WEST SEATTLE LOW BRIDGE: Camera dodgers busted

Our full report on tonight’s West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting will be out tomorrow, but first, here’s the most interesting thing we heard: Police “recently” busted dozens of drivers for trying to evade the low-bridge enforcement cameras by removing or obscuring their license plates. During SDOT‘s briefing for the CTF, one slide revealed these datapoints about the operation:

• Heard from community and observed unauthorized drivers crossing the low bridge with missing or obstructed plates during restricted hours

• Recent 3-day enforcement resulted in 47 license plate citations given, with a $231 fine

• SPD is periodically at the low bridge to enforce and reduce this type of illegal action and ensure adequate room on the low bridge for transit, freight, emergency vehicles, and authorized users

Bridge program director Heather Marx said those “three days” were more like a.handful of hours spread across three days. She called the violations “outrageous. … This is wrong and if you know (someone) who is doing this, tell them THIS IS WRONG.” Task Force co-chair Greg Nickels suggested making photos of the plates-not-visible violators public. Marx said that wouldn’t be legal, under the state law that authorized the enforcement cameras. State House Rep. Eileen Cody noted that she recalled that legislators were concerned about privacy when considering that legislation. Another elected official on the CTF, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, suggested the city should ask the court not to let drivers argue down the fine for these violations – “they are intentionally doing a thing to obscure themselves from enforcement of the law and I don’t think the magistrate should be reducing the tickets for those folks.” We’ll be following up to see if more information is available about how many vehicles have been tallied with missing or unreadable plates.

107 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE LOW BRIDGE: Camera dodgers busted"

  • GoodSpaceGal October 14, 2021 (9:59 pm)

    THIS is the city’s priorities?!?!?! Citing working people using a bridge they pay taxes and licensing fees for while illegally-parked RVs sit bumper-to-bumper surrounded by drug dealers just up the hill. Shame on city hall. 

    • MU October 15, 2021 (12:56 pm)

      Exactly!! So infuriating 

    • Jort October 15, 2021 (3:20 pm)

      Your hurt feelings about a bridge closure do not, in any way whatsoever, justify breaking the law. Deal with the bridge closure like everybody else and either sit in traffic or ride the bus. Those are you options. Breaking the law is not. BRAZENLY breaking the law by intentionally evading enforcement CERTAINLY is not.

      • GoodSpaceGal October 15, 2021 (6:59 pm)

        Oh, drop the moral high ground BS. Drivers, bus riders, pedestrians, and cyclists break ALL KINDS of traffic rules every single day. The fine for crossing the bridge is only $75 and is NOT a moving violation: it’s the same as a parking ticket. It appears you should do some more research before you bark at your fellow West Seattleites.

        • Jort October 15, 2021 (9:56 pm)

          Intentionally concealing your license plate to avoid fines is, in fact, criminal, and yeah, I’m gonna take the moral high ground against people who engage in destructive anti-social behaviors because they’ve made personal mental justifications to break the law since sitting in traffic hurts their feelings. These people deserve to never drive on our roads again. EVER.

        • Cynic October 16, 2021 (4:42 am)

          Funny telling others not to moralize about deliberate, premeditated law breakers while demanding The Poors should be punished for being poor.Sounds like someone got triggered for not getting all the entitlement they feel privileged to. 

      • High Point October 16, 2021 (7:34 am)

        The restrictions on the low bridge are stupid, freight and transit should have to sit in traffic like everyone else. Emergency responders already have ways to get through, when there’s an emergency. A lot of what the city is doing is stupid in my opinion… stay safe streets are one of the dumbest ideas I’ve heard of. The speed bumps on every street are stupid. The automated ticket machines for going 25 in a school zone are stupid. I love how they tend to be off when there’s 150 kids out at soccer practice, but in the middle of the day without a kid in sight they’re on. I don’t support any automated ticket machines, they’re all just city revenue producers that don’t actually help the citizens. The lack of any enforcement of camping on the steet, littering and property crime is stupid.All that said, we should be addressing the stupidity at the source by not voting for Lisa Herbold and demanding common sense from our city leaders. Purposely concealing your license plate to avoid enforcement should be a crime instead of a ticket.

