Bus-lane rule-breakers targeted again: 2 hours, 70 tickets

On Twitter, it was mentioned that SPD was out in force watching the West Seattle Bridge bus lanes again today – so it’s no surprise another roundup is out on SPD Blotter (though it’s attributed to activities yesterday): In two hours on the bridge, they say their ticket total included 70 bus-lane violations, 7 “no proof of insurance,” and 2 “motorcycles passing cars on the shoulder of the roadway.”

44 Replies to "Bus-lane rule-breakers targeted again: 2 hours, 70 tickets"

  • coffee June 28, 2011 (4:54 pm)

    I saw them this morning at 8:40 and they had 6 cars pulled over! There must have been 6-8 officers out there too. Now, how about doing something about the people that think the turn lane on Delridge is a passing lane….

  • dbsea June 28, 2011 (4:56 pm)

    Heh heh heh

  • Frank June 28, 2011 (5:03 pm)

    Woohoo! Saw them on my slog in to work today. Loved seeing 4 violators sitting on the shoulder, waiting for tickets.

  • ZS June 28, 2011 (5:13 pm)


  • fansman June 28, 2011 (5:13 pm)

    About time.

  • Recall McGinn June 28, 2011 (5:15 pm)

    I love that they are ticketing those without insurance!

  • NotMe June 28, 2011 (5:35 pm)


  • Vanessa June 28, 2011 (5:43 pm)

    ca-CHING for the city’s coffers ! Book ’em, Dano!

  • Cascadianone June 28, 2011 (5:45 pm)

    Maybe Metro should recieve the revenue from all these tickets and leave my tabs alone???

  • Bob Loblaw June 28, 2011 (6:45 pm)

    go go go!!!

  • marty June 28, 2011 (7:20 pm)

    Proof of insurance? Our state laws are a joke. Some states require insurance to get plates and you have to surrender the plates if your insurance stops for any reason. That’s the type of “mandatory” insurance Washington needs.

  • Recall McGinn June 28, 2011 (7:24 pm)

    Amen Marty!

  • JoB June 28, 2011 (7:51 pm)

    only 70?

  • bsmomma June 28, 2011 (8:00 pm)

    That was awesome! Glad they got some motorcycles! Hopefully it was one of the yahoos that think they can travel between the 2 lanes of traffic!

  • Loco in W.S. June 28, 2011 (8:23 pm)

    driving without insurance–impound said vehicle,
    jail suspect, no license-jail/export suspect.
    in reality said person is not a suspect-just a law-breaker.
    ticket them to the max and then some.

  • zoomzoom June 28, 2011 (8:28 pm)

    After seeing someone speed past everyone like a maniac yesterday and get away with it I love this. I wish it were them. Seventy is a LARGE amount!!

  • wsguy June 28, 2011 (8:38 pm)

    Marty’s right –

    Just like vandalizing and stealing cars there are next to no consequences. My wife got hit head on last year and the what insurance the person did have did not begin to cover the medical costs. Last month I was with my Mom at Target in Westwood Village and she got hit by by someone who admitted they were here from Mexico illegally, no license, no insurance then took off…

    Though I wonder if you had to surrender plates how long it would be before plate theft was a major crime trend. Impound the car! And keep it until the person has proof of insurance!

  • John June 28, 2011 (9:00 pm)

    Here’s a legitimate question. . . At what point does the “bus only” lane end, and the “exit only” onto 1st ave s begin? I’ll admit, when I’m getting off @ 1st, which is often, I am guilty of merging over into that lane a little early. But NEVER have I used that lane, and then merged back left into traffic.

  • nwryan June 28, 2011 (9:36 pm)

    The same people that have time to gloat have time to be late for work. we are under a crunch because of construction and the police have more important things to monitor. Cut everyone a little slack. The city made a couple thousand today but cost the economy ten fold in productivity. And no…I didnt get a ticket.

  • Spana June 28, 2011 (9:54 pm)

    Seems like if you can get 70 of the same violations in just 2 hours, there might be some other problem.

