Today’s West Seattle Bridge roundup: 46 more bus-lane tickets

Once again this morning, notes and tweets reported that police were back out on the West Seattle Bridge. Here are the results, as reported on SPD Blotter – including a 74 mph citation and 46 more bus-lane-violation tickets.

57 Replies to "Today's West Seattle Bridge roundup: 46 more bus-lane tickets"

  • squareeyes June 29, 2011 (5:09 pm)

    They had five cars pulled over when I drove past this morning. People are just not learning (but they are paying!).

  • hoss June 29, 2011 (5:36 pm)

    46 Bus Lane Violations!?!?!??! Good for them! I absolutely HATE the selfish jackwads that drive all the way up the bus lane and then try to cut in at the last minute. I hope that ticket is expensive!

  • Recall McGinn June 29, 2011 (5:41 pm)

    Once again, nice work SPD!

    You would think most of these people pulled over have noticed the increased presence of law enforcement lately…………………

  • Diane June 29, 2011 (5:58 pm)

    these people must not read westseattleblog; every time I get on the bridge now, I think ‘oh, better watch out, not ride more than a moment to cross over in that bus lane’; so glad these violators are getting ticketed; 46, wow!!

  • Bob Loblaw June 29, 2011 (6:05 pm)

    warms the heart …

  • clark5080 June 29, 2011 (6:08 pm)

    Exactly what are they ticketing the Buss Lane Violators for? Staying in the lane toooooo long?

  • Cascadianone June 29, 2011 (6:11 pm)

    How much is a bus lane violation ticket these days, anyway?

  • BusLaneViolator ... June 29, 2011 (6:41 pm)

    I was one of those ticketed today (and I knew they were there) and have to say I *do* respect the bus lanes and get irritated at those that don’t. I get off the bridge at first street, and always wait until I pass the green “1st Street next right” sign and the last pole-posted “bus lane” sign before I move over to the right to get on the 1st street off-ramp (while dodging the large cargo trucks entering right there). The very polite officer didn’t care … apparently there was one more sign painted on the pavement past the posted sign. It’s a very dangerous place to try to navigate anyway. I was told I entered the bus lane “200 feet too early” in my attempt to exit safely. Be careful out there. It’s a $124 ticket.

  • shed22 June 29, 2011 (6:54 pm)

    Traffic is not flowing properly. There are too many merges and lane reductions to support the amount of West Seattle morning traffic.

    Perhaps these officers would be better suited maintaining the flow of traffic rather than citing violators and creating additional back ups (back ups: we get enough of that from the multiple articulated buses merging at the base of the 99N on ramp during the a.m. rush hour).

    46 violations should be a sign that something is wrong with the planning, design, and implementation of the many projects affecting West Seattle inroads and outroads.

    The DOT hates us.


  • dsa June 29, 2011 (7:11 pm)

    The eastbound (4th ave and beyond) que jumpers deserve to be ticketed. However coming up from below and having to cross out of the lane and then back into it to exit at 99 creates a dangerous weave and causes congestion. Congestion relief was the very reason for the dedicated lane in the first place. I think it should be a bus and 99 only lane.

  • SaraJeanQueen June 29, 2011 (7:16 pm)

    +1 shed22

    But, I also agree that speeders through the bus lane who try to cut into 99-North much later REALLY irk me, and no one should EVER let them in.

    To BusLaneViolator: I’m sorry for you. It would be really tough to wait until after all the 18-wheelers enter the WS bridge and then merge over; most people don’t.

  • Tim T June 29, 2011 (7:18 pm)

    I think that SPD being there keeps the flow going. It’s the jackwads that speed past and then try to cut in that back up the already long lines. I say keep it going.

  • Jsv June 29, 2011 (7:21 pm)

    I like that they are patrolling, but agree with Shed22. It’s a totally dysfunctional highway. Sometimes it’s just hard to get out of that lane. I get on at Delridge and have to pass through the bus lane to get off on 4th. Sometimes people don’t let you in and then a bus comes barreling up behind you. What are you suppose to do just sit there and wait for someone to let you in? So yes, on occasion I drive in the bus lane while trying to merge. If I got a $124 ticket for that I would be furious.

  • rockergirl5678 June 29, 2011 (7:34 pm)

    +2 shed22! You hit the nail on the head perfectly. If the cops and DOT would actually work to alleviate the traffic flow issues it wouldn’t be such a problem! What a ridiculous hassle with all the construction going on, trucks, busses and so many more commuters leaving the area each day. Huge distraction and all for what – because most like “bus lane violator” entered 200 feet too early to exit safely! The cops are creating more of a problem and making a bigger deal out this than is necessary. What a waste if time, money and resources!

