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The Rules of the Seattle Roads

You are currently viewing The Rules of the Seattle Roads
Seattle is known for the high number of one-way streets.
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If you are new to the Seattle or the Washington state area, the driving can be a little different than what you are used to. There are a lot more weather-related things to be aware of and look out for such as the heavy rain the state is known for. There are also different levels of traffic, hills, surprise toll roads, and so many other things that may make driving more complicated for a newbie. We are here to break down the basics of navigating the Seattle streets.

Rush Hour

The rush hour in Seattle runs longest in the mornings. People stagger their arrivals leading to the peak rush hour lasting about two and a half hours from 6:30 am to 9:00 am. The evening traffic rush hour is typically just one hour, lasting from 5 pm to 6 pm. Typically, Friday traffic is the worst, however, the traffic is also known to build up on any day. It is important to prepare properly and plan your trips accordingly.

Be Aware of Bicyclists

Bicycling is a very common mode of transportation in Seattle and much of the state of Washington. You have to be extremely cautious and aware of any cyclists around you in order to maintain safety for yourself, the cyclists, and the other drivers on the road. Because of their commonality, bicyclists’ rules in Seattle differ significantly from those elsewhere. They are not required to ride in a bike lane or shoulder like in most other places and are able to ride on the left side of a lane. Typically, all bikers have to stay on the right side of lanes. These rules do only apply when it is a one-way street.

One-Way Street

The reason one-way streets in Seattle have their own bike rules is because of the number of one-way streets that fill the city. The volume of one-way streets is quite high and is something that takes getting used to. You have to be aware in certain areas of the turns you have to make, as sometimes if you miss a turn, you may add a lot more time to your trip because of the time it will take for you to find a chance to make that turn again.

HOV Lanes

HOV lanes, otherwise known as high occupancy vehicle lines, or more commonly referred to as carpool lanes, vary around Seattle. In some places, they require 2+ people in a car, in others, it is 3+. Signage is used to mark what the number requirement is for each lane.

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