  • Rob June 28, 2011 (9:57 pm)

    What about buses who don’t use that lane? I have seen many times Metro buses not using the bus only lane and going 15mph with a hugh line of cars behind them.Metro needs to get buses with enough oomph to get up that hill. I am glad I don’t take Metro.

  • redblack June 29, 2011 (6:40 am)

    nwryan: so plan ahead. leave earlier. don’t be late for work. the rest of us manage to do it.
    rob: i imagine when the bus is loaded down with passengers, metro drivers probably find it safer to stay in their lane – instead of making a lane or two slow down or stop while they get into the bus-only lane.

  • Justin June 29, 2011 (7:30 am)

    They should start ticketing drivers the cut the gore point at the Delridge on-ramp. That sh*t is dangerous.

  • wsjeep June 29, 2011 (7:50 am)

    I agree with Coffee, get the police on Delridge.

  • Truntru June 29, 2011 (8:18 am)

    Have you noticed that each day the police have been there traffic has been even worse? That bus lane is a inefficent use of lane real-estate and the police hopefully could be more useful with there time as well. No, I didn’t get a ticket and no I don’t understand all of these passive aggressive celebratory attitudes againist those ticketed.

  • WS commuter June 29, 2011 (9:13 am)

    nwryan – count me among those cheering the police. We’re ALL trying to get to work – I have no sympathy for anyone who decides they are more special than the rest of us who play by the rules. And, btw, the police are doing exactly what they should be doing. The other genuine risk of the cheaters is that so many of them are also speeding – and all it will take is one car doing something stupid, and several cars (people) crawling in the traffic will get hit when that one car goes out of control. Its not just about fairness – its also about safety.

  • NotMe June 29, 2011 (9:31 am)

    Yep. You can argue all day and even a little bit tomorrow about that bus lane being there. But you know what? It is still a bus lane ONLY, so stay out of it or take the chance you get a ticket. Either way, you are wasting your time when you whine and complain about the purpose of if being there. If you think the traffic is bad now, just wait and see what fun this is going to be when that Viaduct comes down.
    Go Cops! :-)

  • Jim P June 29, 2011 (9:57 am)

    ” I don’t understand all of these passive aggressive celebratory attitudes ”

    Not really passive aggressive, it’s called “schadenfreude”: Finding pleasure in someone else’s problems (loose tranlsation).

    One sees so many traffic laws being flouted that when you see someone get nailed for it, one gets a little tingle of happiness.

    I’d like to see them set up something by Westwood Village late at night when Trenton and some other streest seem to turn into a set from ‘Fast & Furious”, I’d swear I’ve heard cars going by at close to a hundred some nights.

  • JAT June 29, 2011 (10:08 am)

    Truntru – while it is true that “traffic” is a little worse on enforcement days, traffic would not be a little worse if drivers just played by the rules. The celebratory attitude is a result of all of us feeling habitually victimized by self-important maximizers who misuse the bus only lane.

    As for all the people spouting on about harsher penalties for lack of insurance – I agree – I presume you’re all okay with the “mandate” portion of the on-going healthcare reforms too.

    P.S. I like Mike.

  • Carol June 29, 2011 (10:52 am)

    That was a BEAUTIFUL thing to see. Anybody driving a single-occupant vehicle in the bus lane, who then explains they did it because “they have to get to work,” is too lame for anything but contempt. And you call the celebratory attitudes “passive aggressive” Truntru? Be glad we DON’T do to those cars and drivers the things we’d like to do every time we passively sit, stalled in three lanes of motionless traffic, in observance of the law, while they blow by us in defiance of it! GOOD WORK, SPD!

  • April June 29, 2011 (11:32 am)

    Keep up the great work SPD!

  • CB in WSea June 29, 2011 (12:15 pm)

    Two days doesn’t equal a trend, but for the two days the cops have been monitoring the bus lane during the 7:45 -8:30 timeframe, I’ve noticed that while traffic is still heavy and stop/go, things flow MUCH more smoothly as you crest the bridge heading east to exit at 1st Ave and that my overall commute time has been better.