        • Jack October 16, 2021 (10:09 am)

          So it’s dumb to not break the low bridge too?  Would an ambulance get from the peninsula to the medical centers  quickly if the bridge was blocked, is there some magic teleporting station for them that makes them not have to do a 20 minute detour?  Why should freight and transit sit in traffic when there is a perfectly good bridge for them to use?  Why is it stupid for residents to requests the city take measures to slow down traffic on their streets?  As a cyclist the stay safe streets make trips so much more pleasant, and safe. I live on 35th and the difference between going down to Target on 35th and 34th is like traveling on 2 different planets.   The cameras are timed to school schedules, they don’t have someone sitting around flipping the switch when they see kids, to think otherwise would in your words be stupid. The cameras work by the way, maybe they generate revenue but for an hour a day in front of my house traffic moves safely while the school zone for Gatewood is largely ignored because there are no cameras. If something is stupid here it’s not the civic design of updated traffic solutions…

    • Fedup October 16, 2021 (3:09 pm)

      Exactly! So sick of what this city has become. People trying to get to work being punished because of the inactions of the useless City Council and Mayor. I don’t know the answer, but they are NOT fixing anything. I used to feel safe in this city when I moved here in the late 90’s. Now not at all, homeless encampments everywhere. Employees at Nucor Steel being harassed and threatened. Yet NOTHING from the city or police. Thankful we get to move! 

  • Mj October 14, 2021 (10:15 pm)

    A $231 fine, BFD, if the perpetrator crossed illegally 4 times they still pay less than the $75 toll, 4 * $75 = $300.

    On another note the barricades on SB 99 impede bus traffic, the lane needs to be opened up to allowed vehicles to access the low level bridge without being delayed by SB traffic.

    • Jack October 16, 2021 (10:11 am)

      To you paying $231 or even $75 dollars to save 10 to 15 minutes each trip is no big deal?Do you have an heir and if not would you like to meet for coffee, we should be friends. 

  • Jort October 14, 2021 (10:22 pm)

    Imagine thinking you are so entitled to take a shortcut that you’re this willing to brazenly violate the law. People get mad about catalytic converter thieves – but these people are just as bad, if not worse. Truly the scum of the earth. It is unfortunate that we can not crush their vehicles and take away their driving privileges for eternity. If people want to take the lower bridge, get a bike or get on the bus. Otherwise, get in traffic with everybody else and deal with it. These people should never be allowed on public roads again.

    • StopCuttingDownTrees October 15, 2021 (12:09 am)

      If you actually think a minor traffic offense is the same as mutilating a vehicle to steal a $2000+ catalytic converter, then those bridge violators are better than you.

    • Yourname October 15, 2021 (7:17 am)

      I’m trying to equate the drivers taking the low bridge to catalytic converter thieves but can’t seem to do it. Are these low bridge violators causing other people in the neighborhood to have to pay out thousands of $ of their own money to have something replaced? Get a grip. These low bridge violators are idiots but using hyperbole such as yours to describe them is ridiculous.

    • Bronson October 15, 2021 (7:46 am)

      So a victimless crime is somehow equivalent to stealing catalytic converters? Nonsense. Perhaps if all-knowing SDOT would expand the low bridge hours as the data shows they could, then perhaps people wouldn’t feel the need to break the law to avoid a toll; a toll only there due to that same department’s complete mismanagement of the bridge. 

    • takethehighbridge October 15, 2021 (8:34 am)

      old man yells at cloud. news at 11.

    • K to the F October 15, 2021 (9:29 am)

      It won’t be victimless if you need emergency services and the lower bridge is tied up with cheaters. Society works for a reason and rule breakers who don’t understand that need harsher penalties than this.

      • Carson October 15, 2021 (12:28 pm)


      • MU October 15, 2021 (12:54 pm)

        Is the bridge really tied up with cheaters, prohibiting emergency vehicles from crossing? You have data on that? The only time I see traffic jams on that lower bridge are when it’s closed for boat traffic or it’s gridlocked after it’s open to the general public at 9pm, I’ve sat in the latter multiple times. Can you tell me what emergency vehicles are supposed to do then?  My friend who crosses with a pass for his business says he’s seen the “cheaters” but it’s never affected his ability to cross.  

        • Meat& Cheese October 15, 2021 (11:36 pm)

          The ONLY time the lower bridge traffic is snarled is when the draw bridge opens. Or when busses all stop getting off east bound, at the train tracks. It’s funny but the person who always throws such a tantrum about cars seems to not have a problem with homeless breaking laws or with busses breaking countless traffic laws. Go ahead and ride your bike in the dark, up the hills, in the rain.  And then run across town for supplies. Solutions are one thing but this constant anti car rhetoric is unproductive and exhausting. I guess some people just live to troll. 

      • MakeThemPay$$$ October 15, 2021 (1:46 pm)

        Exactly! Why are people defending these cheaters!? Throw the book at them. Agree, no bargaining/begging down fines.

