The City of Seattle’s gradual introduction of “Business Access and Transit” (BAT) lanes throughout the city is one of the more under-reported and commendable trends.  The North Seattle Herald reports that NE 45th St is now up for consideration using Bridging the Gap funds, on the Westbound side between 7th Ave and University Way.

There are a ton of buses (including many from Community Transit) that use this stretch, so this kind of investment could have a very big impact on the overall performance of the system.  If Proposition 1 passes and these lanes are ultimately approved, it’ll serve as the backbone of a feeder system into the Brooklyn light rail station.

I haven’t found an obvious outlet for citizen comments on this, but the BTG Citizen Oversight Committee might be a good place to start.

5 Replies to “BAT Lanes on 45th St”

  1. I like the transit part, but I have to admit not really getting the “business access” part, especially in its current implementation on Elliott & 15th Ave W. Most of the businesses there have their own parking lots, and I only see 2-3 cars parked on that strip during legal parking hours. I won’t even begin to describe the confusing signs on this stretch. Can’t we give up a couple hundred parking spots to have around the clock rapid(er) transit? It’s not clear from the NSH article whether parking would be involved on 45th, but Dear God, I hope not.

    1. “Business access” means allowing right hand turns into those parking lots. Parking will probably disappear along 15th when RapidRide comes online in five or so years.

  2. I love how in 1946 when the Yakima Streetcar system’s franchise was up for renewal, they were told lose the streetcars or lose the franchise, as motorists were tired of having to share traffic with them, and they needed scapegoats for collisions. Transit had to give things up for the greater good, but in the case of Seattle, today, autos can’t give something up. The BAT lanes on 15th can help the 15 catch up from things like the bridge opening, or the runs that stop in front of Ballard High School at dismissal time, which by the way, is that before peak hour, I forget, I have been out of High School for 11 years.

    As for the ones on 45th, I am sure they are needed. That is a major corridor.

  3. This kind of improvement is important. As of a while ago, I noticed that there’s basically a bus every minute on this section of 45th at peak times (Some 43s, some 44s, some 49s, and a ton of Community Transit buses). If that frequency doesn’t justify a dedicated lane, nothing does, given that a minute is a typical boarding/unboarding time for a crowded bus.

    It would be interesting to go talk to the anti-rail, pro-bus folks and see which of them are willing to go on the record supporting this. I suspect John Niles would support it, though I think most of his fellow travelers (Kemper Freeman, et. al) couldn’t care less.

  4. NIles maybe, Kemper Freeman, not at all. He may support BRT in lieu of Light Rapid Transit, but seems he is of the mind, the bus should not have a fighting chance against the heavy traffic it is suppose to be an alternative too. The BAT lanes are the city trying to relieve bus congestion, Metro has to do their part, possibly go to an honor system for fare payment. That component of RapidRide for Ballard will work on this stretch too, especially for the 44 for sure.

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