SPD will begin enforcing new BAT lanes along Elliott, 15th Avenue West

Courtesy of SDOT

Courtesy of SDOT

New BAT sign
New BAT sign

Seattle Department of Transportation’s work along Elliott and 15th Avenues West is now complete and  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 may be ticketed for failing to obey the signs, and the fine amount is $124.00.