Is the city putting new forms of ticketing over actual traffic fixes?
It’s safe to say that the number of ways to ticket drivers will always go up, so it wasn’t entirely surprising to hear that Mayor Durkan is pushing blocking-the-box violations, wherein drivers will be ticketed when caught on camera pulling into the intersection and blocking traffic to make the light.
“My biggest issue is that the knee-jerk reaction of the mayor of Seattle is exactly what it always is: ‘How can I take money away from taxpayers and put it into our coffers?” said KIRO Radio’s Ron Upshaw.
“Instead of saying, ‘We designed a really bad set of roads to get on and off I-5, we’re going to change some lights, build tunnels, build different access points, and do our part to ease the traffic problem… instead of doing that and taking any kind of responsibility, they immediately go to: Let’s punish people.'”
Seattle would need permission from the legislature to expand the use of cameras for enforcement, which are currently only in place for red lights, speed zones, and tolling facilities. Recently, there was an attempt to expand the cameras for bus lane violators, but that didn’t move forward in Olympia.
“These are people who are trying to get to their jobs, and there’s one point that you can get on and off I-5 in that entire area, so it’s just difficult,” Ron said. “It’s ridiculous if you’ve ever tried to drive on Mercer from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to get on I-5. There are about 763 traffic lights in that mile.”
“Can you tell that this is the way that Ron goes home?” joked Don.
There’s no word yet on how many of these are being planned or where they’ll go, but they’re expected in the worst traffic areas first, like right on Mercer where Ron commutes.