        • The King October 15, 2021 (6:51 pm)

          Freedom ultimately means the right of other people to do things that you do not approve of 

          • CAM October 15, 2021 (7:52 pm)

            Sure it does. It also includes the state’s right to charge them with a crime for it and penalize them. This isn’t anarchy. 

    • Bruce Hatfield October 15, 2021 (9:35 pm)

      Loser cops have nothing better to do than give tickets to poor citizens.  I’m on the verge of becoming homeless, and I just got a ticket from some loser cop. Because he said I suppose to have a front plate, meanwhile thousands of Tesla owners have no plates on the front of their cars and are not getting pulled over as well as Countless Bmw owners a lot of Porsche cars I see have no plates Fiat cars everyone I see had no front plate but this loser cop decided to give me a ticket.  My car is extremely worn it’s obvious I am not doing well and I am extremely poor.  It’s cops like this is why people want to defund the police.  

      • rpo October 16, 2021 (4:08 pm)

        I am a Tesla owner and have been given a ticket for not having a front license plate…and I deserved it. 

  • West Seattle Coug October 14, 2021 (10:23 pm)

    A few months ago my daughter and I saw one of these miscreants at work. He had pulled up to the light at Chelan after crossing the low bridge, which just turned red. He got out of his car and removed some sort of cloth covering over his front and rear plates! I’m hoping he’s one of these that got caught. Cheaters…

  • major_sigh October 14, 2021 (10:56 pm)

    Great. Now we’ll have even more drivers clogging up the legit route. 

  • James October 14, 2021 (10:58 pm)

    I really wish people would stop playing hall monitor and begging for cops to waste time on this. And no, I don’t use the low bridge. 

    • Bus October 15, 2021 (6:07 am)

      Honestly, this is a better use of the cops’ time than harassing people living in RVs, fining everyone who lets their dog off a leash, and every other dumb thing people in this comments section want to holler “moar police!” about.

      • Marco October 16, 2021 (11:30 am)

        Fining people who let their dogs off leash? Hah, where’s that happening? Certainly not at the park next to our house, where dogs run free every day, even while Elementary school kids are on recess there… Or during the soccer and baseball games… except when the animal control truck parks in front with flashing lights.

  • ws commonfolk October 15, 2021 (12:08 am)

    anybody ticketed for any infraction deserves their infraction that is not a danger to themselves or others to be reduced if they choose to have it mitigated.  come on people.. look around you, don’t ticket the guy that’s camping out in an elementary school’s playground for loitering or illegal camping or trespassing but stick it to someone that by no way due to their action (rather it’s the city / state / entity monetizing from their own incompetent management of infrastructure) has to even be in the situation of weighing their options for whatever the reason is.  don’t get me wrong, i’ve spent many, many hours taking the long way and have to leave earlier and get home later.. you don’t know what circumstances make someone make a decision like that… kid needs to be picked up at daycare, loose your job if you’re late and traffic is backed up… show some class Lisa  and tuck in your privilege, it’s showing.

    • Reident October 15, 2021 (3:03 am)

      You need to stop making excuses for people. It’s one thing if they travel over the bridge with their license plate and then they can go and fight that $75 fee. Willingly covering up your license plate or taking it off to avoid a fine that’s against the law. I have no time for you or your excuses for other people. I’m all for having empathy but you’re going to far.

    • SadAboutBridge October 15, 2021 (7:00 am)

      This is everything. City management is so incompetent they let a bridge almost collapse on their watch and now we are all fighting with each other over someone who is “illegally” crossing a bridge. What should be illegal is the city letting this happen in the first place. Reports are everywhere about serial underfunding.

      • Elton October 15, 2021 (11:34 am)

        “This is everything. City management is so incompetent they let a bridge
        almost collapse on their watch and now we are all fighting with each
        other over someone who is “illegally” crossing a bridge”

        That shows how ignorant you are. Has the city response to the bridge situation been great? No. But, as much as it pains me to say this because I think SDOT is super inefficient, nothing indicates that they were completely asleep at the wheel on the bridge instability. They’ve talked at length about their monitoring regiment before the bridge closure and, in fact, this monitoring regiment is what prompted the bridge closure. If the bridge collapsed suddenly, then you could say that they were completely inept.

