Moving to Seattle – Bridges and Traffic


Thinking about moving to Seattle? Wondering what the traffic is like around here? Before you look at homes on the internet, I strongly suggest you study the Transportation Layout of the Seattle Area.

Often where you live, involves which side of “the bridge” you work on. This Seattle Area Traffic map gives you an excellent broad overview of how you get to and from. Study the “black traffic clog points” on that map for a two week period at various times each day during that two week period. That will give you a pretty good idea of normal traffic patterns, except for the few times each year when the bridge is closed.

Take a long hard look at Lake Washington. It’s HUGE and worthy of due consideration as to how you are planning to get over or around it.

My perspective centers more around the 520 bridge, and around the north side of Lake Washington, with occasional travel over the 1-90 bridge. Locals always refer to this bridge as “The 520 Bridge”, but if you are looking for info on it,  you will find it under “Evergreen Point Floating Bridge” in wikipedia, even though the name was officially changed to “The Governor Albert D. Rosselini Bridge-Evergreen Point” in 1988.

Sometimes people will simply say “the 520”, but more often they will say that when referring to the part of that road that is on The Eastside, vs the floating bridge portion of that “road” going over Lake Washington.

One of the reasons I decided to write on this today, is because I was reading updates to the Pontoon Construction Project posted on The Washington State Department of Transportation website. On a good day, travelling back and forth across the 520 Bridge is not a huge deal. On a bad day (when the bridge is closed or partially blocked by a stalled vehicle) one would have been wise to consider the alternative travel options, when deciding where to buy a home.

My general advice is to buy a home on the side of the bridge where you work, unless there is a really good reason not to do that. Very often my first question of someone who calls me about buying a home here in the Seattle Area, especially if they are moving here for a new job, is “Where are you going to be working?”