Streetcar Safety

Updated: January 28, 2020

Whether you're a bicyclist, pedestrian or motorist, following a few general safety tips will ensure a safe, fun and enjoyable experience.
Whether you're using the Seattle Streetcar for the first time or are a regular rider, please follow our safety tips:

  • Do not run across the street or tracks to catch a streetcar.
  • Always cross the street at marked crosswalks or intersections.
  • Stay clear of the platform edge, marked in yellow, when the streetcar arrives and departs. Do not stand in the yellow area.
  • Let people get off the streetcar first before you get on.
  • People using wheelchairs or strollers may access a loading ramp by pressing a button outside the streetcar, or inside the streetcar.
  • Use handrails if you are standing on the streetcar. It's easy to lose your balance when the streetcar brakes or accelerates.
  • Do not use the doors when the door-closing tone is sounding.

Did You Know…

Seattle Streetcar at platform

  • Streetcars are very quiet.
  • Streetcars sound warning bells and horns when necessary.
  • There are no fences or barriers separating streetcars from cars, bikes or pedestrians.
  • Streetcars cannot swerve to avoid obstacles — they run on tracks.
  • Streetcars sometimes have their own traffic signals and can cross the street when other vehicles cannot.


  • Only cross streetcar tracks at marked crosswalks or intersections.
  • Always look both ways when crossing streetcar tracks.
  • When crossing tracks with wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers, cross at a right angle to avoid getting wheels stuck in the track groove.
  • Remove headphones and put down phones so you can hear streetcar warning bells and horns.

Pedestrians crossing Streetcar tracks


Bike on street car tracks

  • Cross streetcar tracks at a right angle to avoid falling. Because the track groove is just slightly wider than the typical bike tire, your tire could get stuck.
  • Don't ride on top of the rails! Your wheels may get stuck in the track groove.
  • Use bike lanes and marked bike crossings, where available. Avoid riding in the streetcar lane.
  • Consider walking your bike across streetcar tracks when they are wet or icy, as tracks can be slippery.
  • Don't enter lanes reserved exclusively for streetcars. These lanes are marked with signs and changes in the pavement.
  • Use clear hand signals so that streetcars and other drivers are aware of your intentions.

Consider a parallel bike route

  • The 2nd Ave protected bike lane will run parallel to the 1st Ave section of the future Center City Connector.
  • The 9th Ave protected bike lane will run parallel to the Westlake Ave N section of the South Lake Union Streetcar.
  • The Broadway protected bike lane runs adjacent to the Broadway section of the First Hill Streetcar.


  • Be prepared to stop behind streetcars. Streetcars stop in the lane to pick up passengers.
  • Never stop, idle, or park your vehicle in the streetcar's path or in protected bike lanes.
  • Be careful when tracks are wet or icy — they could be slippery.
  • Look out for pedestrians running to catch a streetcar or getting off a streetcar and crossing the road.
  • If you have a fender bender over a streetcar track, clear the track, move into a parking lane or other protected place, if it is safe to do so.
  • Before opening your car door, check to see if a streetcar is coming.
  • Don't place items in the streetcar's path when loading and unloading.

Streetcar in traffic


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.