        “So…. by this logic… if I determine (or tell myself) that there has been
        incompetent management or if someone is monetizing the situation.. I am
        allowed to ignore the laws.   Sounds a lot like rationalization. “

        +1000 to this.  The bridge closure hurts everyone, the scofflaws need to get over themselves. I’m personally ok with people who cross the low bridge with plates exposed  due to a true personal emergency and leave their plates exposed – there’s a consequence to that action that they can then handle.

    • Jort October 15, 2021 (8:22 am)

      Nope! If you feel you must cheat, that you literally have no other option but to cheat — then pay the $75 fine each time you cross. If you’re so rushed and it’s such an emergency that you need to take the lower bridge, you shouldn’t have enough time to stop and deliberately conceal your license plate like a criminal. People who hide their license plates shoud literally lose their vehciles and their ability to drive for the rest of their lives, with no exceptions, perhaps extending to their family members too. There is no excuse for this lawbreaking. How dare anybody say this is an argument of “privilege.” 

      • LiouxLioux October 15, 2021 (12:59 pm)

        “extending to their family members too”.  For this level of disregard to the law? Why not make it like North Korea and send 3 generations to a prison camp? Any more bright ideas Jort?

      • ST October 15, 2021 (2:25 pm)

        Jort for city council! You’d fit right in! 

    • sf October 15, 2021 (8:27 am)

      So…. by this logic… if I determine (or tell myself) that there has been incompetent management or if someone is monetizing the situation.. I am allowed to ignore the laws.   Sounds a lot like rationalization. 
      We vote to share our support for or against our representatives.  
      We are the government. 
      We are the problem and we are the solution.   
      We create the society we want by our vote and our behaviour.

      • SadAboutBridge October 15, 2021 (12:14 pm)

        That’s not what I’m saying, I agree that anyone violating the law should be fined. I even think the fine should be higher to disincentivize this behavior. The fine is so low and enforcement few and far between that authorities have not created a large enough incentive to not cheat. It’s the same reason (most) people don’t drive recklessly as there is a $5K fine and potential jail time. This is simple economics. I’ve been voting in this city for over a decade and I have not voted for anyone so grossly incompetent that they would let the “busiest city street, as measured by SDOT” in 2019 fall into disrepair despite regular monitoring and serial underfunding. Google “2019 Seattle traffic report” and you’ll find it. Please stop saying voting is the answer to everything. My vote did nothing here to change the outcome. SDOT needs to be held accountable but instead we sit here like fools yelling at each other about who deserves to use the low bridge more. 

    • Mark47n October 15, 2021 (8:36 am)

      I don’t know who Lisa is, there’s no one by that name on the thread, but I’d say it’s your privilege that’s showing.

      • Adam October 15, 2021 (9:25 am)

        Lisa Herbold. So strike 1.  She’s in the body of the story. Don’t be entirely consumed with merely the comment section. There’s actually real news up above. 

        • Mark47n October 15, 2021 (6:31 pm)

          I am perfectly aware of who Lisa Herbold is and I understand what is happening and don’t base my opinions on comment sections. People getting pulled over by police is not real news, it should be common place…it’s one of their jobs. The litany of excuses that are put forth, ranging from “my taxes paid for that bridge so I should be able to use it whenever I want!” to “I’m late to work” or “I have to pick up my kid.” are all about privilege. It’s illegal to use the bridge except for certain users or at certain times if you aren’t in that group. To whine about it and insist that it’s you right is privilege. If you feel like violating that law and are willing to pay the price, will then that’s on your head.  To whine that you should not suffer punitive action for your violation due to a lack of planning on your part is childish and is privilege.Assuming that I didn’t read the article because I wasn’t sure what Lisa was being referenced is pedantic and presumptuous…and so characteristically Seattle that I can do nothing but roll my eyes. And reply to your lame response.

  • bolo October 15, 2021 (12:11 am)

    Interesting: “City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, suggested the city should ask the court not to let drivers argue down the fine for these violations…”

    She must know the court has been reducing the fines? Seems like these days, the more blatant the crime, the lesser the penalty.

    Although I have a feeling there will be some commenters cheering the actions of these scofflaws.

    • Thomas A Wood October 16, 2021 (2:16 pm)

      Everybody is frustrated by the upper bridge being closed. Its taken far to long to get it fixed.Those who decide to risk taking the lower bridge get what they deserve. Moving commerce across the bridge is top priority. I don’t like sitting and waiting anymore then those who cheat.

  • UselessPoliticians October 15, 2021 (12:24 am)

    Funny how our politicians are outraged and want this law enforced but nothing else…

    • Mel October 15, 2021 (11:56 am)

      Ha I thought the exact same thing! There are far worse things happening in this city that the city council wants to do nothing about. Not saying these people should get off, they should be ticketed and have to pay the full amount. However it’s comical that this is the thing she wants to enforce.

