facilities, not on neighborhood streets.
  • The speed limit on campus is 20 miles per hour or slower if conditions or safety warrant.
  • Pedestrians have the right-of-way at all crosswalks on campus; roadways are not to be used as sidewalks; pedestrians should use care when exercising their rights.
  • Traffic signs and roadway markings must be observed.  Not coming to a full stop or not yielding to pedestrians is dangerous.  Tickets are given for "California stops" or "failure to yield" violations when they occur.
  • Rice University faculty, staff and students (including visiting faculty or researchers, complimentary staff, and visiting students) who park on campus are required to register and pay for parking as soon as they bring an automobile or motorcycle on campus, or they must park in paid visitor surface lots or the Central Campus Garage.
  •  On the Rice campus, parking spaces are marked or indicated by lot boundaries. Unless you are specifically directed to do so by a member of the Rice police or a parking attendant, you must not park on the grass. Unmarked curbs, areas, spaces, etc. are not parking spaces.  Violators may be ticketed, booted or towed.
  • When the Loop Road has one-way traffic, 15 minute stops (on the right-hand side with blinkers on) for Rice business purposes is allowed in unmarked spaces only from Baker Hall to Sewall Hall and from Herzstein Hall to the Jones Graduate School -- excluding shuttle stops (marked on the curb), intersections, driveways, crosswalks and no parking-marked locations.  Enforcement officers do time the 15 minute limit.  Eating breakfast, lunch, or other personal activities do not constitute "Rice business."  This special privilege is not extended to other streets or areas of the campus except where a space is specifically marked for 15 minute use.
  • After-hours stopping on roadways, such as on Inner Loop Road, which runs by Fondren Library, Valhalla and Willy's Pub is illegal. Stopping on this road (with flashers on) is intended only as a "quick stop" for business related activities.
  • Faculty, staff, students and spouse/partners with contract parking may use their proximity cards to gain access to two faculty/staff lots after hours and on weekends.  The two faculty/staff lots admitting contract parkers from other lots are North Lot after 4 pm, M-F and weekends; and the Allen Center section of Lovett Lot after 5:30pm, M-F and weekends. The remainder of Lovett Lot is accessible to faculty and staff at 5:30 pm, M-F and accessible to students after 10 pm every day.  All who do not have specific faculty/staff lot/garage decals must be out of the facility by 7:30 am, M-F.  Students must be out of the Lovett Lot (except the Allen Center section) by 10 am on weekends.
  • Rice University Police Officers are State of Texas-certified peace officers with the authority to enforce campus regulations and city, state, and federal laws.  They are real policemen and policewomen, primarily here to protect you.  When asked to provide identification or stop, you are obligated by law to do so.  You are subject to arrest if you do not.
  • Rice Police Officers may issue Rice citations or City of Houston citations.
  • There is an appeal process for Rice parking and traffic citations. Because we have experienced a large percentage of frivolous appeals in the past, there is a $10 appeal deposit for each citation, which will be refunded to your account in the Cashier's Office if the appeal is approved or determined not to be frivolous. On line appeals cannot be considered until a Cashier's Office receipt, or a check or money order made payable to Rice University, is delivered to the Parking Enforcement Office at the University Police Station.  This must occur within the 7-day appeal deadline.
  • Appeals on the following grounds will not be approved and are considered frivolous:
    • Lack of knowledge of the Rice University regulations
    • Lateness due to class or appointment conflicts
    • Inability to locate a legal parking space
     
  • The Rice regulations are not a game to be beaten.  If you try to beat the system, you should understand that the stakes can be very high when you lose.
  • Ten citations at separate times in any 12 month period will cause the individual to lose his or her driving and assigned parking privileges on campus for 6 months.  This is not a penalty that can be appealed.  The individual tickets must have been appealed within the 7 days allotted.  Driving or parking on campus in any but paid visitor parking facilities during the time you have lost parking privileges will warrant an additional 6 month loss of privileges for each violation.  This loss of privileges is not only for your automobile, but any motor vehicle you may drive or ride.  Read "Loss of Parking Privileges" for a more complete explanation.
  • If a behavior or action does not pass the common sense/good citizen behavior test, don't do it.  Undoubtedly, we will have a rule against it and/or expect your good citizenship to keep you from playing the odds that you won't get caught.  Members of the Rice community are expected to do the right thing.
  • When in doubt about a regulation please read the Traffic & Parking Regulations at http://parking.rice.edu
  • If the regulation is not clear to you please contact the Rice Police Department (x3956) for questions concerning driving on campus, citations, roadway and loading dock rules.  Please contact the Parking Department about questions concerning Rice vehicle registration, parking lots, gates and your parking access card (x7275).