Seattle launches bus-only lanes on Westlake Avenue to ease traffic

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In an effort to make bus and other traffic run more smoothly in Seattle, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) installed bus lanes over the weekend on Westlake Avenue/Westlake Avenue North between Stewart Street and Valley/Broad streets.

The lanes, which opened Monday, are available only to buses 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With their implementation, several changes will occur: The northbound center bus lane between Harrison and Mercer streets replaces the left-turn lane previously in place between Harrison and Mercer. Additionally, drivers will not be allowed to make northbound lefthand turns from Westlake to Mercer, southbound righthand turns from Westlake to Mercer, northbound and southbound righthand turns from Westlake to Republican, northbound righthand turns from Westlake to Harrison, southbound righthand or lefthand turns from Westlake to Thomas, northbound righthand turns from Westlake to Thomas, or northbound lefthand turns from Westlake to Denny during the midday rush.

The bus lanes are a precursor to SDOT's RapidRide C Line, a new service that will run from Westlake Avenue to South Lake Union beginning Saturday and will use the new bus lanes. SDOT officials hope the opening of the bus lanes will give bus drivers time to get used to them before RapidRide C launches.

Organizations in this story

Seattle Department of Transportation 700 5th Ave Suite 3800 Seattle, WA 98124

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