    • Mike October 16, 2021 (12:09 am)

      Politicians are just angry that people aren’t paying the $10Million in traffic infractions racked up on this racket.  After only scrounging up a promise for $11.2Million from a $1+Trillion dollar infrastructure package, politicians are freaking out as we won’t have the budget for fixing the West Seattle bridge now.  This is why I stopped voting for any tax increase. 

  • Adam October 15, 2021 (12:51 am)

    Lisa and Heather should direct that energy at getting the bridge fixed ahead of schedule instead of grandstanding against a few scofflaws. Unfortunately, as you can see by the comments, self-righteousness is what scores the most political points. This entire situation has really highlighted their fecklessness. 

  • Cp October 15, 2021 (1:01 am)

    Long overdue. With the high bridge being closed well over a year, I wonder how long people have been covering /altering their plates?

  • Dani October 15, 2021 (3:09 am)

    Please remember that there are also a few of us who Are allowed episodically cross the lower bridge I’ve been honked at and yelled at crossing over when headed to a on callshift when census went up at Harborview and “begged” to come in.not everyone is a cheater so might want to think twice before you get huffy 

  • HarborIslandworker October 15, 2021 (3:39 am)

    Oh look…… a picture of a cop directing traffic on Harbor Island. While the port of Seattle‘s union workforce has full access to the Low Bridge. The rest of the businesses and their employees that work down there get the shaft. Glad to see that they structured their access policy around equality.

  • KT October 15, 2021 (5:36 am)

    I drove over the low bridge about two months ago.  Traffic was bad and I was late for an appt.  Decided my frustration was worth incurring the fine that day…I never received a ticket in the mail so not sure their system is working …or maybe the cameras were down on the day I broke the law.

  • LuLuBelle October 15, 2021 (6:39 am)

    At a loss for words on SDOT’s and SPD’s  action’s. Why is this a concern for them??  We all see plate violations DAILY that are ignored! My son’s lives in an Apartment on Alki. His neighbor moved here from Alabama in 2019. He STILL has those plates on AND the tabs expired in JULY of 2019. And yes, they’ve been called in multiple times. 

    • Reed October 15, 2021 (9:25 am)

      The license plate fraud is handled by WSP not SPD.

    • Cp October 15, 2021 (11:05 am)

      SPD writes tickets for expired tabs on any state plate. 

    • cheeseWS777 October 15, 2021 (5:01 pm)

      Hooray! We love tattletails on this thread

  • Pessoa October 15, 2021 (7:07 am)

    West Seattle’s punitive vindictiveness on full display-  once again. Not enough that someone receives a ticket, they must be stoned in public and first born sacrificed.  

  • Um, No! October 15, 2021 (7:22 am)

    I love how this city just arbitrarily decides to enforce and be outrage about some law infractions and not others.  And how politicians will grand stand and make virtue signalling statements about things just to make themselves feel and look better for political gain. I’m not saying these people shouldn’t get fined and I appreciate the police taking their valuable time to be out there.  But,  this is what people and our council member are upset about?  Forget violent crimes, child sex trafficking,  drugs,  mental health, trespassing,  burglary, illegal dumping and the slow destruction of our green spaces.   Let’s got for the low hanging fruit be outraged about those low bridge violators!   Don’t we all feel better now?  

    • Kevin On Delridge October 15, 2021 (1:29 pm)

      Why go through all that when you can make stuff up and be outraged all by yourself?

      • Canton October 15, 2021 (9:19 pm)

        Which part is made up?

  • Buddy October 15, 2021 (7:50 am)

    It would be nice if the police would like patrol neighborhoods more often versus spending taxpayers money to pay them to catch people driving across West Seattle. We actually need to see more police around schools to prevent cars from speeding to drop or and pick up their children and cars speeding by children who don’t have helicopters parents and actually allow them to walk a few blocks to school. Maybe having police walk around the West Seattle Junction or Target Shopping area would also help make these shopping area more safe.

  • Sasquatch October 15, 2021 (8:20 am)

    I’m so surprised I haven’t seen the term scofflaw yet.these pirates are admirable…… no pun intended

  • Blinkyjoe October 15, 2021 (8:24 am)

    Such a waste of very thin police resources, and a blatant money-grab. Oh, no. Mustn’t cite or ticket the people dumping their RV sewage into the storm system – Let’s have a roving pump truck paid for by the taxpayers instead!!! Mustn’t fine or remove people trashing our public spaces by camping and pooping and littering, that’d be uncompassionate! Mustn’t ticket the people using the Ballard splash park as a personal shower, let’s just shut it down so NOBODY can enjoy it! Meanwhile, low income people who are functioning members of society who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in a time crunch to get to work or pick up a child have to run this gauntlet. 

