Don’t let the BATs get you down!

The Aurora BAT Lanes are now in operation

SDOT crews celebrate a job well done after working  late into the night to install new BAT Lane signage all along the Aurora Avenue. corridor.

An SDOT crew celebrates a job well done after working late into the night to install new BAT Lane signage all along the Aurora Avenue corridor.

Aurora Avenue North is among the most heavily used transportation corridors in King County. It connects neighborhoods and serves as a major thoroughfare for commuters traveling daily to and from work. As part of King County’s Metro RapidRide E Line project, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has been installing traffic signal timing improvements for all lanes and peak period Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes between N. 38th Street and N. 115th Street.

The new BAT lanes opened yesterday, September 8. The BAT lanes (from N 38th to N 115th) are in effect during the peak traffic hours: 6 – 9 a.m. and 3 – 7 p.m.

There’s one exception: The southbound BAT lanes between N 77th Street and N 72nd Street will be activated only during the morning peak commute period (6 – 9 a.m.) until further parking evaluation is conducted.

If you’re confused about who can use them – the BAT lanes are for transit only, but other motorists can enter them long enough to turn right out of them. There will be no parking in those lanes during the morning and afternoon peak drive times when the BAT lanes are in operation.

Please understand that from now through September 27 there will be a transition period while our Traffic Signal Operations staff will be adjusting the timing of the traffic signals to accommodate the changes and maximize the flow of traffic.

Maintaining speed and reliability is extremely important for attracting and retaining transit riders. Most northbound buses on Aurora turn around and become southbound buses (and vice versa). Operating BAT lanes in both directions during both peak periods will help keep buses arriving on time.

Nearly 12,000 riders per day use Metro Route 358 (the primary Aurora bus route). When Metro’s RapidRide E Line replaces Route 358 in February, ridership is expected to grow significantly. The BAT lanes also enhance the capacity of the remaining travel lanes by removing buses from the general traffic.

For more information about the Aurora BAT lanes, please visit SDOT’s website at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/aurora.htm. If you have questions the website does not answer please send them to: Jonathan.dong@seattle.gov