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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Traffic Advisory: Business Access and Transit Lanes in Full Operation on Elliott and 15th Avenues West

10/15/2008  9:45:00 AM
Sue Romero  (206) 684-8548

Business Access and Transit Lanes in Full Operation on Elliott and 15th Avenues West
Lane Enforcement to Begin

(SEATTLE)--SDOT’s contractor is now completing paving, sign and lane marking along Elliott and 15th Avenues West and police officers will begin enforcement of the corridor’s Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes.

The curb lanes in both directions of this corridor have been converted to BAT lanes as part of the paving project on Elliott and 15th Avenues West. These lanes were installed to accommodate the growing number of buses serving this corridor, which will see further increases over the next several years with implementation of Metro’s Rapid Ride bus service.

The purpose of the BAT lanes is to allow buses and bicycles to travel along the corridor with minimum delay, increasing transit speed and reliability while maintaining access to local businesses. Buses and bicycles have full use of the lanes only during peak traffic periods, and other drivers may enter the BAT lanes to access businesses along the corridor. During off-peak hours, the lanes are available for use by all and for parking. However, only buses and bicycles can travel continuously along the curb lane as other drivers are still limited by the right turn restrictions that are in force at all times. Signs on the corridor indicate that drivers in the curb lane - except buses and bicycles - must turn right at marked intersections.

To date, the large majority of drivers along the corridor have been observing these restrictions, but some have not. Drivers in the BAT lanes - other than buses and bicycles - traveling straight through the intersections signed for right turns, not only impact transit operations along the corridor, but also present safety issues. Drivers not obeying the BAT lane restrictions will be ticketed.

The Seattle Department of Transportation builds, maintains and operates Seattle's $8 billion transportation infrastructure. To further Mayor Nickels’ goal to get Seattle moving, the department manages short- and long-term investments in streets, bridges, pavement and trees, that better connect the city with the region.

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Seattle Department of Transportation

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