    • MU October 15, 2021 (12:12 pm)

      Amen! Everything you said 🙌🏼

    • Kevin on Delridge October 15, 2021 (1:32 pm)

      I highly doubt these are low income people. They are more likely some of the lovely entitled folks we see all over WSB discussions.But sure, manufacture your own outrage for the poor people.

  • Bill October 15, 2021 (8:48 am)

    I estimate about one driver every five minutes is obscuring their license on the lower bridge based on an informal analysis I did in early September – so about 10-15 per hour in both directions. Interestingly, the vehicles that are offending  lean toward the more expensive/luxury side. These drivers are calculating the odds of being caught relative to the cost of a ticket and the value of their time. I’m surprised that drivers can obscure their license plate and only pay a $231 fine. 

  • Jeepney October 15, 2021 (8:52 am)

    Is it true that each vehicle gets one free pass, with a warning issued?  I had to get to a concert back in August so I used the low bridge, I have not gotten a ticket or a warning yet.  I own 4 vehicles, so in theory I should get 4 warnings.

    • KT October 15, 2021 (11:46 am)

      Ah, maybe that’s what happened to me.  I never got a ticket the one time I did it either

  • Brian October 15, 2021 (9:02 am)

    What a waste of resources. Who cares. 

  • Shawn October 15, 2021 (9:03 am)

    That’s not nearly enough of a fine for such loathsome behavior. Purposeful attempts to evade enforcement cameras should result in an immediate revocation of their drivers license for at least a year. If they are so anxious to cheat, they can risk having to learn how to ride the bus to work instead. 

  • Flivver October 15, 2021 (9:09 am)

    What’s up with SDOT’s dog and pony show here????? I see plate violations DAILY all over the city.  Why aren’t MORE tickets written?? This photo op gives SDOT a warm feeling but show’s their unwillingness to actually enforce the law.

  • Adam October 15, 2021 (9:26 am)

    I’ve heard that if driving a truck it’s as easy as leaving your tailgate down to block the camera’s view

    • bolo October 15, 2021 (11:41 am)

      Ah, OK, that explains the guy I saw cross the bridge in his empty pickkup, stop, get out and look back to the bridge, and slam the (open) tailgate closed and continue on.

  • Sillygoose October 15, 2021 (9:41 am)

    Councilmember Lisa Herbold, suggested the city should ask the court not to let drivers argue down the fine for these violations!!!  Herbold you are so ridiculous yet the criminals stealing are allowed because they are poor and shouldn’t be charged for their crime.  How about asking the court to charge these lawbreakers?   SDOT spend your time more productively like getting this bridge opened and if you want to create revenue let the citizens pay for a monthly pass to cross this empty bridge.  

  • Aaron October 15, 2021 (10:51 am)

    I see people covering their plates pretty much every day on the low bridge. Almost without fail, it is an expensive car piloted by some entitled looking “laws don’t apply to me” sort of person. It is fraudulent illegal behavior which should be prosecuted. I’m glad the police are finally writing citations for it.  On the plus side, I finally got my photo in the Blog!! That’s me bicycling to work in the photo!!

  • Foop October 15, 2021 (11:51 am)

    A whole lotta ‘laws for thee but not for me’ in this thread…

  • J October 15, 2021 (12:22 pm)

    So glad to hear Heather Marx is outraged by the cheaters.   Someone should tell her that there are a lot of people outraged that we watched her and her colleagues twiddle their thumbs for months figuring out what to do.   If it wasn’t for Durkan stepping in she and Zimbabwe would be gleefully tearing down the bridge right now.  

  • Rhonda October 15, 2021 (12:29 pm)

    Our SUV was stolen a year ago and we were sent over a dozen $75 low bridge citations over this summer as the thief made twice-daily trips across. The vehicle was finally recovered by police from the “unhoused” thief who was living in inside. It was used as a burglary vehicle against residences and commercial businesses all over the region and still had stolen items and burglary tools inside. It took literally MONTHS to get the city to overturn the fines, during which we received threatening letters from SDOT. There should NEVER have been a restriction on this lower bridge and camera surveillance to cite stranded working West Seattle residents.