  • Paul June 29, 2011 (7:44 pm)

    looks like driving a car is just too darn confusing to lots of folks. I think it’s the “me first” attitude out about trying to yield or even let someone in front of you, I know life is short but gee whiz, Having said that we need better leaders and planners building our streets

  • BusLaneViolator ... June 29, 2011 (8:00 pm)

    The location of the officers (5 or 6 of them!) indicate they were *not* trying to catch those “sneaking” in onto the 99 exit. I suspect the main reason folks get over into the bus lanes where I was ticketed is to get off on 1st Street safely (though I am sure there are many “cheaters”). I watched two more get caught while I was there, though they did turn into the bus lane much earlier than I had. I *thought* I was being respectful and following the signs. I’m still a bit stunned they wrote me up as I am a careful driver and have not had a traffic violation in 20 years.

    I am going to write to DOT as they need to change something there. We are flying by (on a good day) at 30-40 mph and it’s impossible to understand exactly where that bus lane ends. If they don’t want us to move to the right (like the sign says), then they need to remove that “1st street exit next right” sign and post it further down … putting it right in the middle of the cargo truck feeder intersection should be interesting.

  • MGarden June 29, 2011 (8:33 pm)

    Way to go SPD!! I was on the bridge this morning, when traffic was backed up and going slow. All of a sudden 3 cars whizzed past in the bus lane, and I was thinking, “I sure wish the police were here to catch these people” and there they were, when traffic had crept along to where I could see them. I felt like honking and giving them the high five!

  • SJ2 June 29, 2011 (8:53 pm)

    I can honestly say it makes my day to see someone whiz by in the bus lane the see them get pulled over. I hope the city is making some money off these tickets.

  • l June 29, 2011 (8:56 pm)

    All I have to say is I had a total jack wagon for a bus driver this morning, (54 about 7:20 am) who got in the CAR lane way before the 99 exit and we sat there while at least 12 buses blew by in the bus lane and it took 45 minutes to get to 2nd and Seneca. I hope it was his first day or something because if I see his smiling face tomorrow morning I will wait for another bus!!!

  • Leslie June 29, 2011 (9:40 pm)

    Bus lane violator – you can appeal your ticket. Ask to have a hearing. There should a description of the procedure on the ticket. You will get a chance to explain your situation and you might get the fine reduced. And if there is an office in west Seattle you won’t have to go downtown to the hearing.

  • jtd18 June 29, 2011 (9:47 pm)

    BusLaneViolator, I hope you contest the ticket! I have to deal with that poorly-planned area every day as I dodge trucks while merging over to the First Ave S exit.

    I brought this issue to the DOT’s attention a couple years ago, by suggesting that they end the bus lane restriction a bit earlier. They installed a camera to evaluate my claim of the problem, but obviously they didn’t agree. Very frustrating!

  • EF June 29, 2011 (9:50 pm)

    Buslaneviolator, its all about the line on the road, not the signs. You have to wait for the solid line to turn into a dashed line , then get over to the right to go down to first ave. its annoying to have to merge with a big truck, but not that hard.

    To all the people complaining about the bus lanes in general, trust me it was just as bad when all lanes were open years ago. That bridge will always be packed to the max no matter how the lanes are marked.

    I agree about people driving all the way up the line of cars waiting to get on 99. Dont let them in, they saw the line starting way back there, they just didn’t want to wait.

  • Dawson June 29, 2011 (10:17 pm)

    Second EF’s comment. It was actually worse coming out of Delridge. It became better with the bus lane. Practice merging and allowing others to merge

  • J June 29, 2011 (11:02 pm)

    Oh my. So many excuses for poor driving. Traffic sucks – you live in the city! Deal with it. Leave earlier to get to your destination, drive cautiously and be careful of others.

  • Nulu June 29, 2011 (11:22 pm)

    “… apparently there was one more sign painted on the pavement past the posted sign.” BusLaneViolator


    Is this a claim from someone who drives this route daily?

    Did that one more sign on the street still have wet paint?

  • Diane June 30, 2011 (12:52 am)

    oh wow, just saw post from yesterday with 70 tickets for bus lane

  • watertowerjoey June 30, 2011 (6:10 am)

    Use the nearest Westbound lane as an “express lane” heading East between 5:00am and 12:00 noon.

