As a resident, you are undoubtedly familiar with the heavy traffic congestion in the Emerald City. If you want to use parking, it’s costly and difficult to catch. The situation can only leave you with one question — do you need a car in Seattle? In some neighborhoods, you need a vehicle. However, if you want to live in a walkable, transit-friendly, and bikeable area, you have some great options. Keep reading to find out which car-free neighborhood is the best fit for you.

A traffic road in the dusk in the state of Washington.
A car trip is just not worth it in some of Seattle's neighborhoods.

Can You Live Without a Car in Seattle?

Do you need a car to live in Seattle? The short answer is no. The US Census Bureau reported in 2015 that around 16% of Seattleites don’t own a car, and we can assume that the percentage is even higher nowadays. Locals have left vehicles behind for some years now due to plenty of sidewalks and good cycling infrastructure. There are also many Uber and Lyft drivers, and the key factor — public transportation — is also pretty good. You just have to get an ORCA card, and you can quickly get around using buses, trains, or ferries. Washington State’s largest metropolis is among the top 10 traffic-clogged cities in the US. If you want to save precious time by not getting stuck in traffic, you can choose to settle in some of the car-free cool neighborhoods in Seattle.

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Car in Seattle?

Car maintenance can be quite expensive, not only in the Emerald City but also everywhere in the US. According to the AAA report from 2017, the average cost of owning a car is around $8,500 per year. That’s approximately $700 per month. The monthly ticket for public transportation in this metropolis is $99. You can save a lot of money by using public transportation, and if you walk or use a bike, your expenses on transportation will be almost non-existent.

An autumn day in Washington.
Life without cars is a way to go here.

The Most Walkable Places Are Downtown and Pioneer Square

According to Redfin, the Emerald City is the eighth-most walkable place in the US. Walk Score rated the city’s Downtown neighborhood with a splendid 98 score in walkability. This means that you can finish most errands on foot when living in Downtown Seattle. Pioneer Square also has the same walkable score and is an excellent car-free place. All local amenities are nearby, and there’s plenty to do here: from great restaurants to the brimming arts and culture spots. The real estate market can offer both high rise apartments and budget-friendly homes.

Pebble in front of the Public Market Center.
Walking is the best way to go about your day.

Stay in Public Transportation-Friendly Neighborhoods

Both Downtown and Pioneer Square are also ranked at an impressive 100 score in being transportation-friendly neighborhoods. Center Monorail is the city’s Downtown connector. Therefore, when you feel a bit tired of walking, you have great options regarding public transport. It is tough to choose the best area to stay in Seattle without a car because there are many. Let’s take a look at some other great car-free neighborhoods with great public transportation systems.

Commuters Can Relax in the International District

The International District serves as a major transit hub with a 100 transportation score. Home to Chinatown, this neighborhood is known for its karaoke bars, plenty of restaurants, and coffee shops that are all only a short trip away. There are one light rail line and around 20 bus lines that can transport locals as far as Wallingford and Tukwila within approximately a 30-minute ride.

Yesler Terrace Is Heaven on Earth for Transit Riders

Yesler Terrace is the 6th most walkable neighborhood in the city with an exceptional 100 transit score. One bus line can quickly take commuters through the district and drive them to other neighborhoods rapidly. Among the bus line, Yellow Cab taxi drivers, Lime, Lyft, and car2go, locals can easily navigate the area within the transit range.

People riding in public transportation.
Use public transportation if you would like to save money.

Most Bikeable Neighborhoods

As a local, you already know that this city is continuously listed as the top place in bicycling magazines. There are plenty of protected bike lanes, and there’s even more to come. The department of transportation is working to build even more excellent cycling infrastructure with new bikeways connected to the existing ones. Choose to live in a bike-friendly neighborhood to avoid traffic congestion and finish your errands in no time.

Year-Round Biking in University District

Did we mention that one of Seattle’s most significant advantages is biking year-round? Summers are not too hot, while during winter, the temperature hardly ever drops below freezing.  There are many bike-friendly neighborhoods here, like Fremont, but we want to highlight the University District with an 86 bikeable score. This neighborhood is bursting with protected bike lanes. Some parts of the Burke-Gilman trail are easily connected with Westlake Cycle Track and can lead you directly to Downtown.

Green Lake Is a Bike-Friendly Neighborhood With Plenty of Community Events

Walk Score gives Green Lake 87 bikeable points. As the name indicates, the neighborhood’s highlights are a beautiful park and the lake where you can find plenty of community events happening throughout the year. With a lot of bike lanes, cycling around the park is phenomenal. Many great eateries and bars are within blocks of the lake and are quickly accessible by bike. No wonder this is considered to be one of the best neighborhoods in Seattle for families.

Check Out the Video Below to See How Great Biking in Green Lake Is

Biking in Green Lake is one of those things that have the power to lower your stress levels and help you gather your thoughts. Check out what it looks like below.

Do You Need a Car in Seattle?

If you decide to move to some of the neighborhoods mentioned above, you can avoid dense traffic and expensive parking. Say goodbye to your car and choose a better and more environmentally friendly option. Over the years, many Seattleites left their vehicles behind and are now enjoying better ways of transportation.

When you start planning your relocation, you’ll need reliable local movers in Seattle. Seattle Professional Movers are trustworthy and can offer affordable moving services. We understand that relocation is demanding, so we have prepared packing services and in-and out-of storage moving, as well. We will safely and carefully transport your precious belongings to your new car-free neighborhood.