Editorial Calls for Automated Enforcement for Bus Lanes
For efficiency and fairness, Seattle should experiment with automated enforcement of its bus lanes, the Seattle Times Editorial Board argues. "Given that buses carrying 90 people are routinely delayed or stopped by a single-occupant car, it’s a good idea that should be tried," the Times argues. The Seattle Department of Transportation has found that certain key points on bus routes are blocked more than a hundred times each day.
"Seattle Police could issue tickets every day, but the police have more important work and the act of stopping drivers to ticket them would further jam the bus lanes," they argue. Further, police stops can be problematic for other reasons, while the piece does not discuss it, automation could curb racial profiling and protect police and drivers from potentially violent interactions that sometimes happen during traffic stops.
Finally, the Seattle Times argues the tactic has been used successfully in other cities like London and San Francisco. "That city [San Francisco] has seen a 55 percent reduction in violations since 2014 and a 16 percent drop in collisions," they report.