‘Seattle polite’ on the Ballard Bridge

We’ve all experienced this scenario: you’re sitting on 15th waiting for the Ballard Bridge to go down. Finally, traffic starts moving. Wahoo! You’re on your way, but there’s all those folks trying to merge on from Leary. The merge usually creates a “zipper” of sorts where one car on 15th goes, then a car from Leary, then 15th, and so on. Sophie asks in the PI’s “Getting There” section if this “zipper” is mandated by the law or if it’s just our Seattle/Ballard politeness. Turns out we’re just a bunch of nice people (most of the time) because the law doesn’t require you to let anyone in front of you.

Update: In comments below, John Eddy links the state law that says drivers who are merging into traffic “shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard.” In other words, if nobody lets them in, they’re supposed to sit there until there’s a natural opening.


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