    We can send a man to the moon, get it done!

  • Megan June 30, 2011 (7:42 am)

    Heads up…They are out again this morning.

  • Dizzle June 30, 2011 (8:12 am)

    Ride the bus and you can use the bus lane on both the WS bridge and 99, without getting a ticket!

  • Neighbor June 30, 2011 (8:23 am)

    Sheddhead22 is seeing the big picture. There is something very, very dysfunctional about how the SPD, DOT, the city planners have all responded to this. I’m all for abiding the laws but the commute has become unwielding.
    As for riding your bike from WS to downtown, it’s a death wish. The mayor needs to get his ass on his bike and ride with a bunch of people for multiple days just to see the route the bikers are being forced to take. Make the police chief and the head of transportation sit in the commute for a week.

  • od1 June 30, 2011 (9:07 am)

    Too many f-ing commuters in West Seattle, and almost everyone driving is too selfish to share their ride with someone else. At least learn how to drive/obey the rules – otherwise do the world a favor and take the bus.

  • rob June 30, 2011 (9:21 am)

    “As for riding your bike from WS to downtown, it’s a death wish.”

    That’s a bit dramatic. The little detour they had to create because of the construction is annoying because its not laid out well and its hard for opposing traffic to pass in places, but the time it costs is negligible.

  • ad June 30, 2011 (9:59 am)

    BusLaneViolator, I understand your concern. I too have cut over earlier just to ensure I can actually get off/not collide with a truck or screw up the flow of traffic. It’s not fun.

    I think the people who get over in the bus lane to cut to 99 are the ones who need to be nailed with tickets. And that the bus lane needs to be re-painted so it’s very clear.

  • m June 30, 2011 (10:54 am)

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA! FINALLY! It only took a bunch of honest, pissed off drivers to call SPD and notify them of the JACKPOT revenue generator that would be. Its true that the whole merging situation is a clusterF&*^, but it still doesn’t give those 46 “entitled” drivers (and countless others) the right to use the lane the aren’t supposed to be in. I love it. Thanks SPD. At least they waited until the majority of schools are out for summer before making traffic negligably worse by ticketing people and encouraging rubberneckrs. Thanks spd!

  • Magpie June 30, 2011 (11:21 am)

    They were out again this morning. I saw the police car hiding on the on ramp from Spokane as we were going on to 99. I say more power to the police here. There is nothing worse that not being able to get over to the offramp on to First because of the folks that have gotten in early. The big trucks can cause quite a problem too as they need so much room to move over and sometimes no one will let them in.

  • good for the Junction June 30, 2011 (12:40 pm)

    They deserve the ticket. I used to both drive and bus it sometimes to work. My drive commute was at least 30-35 minutes from the junction to 3rd & Sencea, and it was geting annyoing watching the buses whiz by me….and so now I take the bus. I caught the 54 this morning at 7:21 fromt the Junction and got off at 3rd & Seneca at 7:48…….the bus is faster folks.

  • Don June 30, 2011 (12:45 pm)

    About the ramp full of container haulers. Why is it they are not forced during the commute to use the surface street all the way to I-5. Is that still not open? Think the trucks are always the first the DOT takes care of. Maybe that is what the ugly new bridge thing is for. Will they be forced to go down to the Michigan Street Access for I-5 South. With no exit on the tunnel downtown and increased container ships look out!!!

  • sarahscoot June 30, 2011 (12:59 pm)

    Don, Seattle is a major port city, and much of our local economy depends on the cargo that is in those containers. Why should they have to use alternate routes if the existing roadway supports them?

  • Truntru June 30, 2011 (3:08 pm)

    Infrastructure in Seattle sucks. Its as if the consensus is that we love being in traffic and hate having efficient ways to encourage trade and get people home to their families quicker without needless time in cars burning fuel and money. Dublin, Ireland despite being an old city, has the engineering sense to have built a separate road to bring truckers and commerce into the city and to the port. What do we have in Seattle? Self-righteous drivers who love people getting tickets, driving 40 in the fast lane, and a underutilized train that is 30 years in the making. Sorry… I’m a bit frustrated when I think of how much better designed this city could be… people, we need to think outside the box.

  • flatsixnoise June 30, 2011 (4:28 pm)

    Do they really need 5-6 officers out there writing tickets? Seems like a waste of tax payer money applying that many resources to enforce a flawed traffic pattern. With that said, I do get really annoyed to see people driving in the bus lane and cutting over at the last minute. But 5-6 officers? Glad to see there are no other pressing matters for the SPD…

  • TG June 30, 2011 (4:43 pm)

    I’m a doctor and I have very important appointments at the UW all the time, so even though I’m talking on the speaker phone I need to get over the bridge as fast as I can. I shouldn’t have to stay in line and out of the bus lane if there are no busses in it. I’m sure everybody can understand this unless they are unable to.