    • Mike October 16, 2021 (9:02 am)

      Take the city of Seattle to court.  Sounds like they caused you some pretty bad hardships and financial burden.  

  • Drew October 15, 2021 (12:54 pm)

    Bravo to SPD for enforcement.  As someone who’s been patiently driving the long way around, I don’t have much patience for cheaters.  Lots of anger in these comments at SDOT and the closure — which I get — but these entitled drivers deserve to be ticketed.

    • FrustratedWSCommuter October 15, 2021 (9:44 pm)

      Screw SDOT and SPD. Our cars and homes are being vandalized and burglarized. Last time I was impacted by this SPD took forever to respond. We’re being told that they don’t have enough staff to respond and it isn’t a critical life matter. Meanwhile, we have time to do this mess. Crime apparently pays, so our City Leaders can fleece those that have money.  

  • sgs October 15, 2021 (1:00 pm)

    I think it’s great we’re finally making some money on the low hanging fruit.  The larger issues of crime and camping are waiting for the city to decide how the police should be involved.  Let them do this while they are waiting. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

  • Del October 15, 2021 (1:22 pm)

    I thought the fine for hiding your license plate was $1000 for the first time, impounding the vehicle, and up to 360 days in jail?https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.37.685

  • citygovtsucks October 15, 2021 (1:55 pm)

    I don’t know why the city continues to be incredibly punitive towards people when it’s 100% their fault we are all in this situation. People shouldn’t break the rules, but it’s such a minor issue compared to the cost of what people are going through getting around this disaster everyday. 

  • Puget Ridger October 15, 2021 (1:59 pm)

    If you or your loved one needs an ambulance and the low bridge is jammed with entitled people who feel they should only have to follow laws that don’t inconvenience them, I wonder how all the “I shouldn’t have to take the long way because I’m so important and what about (other people don’t something else)” will sound. Are you actually saying that someone else’s life might not be worth as much as your extra 20 minutes? Seriously?Violating laws isn’t inevitable just because you are poor. People make choices and those choices have consequences. I grew up in poverty and when my mom actually had a car, she didn’t get speeding/parking/license violations because she knew she couldn’t afford to pay them. 

    • MU October 15, 2021 (3:54 pm)

      So what happens when the low bridge is jammed due to being closed for boat crossing or after 9pm? Won’t someone’s life be in jeopardy then? Is there data for how often these cheaters are causing traffic jams? The only time I’ve ever seen traffic on there is for those two reasons, not because a bunch of people are covering their plates.  Not saying they should get away with it but there are simply not enough offenders to support your argument.  

    • cheeseWS777 October 15, 2021 (5:08 pm)

      The low bridge gets jammed? (Other then when it opens up at night?)

  • Roms October 15, 2021 (2:37 pm)

    Meanwhile, SDOT is working on making bicycles and pedestrians crossing the bridge having to detour… (Per today’s “West Seattle Bridge Program Weekly Update | Friday, October 15, 2021” email.)

    • WSB October 15, 2021 (3:02 pm)

      I got that yesterday but it seemed very unclear on what exactly that means for people walking and rolling. It was headlined as on Harbor Island:

      Minor Walking, Biking Detour on Harbor Island for Spokane St Swing Bridge Controls Construction

      Starting Monday, October 18, we’ll begin digging holes to locate utilities in preparation for installing new pipes to hold a new communication line beneath the Duwamish Waterway. This communication line allows the Spokane St Swing Bridge (low bridge) to open and close.

      This work is part of the Low Bridge Controls Project, where we will be rerouting the wires connecting the control tower that allow the low bridge to open and close for maritime traffic off the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge (high bridge) – where they are today – to a new location under the waterway. These new location is roughly 4-inches in diameter and more than 20-feet below the riverbed.

      Detour signage will be in place to direct people walking and biking to access the trail just south of SW Spokane St. On the west side, there will be partial closures of the access road.

      • Roms October 15, 2021 (3:20 pm)

        The email is not very clear for sure. There was a pick-up truck and workers on the trail either yesterday early morning or Wednesday morning, I don’t recall which day exactly. When leaving West Seattle, they were at the trail’s T-intersection which is right after when one goes underneath the bridge (I’m not sure I’m clear either!).

        • bill October 15, 2021 (10:59 pm)

          This explains the new painted markings on the sidewalk/trail there.

  • Azimuth October 15, 2021 (2:48 pm)

    They need one of those James Bond license plate switchers.

  • Flivver October 15, 2021 (3:46 pm)

    Puget Ridger. That terrible. Do you have examples to share of emergency vehicles being impacted by unauthorized vehicles. I’ve never heard of that happening but you have???? 