  • M June 29, 2011 (12:15 pm)

    $150K a year cops in $50K vehicles writing tickets for bus lane violations – yeah great use of taxpayer’s money.

  • Jules June 29, 2011 (12:25 pm)

    I agree with the people saying that Delridge needs to be more patrolled. I live on Delridge, and see people speeding on it day and night. The day of the business convention last month, I was almost hit in the intersection by a white Jeep who purposefully ran the red light and decided that he “didn’t” see me in the crosswalk. Why aren’t those people getting ticketed?

  • Jeff June 29, 2011 (1:11 pm)

    @NotMe, “It is still a bus lane ONLY, so stay out of it or take the chance you get a ticket.”

    Actually, there is one exception to this rule… if you really want to use the bus-lane, you can also…*drum-roll*… take the bus.

  • NotMe June 29, 2011 (1:11 pm)

    Hey M… Which came first? the cheaters driving in bus lanes or going 72mph in a 30mph zone? or did the cops and their cars come first?
    Without those cars and cops – it would be way worse. What do you think, people would behave MORE without the risk of getting caught? Lol. You live amongst cheaters and they need to be babysat on the roads….

  • Jeff June 29, 2011 (1:14 pm)

    @M: http://www.seattle.gov/police/jobs/benefits/salary.htm

    Cops earn $65-85k/yr, depending on experience/seniority…

    And if you think they’re so overpaid, why aren’t you a cop?

  • Foy boy June 29, 2011 (1:53 pm)

    I remember before the bus lane was put in. Seems like things moved faster then. One day you drive to work no problem then the next day ta dah a bus lane is painted in and traffic gets all messed up. . And I cannot remember any public out cry for a bus lane. It just kind of happened. Oh well what can you do.

  • Caker June 29, 2011 (2:01 pm)

    Traffic is so sad around here these days!
    We are not getting what we are paying for at all!
    Everytime we all fill up the state makes about ten bucks in tax and now they want to toll and bike lane this and bus only that!
    When is basic traffic flow going to be a priority again!
    Every year it all just keeps getting dumber and dumber
    I think it should be a regular carpool lane to help the back up we all enjoy so often

  • Paul June 29, 2011 (2:39 pm)

    I am sorry to hear that some of you did not get ticketed

  • Jeff June 29, 2011 (6:36 pm)

    @FoyBoy & @Caker: No, removing general-purpose lanes and replacing with carpool/bus lanes will never make the general-purpose lanes faster. At best, they’ll stay the same, as the congestion is what the road will bear as people switch to alternate routes; if no alternate routes are available, they’ll

    However, what it does do is make riding the bus or carpooling, which come with a convenience penalty, more competitive with driving, which means you have more people taking these modes, instead, which means that, ultimately, *despite* the continued congestion, you’re moving more people in the same amount of road, allowing your city to grow faster & cheaper than you can build more roads.

    And if you think nobody takes the bus, so those lanes are wasted, a survey just came out showing that 40% of downtown Seattle workers take public transit.

  • Mad Park June 29, 2011 (8:33 pm)

    And remember, those 35-40 busses an hour with 40-50 persons each on them represent 1500 FEWER cars per hour during the rush hour on the high bridge.

  • sun*e June 30, 2011 (9:00 am)

    Years ago I was ticketed for using the bus lane during a heavy commute. I was coming up from under the bridge and there were no buses present so I figured since I don’t want to merge left and get in the way of people heading for 1st Ave or I-5 I’ll just go up the bus lane real quick and get in line for 99. Unfortunately, the police officer didn’t see it my way. After that I would just get in the “bus lane” when legal and merge when I saw a break in the long 99 line like all the other jerks. So glad I don’t have to deal with that commute anymore. I’m thankfully now living AND working in West Seattle… YAY!

  • VeloBusDriver June 30, 2011 (3:59 pm)

    Hmmm… Let’s see… $124 per ticket x 70 = $8,680. At $4340 per hour, I’d say this enforcement emphasis is a worthy use of SPD’s time especially given some of the shenanigans I’ve seen in front of my bus in that lane.

Sorry, comment time is over.