  • Beto June 30, 2011 (5:39 pm)

    Well,people have to pay for their mistakes. I hate to see those reckless drivers going at 60 mph or more, as well as those think they’re entitled to use the “Bus Only” route. Now, I hope they use some of the money from those fines to change the signs on the bridge. They’re so old and look like they were installed in the 60s!!! It’s embarrasing when I see those old signs!!!!!!!!

  • Cascadianone June 30, 2011 (8:16 pm)

    TG, you should move to Moscow! There you can pay a reasonable fee to get a “migalka”, a flashing blue light that allows the driver to violate all traffic laws. LOL. Perfect for somebody like you, just perfect. You clearly are not being appropriately appreciated here…

  • Kelli June 30, 2011 (9:12 pm)

    I am disgusted by this continuous monitoring of the bus lane. Yes, I agree that folks shouldn’t use it but why do the rest of us have to pay with the resulting traffic. I commute to Bellevue and the Seattle Police are affecting my ability to get to work earlier, be more productive and contribute to the economy. I’m all for generating revenue from rule breakers and pay my tickets when I get them. There is a point of serious infraction on the rights of the innocent though and they have crossed the line and have become a public nuisance! So far beyond serve and protect.

  • BusLaneViolator ... June 30, 2011 (10:33 pm)

    With all due respect to everyone’s opinions, I took pictures and video today and still believe I was doing the best thing entering the right lane after that green “lst Street exit next right” sign and after the last “Pole-mounted Bus Lane” sign. Yes “Nulu” – there is “apparently” another, half decayed “bus lane” sign painted on the pavement, go have a look. Good luck seeing it as it is half washed out, 200 ft ahead, and I am usually dodging 40 ft cargo trucks at that point. I had not noticed it. There are no further post-mounted bus-lane notices I saw. Tell me … exactly low far *past* that (poorly) painted pavement warning does the “bus lane restriction” end according to the law? (I can’t find that information) How far past the Pole-mounted sign? (I can’t locate that information either) If it’s more than 10 or 20 feet then there are *hundreds* more trucks, cars, etc, per hour that are violating that lane while transiting to other lanes, just like I was. Unlike other areas on the bridge, they do not have “end of special lane” signs. Yes, we can merge later … but merging later with *many* aggressive, large 40ft cargo trucks coming up from the terminal who are simultaneously trying to merge left a lane (or two) to get out of the 1st street off ramp lane is a sometimes very dangerous challenge, regardless of how patient I am … and I am a very patient driver (I have no fixed time to be at work). I have missed my off-ramp several times due to unsafe conditions and just get off on 4th. No, I don’t try to ‘cheat’ and no, I don’t drive in “bus” or “diamond” lanes as I think they contribute to us all by not using them. The traffic lanes, and at least the signs, on that bridge need to be re-worked. For people that drive a long way in the bus lane … heck yes!…ticket ’em. For my situation …. I’ll fight it and take my chances because it is still the safest way to maneuver at that intersection. Be careful out there everyone. take care and stay safe. I think this is a selective crackdown with many officers there that would be much better served catching the folks sneaking into the 99 off-ramp lines via the bus lines, or folks that drive the bus lines all the way down to first st. – I’m heading to court with lots of photos, google images, and traffic measurements. I am trying to find a location (warehouse roof?) that will let me shoot video of that intersection as well, so if you know one, let me know. I am in the fortunate position that I can afford to pay the ticket, my main point is in making it safer. Jim

  • tmo June 30, 2011 (10:41 pm)

    TG….are you saying you are entitled to break the law because you are a doctor? Don’t quite understand your post?

  • BusLaneViolator ... June 30, 2011 (10:45 pm)

    “Magpie” >> “There is nothing worse that not being able to get over to the offramp on to First because of the folks that have gotten in early. The big trucks can cause quite a problem too as they need so much room to move over and sometimes no one will let them in.

    Please consider if *even more* folks had to squeeze in later with even less time. If folks don’t get over early, they will need to get over later, hence my choice to get over as soon as possible (now later due to the ticket I got).

    PS – I *always* let a big truck or two merge in from that ramp on the right. They need help too.