    • rpo October 16, 2021 (4:17 pm)

      I’ve biked across the bridge when it was packed with vehicles all the way from 99 to the Chelan cafe and an ambulance was stuck in the traffic jam with lights on twice now. 

  • Flivver October 15, 2021 (3:48 pm)

    Bolo. Neighbor admitted to trying that. Turns out camera angle is such that he got caught and ticketed. 

    • bolo October 16, 2021 (12:26 am)

      It was a newer black truck. I thought maybe the tailgate flew open when he hit a bump, like my dad’s old International Harvester pickup used to do. But this truck was too new, too pristine, didn’t make sense.

  • CR October 15, 2021 (9:44 pm)

    While I agree with following the laws and I do, it’s interesting that Lisa Herbold (quoted in this article) supports enforcing this while ignoring far more serious crimes in Seattle.  Last I read is SPD is understaffed and can’t respond to far more higher priority 911 calls.  Appears to me this was yet another political stunt.  This is one of the most important elections since I moved in here 1988.  If you want change, be sure to vote.

  • Terry October 16, 2021 (6:08 am)

    I haven’t been so outraged since I saw the jaywalking infraction,  summer of 94.

  • MS October 16, 2021 (8:02 am)

    Glad this happened. This should be a consistent activity.Outside of extenuating circumstances, there is no justification that allows individuals to (regularly) bypass the rules required for the rest of us who travel to and from West Seattle. Sure, there are plenty of other issues the city needs to deal with, but the folks getting cited while concealing their license plates as they use the lower bridge deserve it. It’s amazing how many people commenting are bothered by this. Maybe that’s more a reflection of the number of individuals who have actually ignored the rules.Let’s do better. Being selfish only succeeds in making our community an awful place to live.

  • wscommuter October 16, 2021 (9:23 am)

    Hoo-boy, when I read this article I knew the comment section would be entertaining with the usual anti-car knuckleheads raging against the anti-government knuckleheads.  Thanks all – you didn’t disappoint.  

  • Your Inner Voice October 16, 2021 (11:51 am)

    This trail of comments at least helps me understand the mindset of people who don’t believe the rules apply to them – whether use of low bridge, predictable last second lane cutters on Olson way etc – being on the roads is just a gross display of humanity. Your outrage is misplaced – you want to take some action – stop whining like a baby online and start acting against the real causes of a failed bridge, narrowing of lanes, 25 MPH speed limits, speed bumps on every viable alternate route, continued dumping of ferry cars into West Seattle or the never ending construction projects on key roads we need to GTFO of West Seattle. You don’t have to be so toxic inside – there is some serious joy to have in life.

  • Ookla the Mok October 16, 2021 (1:53 pm)

    This entire comment feed is a great summation of how little people understand about a) the law, b) how government works, or c) civic responsibility.  It is also a great example of how we, as a society, have totally lost all perspective about how good we actually have it.  

  • Mj October 16, 2021 (3:31 pm)

    Jack – my car has been in storage since the closing of the WSB.  My comment was simply stating the monetary facts.

  • Kathy October 17, 2021 (12:45 pm)

    Looking for an active transportation alternative to sitting sedentary in traffic jams? Want to be part of the solution to reduce traffic in West Seattle? Consider joining the November Ride in the Rain Challenge sponsored by Washington Bikes and Cascade Bicycle Club. It’s free, easy and fun to sign up, whether you are a seasoned bike rider or want to try out commuting by bicycle for the first time. You can ride anywhere in the challenge as long as your trip is at least 10 minutes long. Once you join you can also invite friends, family or coworkers to join and form a team of up to ten riders to compete with other groups across the region. Every day you log a ride in November 2021 you get points for participation, a point for every mile you ride and bonus points for encouraging others. Maximize your points by making a goal of riding every day. Check the West Seattle Bike Connections Resources web page for tips on riding safely and comfortably in rainy weather and for route suggestions to popular commuting destinations on and off the West Seattle peninsula.

  • mel October 31, 2021 (3:32 pm)

    everyone needs to chill out, i can hear your sphincters collectively puckering up.  you got a ticket?  ok.  you didn’t cross lower bridge illegally, ok.  you crossed but didn’t get a ticket, guess what…  ok again.  i’m already full of regret that i’ve wasted this moment typing this and bothered to read a few of over ONE HUNDRED  comments.  attune your spirits or expand your minds or something, none of this matters.

Sorry, comment time is over.