Starting today, the curb lane between the Dexter off-ramp and Mercer on Aurora Avenue southbound will be converted to a BAT (business access and transit-only) lane. Unlike some other BAT lanes in the city, the right-turn and transit-only designation applies all day and night, which means single-occupant drivers can get dinged for a citation if caught traveling in the lane, even at 2 in the morning. The conversion helps pave the way for the E Line in 2013 while also acting as mitigation for upcoming roadwork.
From SDOT (.pdf):
King County Metro Transit will be starting RapidRide E Line service on Aurora Avenue North in 2013, but the lane will be designated earlier to keep buses moving during several ongoing construction projects. Metro carries almost 30,000 passengers a day on the Aurora corridor, which helps significantly reduce the number of cars on the road.
Two upcoming projects are the City’s Mercer West Project and the WSDOT’s Route 99 Tunnel Project. Traffic congestion is expected to increase on southbound Aurora when lanes are temporarily closed for these projects and optimizing transit travel will provide commuters with a better option for avoiding possible delays.
For more information, questions/comments can be sent to the project lead, Jonathan Dong, at firstname.lastname@example.org.