SDOT’s Jonathan Dong wrote in to tell us that the agency is planning to upgrade the eastbound bus lane on Howell St this spring. Howell St. is a four-lane, one way street with lots of traffic competing with Snohomish County express buses to enter I-5 in the afternoon peak.
Today’s right-hand (or center) bus lane — which we wrote about when it was installed back in 2011 — is frequently full of cars, as seen in the photo above. (This is definitely one of those cases where automated enforcement of the bus lane would be useful.)
To remedy the situation, SDOT will move the bus lane to the far left from 3-7 PM and add a queue jump so that buses can still cut over to the Howell & Yale stop before entering the I-5 express lanes. This should lead to fewer lane violations and a smoother ride for commuters. Good on SDOT for acknowledging the initial bus lane effort missed the mark.