Seattle Department of Transportation officials are in the middle of “community outreach” for the addition of a proposed four-block southbound “Business Access and Transit” lane on Broadway.
The planned summer 2018 project is part of a roster of improvements SDOT reps discussed Tuesday with the Seattle City Council’s transportation committee on efforts to speed up the city’s streetcar lines. You can learn more about the plans and provide feedback here.
SDOT officials say they hope to complete the outreach in April before working with the mayor’s office “to make a final determination on a path forward” for the changes to Broadway hoped to improve performance of the First Hill Streetcar as it shares traffic lanes with cars, trucks, and buses along its 2.5-mile route.
While one official Tuesday described the planned addition of a dedicated transit lane to southbound Broadway between Pine and Madison as “red paint,” it would also add turn restrictions in the area but would not remove any existing street parking.
The plan won’t, however, include enforcement. City Council member Rob Johnson asked if SDOT would consider the addition of cameras at intersections to make sure drivers are not “blocking the box” and asked if fines might offset the costs of installation. The SDOT official said cameras were not currently being considered for the Broadway BAT lane. While the state legislature allows municipalities to use cameras to enforce speed limits or traffic at intersections, Washington law does not yet allow the technology to be used for transit lane enforcement.
Committee chair Mike O’Brien said Move Seattle Levy funding will be used to pay for the Broadway changes if the plan goes forward.
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