Lincoln police officers have begun ticketing drivers who stop in the middle of traffic to pick up passengers leaving downtown taverns at bar break, a department spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Earlier this month, police began issuing warnings to drivers in the 14th and O streets area out of concern that intoxicated bar patrons were walking into the street to get a ride without concern for traffic, Officer Angela Sands said.
Downtown officers assigned to the area estimate as many as 100 cars stop in traffic on weekend nights to pick up passengers, she said.
This also increases the likelihood of rear-end crashes and side-swipe collisions from drivers making quick lane changes to avoid stopped vehicles, Sands said.
But when the warnings did little to change behavior, officers started citing drivers for unlawful parking or stopping in traffic, Sands said.
The violation is punishable by $25 fine, plus a mandated $49 court cost.
The biggest concern, she said, is drivers stopping on O Street. Police encourage drivers who are picking up people in that area at bar close to pull off onto side streets or into open parking stalls.
Rideshare providers driving for Lyft or Uber are encouraged to meet their customers using the marked taxi lanes, she said.