Driving in Downtown Saratoga Springs and Area

Driving behavior is very different in Saratoga Springs.

Not everyone turns right on red

If I had to name one change that was the hardest to get used to, it is how people drive in Saratoga.

Now, coming from the Rochester NY area was quite difficult because everyone drives angry in Rochester. Everyone there drives as if they are the only person on the road who matters. Cars cut each other off, tailgate, run red lights, you name it. Everybody has to be first.

In Saratoga Springs, everyone drives like the roads are full of their friends.

(actor representation)

One of our first experiences with the friendliness of Saratoga drivers was at the High School Open House after we first moved. The school was packed, the parking lots were even more packed. We assumed that leaving after would take at least 30-45 minutes just to get out of the parking lot and onto the road. Within minutes of inching out of our parking place someone waved us to go ahead. We waved a “thank you” and he gave us a big smile and a thumbs up!

Things that are different:

  • People rarely turn right on red.
  • When the light turns green, one person turns across traffic before the entire line of cars go.
  • Be careful of people slowing down and even stopping to wave other cars in or let people cross the street.
  • No one drives angry, everyone is pretty laid back and patient.
Watch for people crossing the streets.

Best Habits for Driving in Downtown Saratoga

Be very careful, go slowly. There are lots of people crossing the streets. Cars need to turn left from the left lane and often have to wait a long time to turn. 

When turning right, you must WAIT for pedestrians to cross the street you are turning ONTO. They have the right away!

The right lane is often blocked by delivery trucks. Be careful going around them.

If you turn on your signal, people will usually wave you in, so be patient.

Have you noticed any driving habits that are different than you’re used to? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for reading! I hope this helps.  :o)