Seattle Tickets for traffic violations down more than 40% since 2015
Last year, only 27,600 tickets were issued to Seattle motorists for traffic infractions, according to data from the Seattle Municipal Court. That’s down about 18% from 2017, when about 33,700 tickets were written. If you go back to 2015, when 48,800 drivers got nabbed, the number has dropped by 43%. Ticketing for many of the most common moving violations has declined by 40% or more since 2015. These include inattention to driving and disobeying a traffic-control device (running a red light, for example). Tickets for exceeding the speed limit dropped by more than half.
Uber and Lyft say they don’t plan to reclassify their drivers as employees
Politicians in California have passed a new bill aimed at making gig economy companies give workers more protections, like a minimum wage. But the real test will be in the courtroom.
Berkeley, CA cyclists cry foul over hefty fines for rolling through stop signs (Vision Zero Watch)
While San Francisco rushes to redesign intersections and put posts around its bike lanes, Berkeley has taken a different approach to traffic safety: penalties of more than $200 for cyclists who roll through stop signs. The enforcement campaign, carried out by police officers who patrol the city’s quiet bicycle boulevards on motorcycles, has caused anger to spill from Twitter into City Hall. Police say they are trying to prevent collisions and fulfill the requirements of a $250,000 state grant to promote good behavior on roadways. But bike advocates and city council members criticized the operation for being ill-timed and off message, saying it’s at odds with new Vision Zero policies to show the streets aren’t just for cars. And the fines are steep, set at $238 in California, but running higher after court costs.
Asheville, NC ‘road diet’ project advances amid criticism
The project follows the city’s 2012 Complete Streets policy intended to make roads safer for people on foot and on bicycles. An existing example is the portion of College Street near City Hall, which includes roundabouts, bicycle lanes and median islands. Charlotte Street, with its mix of businesses, homes and cars using it as a cut-through, was picked as an early candidate. But pushback from some residents and a critical 2013 consultant’s report put a damper on the plans. The recent go-ahead vote was part of the council’s Sept. 10 consent agenda, a list of noncontroversial items typically passed with little discussion. But Councilwoman Sheneika Smith asked that there be time given to residents who have continued to raise concerns. One of those was retired attorney Sidney Bach, who said the issue “involves not only $1.25 million in public funds, but also public safety and common sense.” Bach pointed to concerns of older residents about emergency vehicle access and a 2013 city study that said the lane reduction would be problematic because of issues such as the many curb cuts and driveways.
Study could lower speed limits, reduce deaths, on Atlanta streets (War on Cars Watch)
Following several pedestrian and scooter-related deaths and injuries this summer, Atlanta City Council’s transportation committee requested the city planning department conduct a study evaluating the city’s speed limits in an effort to make them and the city’s streets safer for residents. Councilman Andre Dickens presented the legislation at Wednesday’s committee meeting after he said residents suggested lower speed limits to make streets safer for bicyclists, pedestrians and scooter riders. The legislation also comes three weeks after the city held a mobility town hall to discuss transportation issues in the city. Dickens serves as chair of the transportation committee, which unanimously approved the legislation.