Bicycling is a way of life in Seattle, and with spring just around the corner, bike traffic is likely to increase. The city has taken steps to help cars and bicycles coexist more easily and avoid accidents by creating special bike lanes and facilities on the streets of Seattle.
Here is a guide to help you understand what the various symbols mean and how to use the special facilities.
You will occasionally see patches of pavement on Seattle streets that are green in color. This is to remind both you and motorists to pay extra attention because this is an area where cars and bicycles may both be present.
One of the areas in which you will see the green pavement is in a bike box. Its purpose is to try to make the behavior of bicyclists more predictable to drivers. It allows bicyclists to get ahead of traffic when approaching the intersection.
A sharrow is a double-arrow symbol combined with a picture of a bicycle alerting drivers to the fact that they share the lane with bicycles. It also shows bicyclists the best area in the lane to ride.
Many stoplights only change color when they detect the presence of a vehicle. A bike detector is a sensor that tells the light to change green when a bicycle is present. To make it work, you must position your wheels over the appropriate markings.
Two-stage left turn box
An alternative to making a left turn from the driving lane on a bicycle is the two-stage left turn box. It is a patch of green pavement where you can wait for the red light to change in the direction you want to go after crossing the street to reach it.
Both drivers and bicyclists should understand the symbols denoting Seattle’s bike lanes. It is for the safety of everyone on the road that they exist.