    Be safe- Have a good weekend. Jim

    Comment by Magpie — June 30, 11 11:21 am

  • BusLaneViolator ... June 30, 2011 (11:15 pm)

    TG – I am a Systems Architect and am responsible for keeping all the computer systems that support work for doctors, labs, public information, etc. active and operating. Should that mean I can use bus lanes “though I’m talking on the speaker phone I need to get over the bridge as fast as I can.”. The case may be important, or it may not. I work on “life or limb” systems as well, but that doesn’t give me free rights to use any expedited transport or communications system I need; it depends on the situation.

  • BusLaneViolator ... June 30, 2011 (11:25 pm)

    EF – Check those “solid” lines on google maps. You will find that all truck and cars entering from the lower on ramp right at that connection just west of the 99 overpass are in violation. Doesn’t make any sense to me.

  • EF July 1, 2011 (7:41 am)

    blv, The lines are faded but still there, I notice every day as I wait for the solid line to end before I get over. Also, they are faded because so many people drive over them too early each day. Sounds like you should petition for the line to change so you can legally get over earlier. I don’t follow the logic about getting over when you see the sign, that doesn’t make sense. The lines in the road clearly direct you when its time to get over. Its really obvious. You live here so why would you look at a sign for direction?

    Also in morning traffic people are traveling so slow, I have never felt any danger in trying to merge with the trucks or cars coming from down below. Its actually easier to wait til closer to the 1st ave exit than to get in the bus lane early.definitely never had to miss the exit, that seems weird since traffic is moving so slow.

    I’ve actually done what you got the ticket for, back when everyone was doing it. Before it was like you had to get over early just so all the lane violators wouldn’t go ahead of you.

    Good luck with the ticket, I dont think the sign argument works, and the faded lines are there, but you chose to ignore them.

    For the doctor, im guessing that’s a joke.

  • skeeter July 1, 2011 (8:11 am)

    TG, all of us have important jobs. We wouldn’t sit in traffic otherwise. Your post might be the silliest I have ever seen on these forums.

    If your job is that important then you should get a police escort each morning.

  • EX-BusLaneViolator ... July 1, 2011 (10:27 am)

    EF, – Point taken. I will have another look at the lines. I am also going to petition DOT to change that situation … lines and signage. In any case, yes, I will move over to the right “200 ft” further down the road as the officer said. Traffic doesn’t always move slow there for me. It totally depends on what time I leave in the mornings. And the merging truck traffic apparently depends on when a ship is unloading. Sometimes it’s easy … sometimes it’s pretty crazy. Have a good weekend everyone.

  • EX-BusLaneViolator ... July 1, 2011 (10:36 am)

    EF, one other thought before I drop this thread – I take the green signage (on the side or above) as an indicator of where I am *supposed* to be just as much as I do the “bus lane” signs as an indicator of where I’m *not* supposed to be. In this case, as the officer stated … “you were reading the wrong signs”.

  • EF July 1, 2011 (11:57 am)

    I would tell the judge, hey I moved over right in front of an obvious police trap. This proves that you honestly thought you were acting legally. You’ll probably get a reduction just for showing up anyway.

  • mightymo July 1, 2011 (1:13 pm)

    EX-BusLaneViolator, if you keep calling 1st a street instead of an avenue, maybe the judge will think you’re from out of town and go easy on you! :)

    I’ve never personally noticed the signage to be very unclear but then most of the time I’m riding the bus. I do think they missed their chance to make a second bus lane (interrupted by the 1st Ave. exit) continue until the 4th Ave. exit. At some point, I suspect a lot of buses will be rerouted to 4th and they’ll be stuck in traffic like the single-occupancy folks.

  • Nadoka July 1, 2011 (5:48 pm)

    All this grousing and posturing in the face of the messy traffic conditions will pretty much go away when the construction is completed around the end of the year – rush hour will always be rush hour, but way less of a hassle.
    So, for the time being, being courteous, slowing down, and paying attention to lines, signs and those using the road will make the trip a whole lot nicer for everybody and a lot less expensive for a few of us. Maybe even the doctor can figure this out.

  • Ex-BusLaneViolator ... July 1, 2011 (9:43 pm)

    Nadoka, –> being courteous, slowing down, and paying attention to lines, signs and those using the road will make the trip a whole lot nicer for everybody. <–

    I wholeheartedly agree. …. (and I thought I was done with this thread) :) Everybody have a safe and fun Independence Holiday weekend. A wonderful day to celebrate all good things about our beautiful country and all of us.

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