CHOKEPOINTS

Lower Spokane Street Bridge traffic cameras are now active

Jan 11, 2021, 6:26 AM | Updated: 10:51 am
Lower Spokane Street Bridge...
An officer directs traffic off the West Seattle Low Bridge in October 2020. (Photo courtesy of SDOT/Flickr)
(Photo courtesy of SDOT/Flickr)

People driving illegally on Seattle’s Lower Spokane Street Bridge can expect a $75 ticket in the mail, starting Monday. The automatic traffic cams are live.

Unfortunately, having police officers at the bridge during peak commuting hours didn’t do much to discourage drivers. The only way the City of Seattle believes it can keep the Lower Spokane Street Bridge flowing is to give violators automated tickets.

The low bridge is the only direct shot out of West Seattle thanks to the closure of the high bridge. It cannot handle very much traffic before becoming congested. Early in the West Seattle Bridge closure, the city decided to restrict access to emergency vehicles, buses, freight, and a few select others.

SDOT’s Heather Marx said last year that drivers really haven’t been paying attention to the restriction.

“When there isn’t enforcement, the violations of that request are substantial,” she said.

The city has opened up the low bridge from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., seven days a week, but the rest of the time it’s off-limits to regular drivers.

The city is still working on a plan to possibly increase the number of authorized drivers who can use the bridge, but don’t expect that to extend to your average commuter.

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Lower Spokane Street Bridge traffic cameras are now active