A Turn for the Better. New Two Stage Left Turn for Bikes

SDOT is working to make bicycling a  comfortable and integral part of daily life in Seattle for people of all ages and abilities. We want bicycling to be more than a niche activity for fast and fearless riders. To help with this, we are implementing new thinking toward bicycle facilities. A couple of weeks ago we installed our first two stage left turn box. The two stage left turn box is located at Cherry Street and Seventh Avenue. It provides an easy, predictable way for people riding bikes to make a left turn from Cherry onto Seventh Avenue.  People biking on the new Cherry Street cycle track can now continue into the intersection when they have a green light and pull into the green box. They then turn 90 degrees to face north and wait for a green light to continue onto Seventh Avenue. Watch this short 43 second video to see a bicyclist using it.

We’re not just making it easier to get around the city, we have a strategy to make Seattle a city with zero traffic fatalities. Our approach is a combination of education, environment (street improvements), enforcement, evaluation and empathy. Be a super hero and “be super safe.” Learn more at www.seattle.gov/besupersafe.



  1. Jason says

    Maybe put the box further back so that the turning cyclist isn’t in the middle of the bike lane blocking cyclists who want to go straight. And of course you can do the same maneuver without the box at any intersection.

  2. josh says

    I am concerned by the legal status of a cyclist stopped in the green box in case of an accident. The box appears to be entirely within the legal boundaries of the intersection. Traffic awaiting a green light is ordinarily required by law to wait outside the intersection, behind the crosswalk or stop bar.

    What modifications have been made to the Seattle Municipal Code to authorize waiting traffic within the intersection?

    What is the civil liability of a cyclist waiting for a green light if struck by through traffic on Cherry? The paint would appear to authorize the cyclist’s behavior, but what is the legal basis for this?

    Cyclists have frequently been found partially liable for accidents in which they were following the guidance of cycling facilities that were at odds with the legal rules of the road…

  3. Rebecca Roush says

    It’d be great to have one of these at Dravus and NB the onramp/offramp on 15th. When going east on Dravus, bicyclists are forced to ride with traffic to make the left onto 15th toward the Ballard Bridge.

    • pegNielsen says

      Thanks for the suggestion, Rebecca! It has been forwarded to our bicycle facilities planning team.

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