As first reported here Wednesday afternoon, SDOT told the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force that it recommended opening low-bridge access to all 9 pm-5 am and to school buses any time. Nobody on the CTF objected, so, SDOT says today, those changes are now in effect. Also mentioned briefly during the meeting: Future camera enforcement on the low bridge. There was not much elaboration on that during the meeting, but SDOT has more information today:
…SDOT is exploring the use of automated enforcement of Low Bridge restrictions and if feasible, could serve as a key milestone for equitably increasing access.
During (the) Task Force discussion, it became clear that most policy proposals to increase Low Bridge access in a way that is equitable and does not detrimentally impact public safety depend on the ability to enforce them.
A permanent SPD presence is not a preferred, scalable, or affordable approach and, thus, SDOT has begun to explore the potential use of automated enforcement mechanisms. This could mean that cameras are added to an existing contract managed by SPD, similar to red light enforcement cameras and school zone cameras.
The use of automated enforcement for Low Bridge access policies would have to be approved by City Council. If it were, SDOT anticipates this technology could be in place later this summer or early fall.
We look forward to sharing more about this potential solution in the coming weeks. …
Currently, as SDOT’s post notes, the city only uses camera enforcement for school-zone speeding and red-light running. Some other uses are now allowed after the Legislature passed a bill sponsored by local State House Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (who is part of the CTF along with other local elected officials.)