5 Tips For The New Seattle Driver

In any growing city, thousands of drivers are heading into an area that’s becoming more crowded. While Seattle is no longer the fastest-growing city in the United States, it still ranks third with 14,938 new residents in 2014. If you’re one of the many newcomers, getting used to the Seattle driving and parking culture might initially leave you scratching your head.

These driving and parking tips will shed some light on the confusing and the avoidable.

1. Know your parking rights


Photo courtesy seattlepi.com

It’s rumored that most two-way streets in Seattle allow parking either direction on both sides of the street. However, the police department says otherwise, ruling that the passenger side of the car must be facing the curb. Those who ignore this run the risk of a $47 ticket.

Parking in Seattle is notoriously challenging, with too much congestion and expensive spots. Though there are other modes of transportation, like transit or riding your bike, sometimes driving your car is simply more convenient. Save yourself the hassle and try out a parking app to find affordable and convenient parking.

2. Let street signs be your compass


Photo courtesy The Seattle Times

Know that feeling when you are driving in a new city and you’ve completely lost sense of north and south? If you aren’t familiar with the streets of Seattle, look to street signage to help gauge which direction you’re heading. Along with the name of the street, signs also indicate the cardinal directions. If the direction comes before the street name, it runs east and west. If the direction comes after the street name, it’s north and south.


Photo courtesy Quora

This information could prove especially useful when running across parking signs that also specify cardinal directions.

3. Steer clear of certain intersections to avoid traffic jams

According to the Examiner, these are the most clogged areas:

  • Intersection at 1st and Columbia
  • Between 1st and Fairview on Denny Way
  • Yale St. on-ramps to I-5
  • Mercer St. corridor from Seattle Center to I-5

4. Be prepared to share the streets with bikers

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Photo courtesy the Seattle Department of Transportation

According to the Seattle Department of Transportation, 158,000 Seattleites ride bikes around the city. As a new Seattle driver especially, it’s imperative that you are on the lookout for cyclists. Make sure you give cyclist at least three feet of space when near them and always check your blind spots before crossing a bike lane.

5. Use your GPS to avoid one-way street tangles

You will come across your fair share of one-way streets in Seattle. In order to efficiently get where you’re going, use a navigation system to avoid a potential long line of no left turn signs until you’re familiar with your routes.