Two-Stage Turn Queue Boxes OLD


Two-stage turn queue boxes offer bicyclists a safe way make left turns at multi-lane signalized intersections from a right side cycle track or bike lane, or right turns from a left side cycle track or bike lane.

The typical international best practice is a two-stage turn (also referred to as a hook turn, box turn, or Copenhagen left). Two positions are available for queuing boxes, depending on intersection configuration.

On right side cycle tracks, bicyclists are often unable to merge into traffic to turn left due to physical separation, making the provision of two-stage left turns critical in making these facilities functional. The same principles for two-stage turns apply to both bike lanes and cycle tracks.

While two stage turns may increase bicyclist comfort in many locations, this configuration will typically result in higher average signal delay for bicyclists, due to the need to receive two separate green signal indications (one for the through street, followed by one for the cross street) before proceeding.

Click on the images below to view 3D concepts of a two-stage turn markings. The configurations shown are based on Portland, OR, and Australian examples.

Treatment details can be accessed below under design guidance.

Two-stage Turn Queue Box Benefits

  • Improves bicyclist ability to safely and comfortably make left turns.
  • Provides a formal queuing space for bicyclists making a two-stage turn.
  • Reduces turning conflicts between bicyclists and motor vehicles.
  • Prevents conflicts arising from bicyclists queuing in a bike lane or crosswalk.

Typical Applications

  • At signalized intersections.
  • Along multi-lane roadways.
  • Along roadways with high traffic speeds and/or traffic volumes.
  • Where a significant number of bicyclists turn left from a right side facility.
  • Along cycle track facilities.
  • To assist bicyclists in navigating safely across streetcar tracks.
    + Click for more information

Design Guidance

Required Features
An area shall be designated to hold queuing bicyclists and formalize two-stage turn maneuvers. 
+ Click for more information
Pavement markings shall include a bicycle stencil and a turn arrow to clearly indicate proper bicycle direction and positioning.
The queue box shall be placed in a protected area. Typically this is within an on-street parking lane or between the bicycle lane and the pedestrian crossing. A queue box placed behind the pedestrian crossing would also function as a bike box but should only be considered if pedestrian volumes are low.
In cities that permit right turns on red signal indications, a “No Turn on Red” sign shall be installed overhead to prevent vehicles from entering the queuing area. (MUTCD Section 2B.54) 
+ Click for more information
Recommended Features
The queue box should be positioned laterally in the cross-street, to promote visibility of bicyclists.
Colored paving inside of the queuing area should be used to further define the bicycle space.
Markings across intersections should be used to define bicyclist positioning through the intersection.
Optional Features
The queue box may be positioned laterally in the cross street parking lane rather than in front of the travel lane. This may require bicyclists to weave into the travel lane to resume through movement if no dedicated bicycle facility is present since the parking lane ahead will be occupied.
Signage may be used to define proper positioning and improve visibility of the queue box.
A bicycle signal, with leading bicycle interval, may be installed in conjunction with the two-stage turn queue box.
+ Click for more information
Guide lines, pavement symbols, and/or colored pavement may be used to lead bicyclists into the queue box.


  • Colored pavement, if used, may be difficult to maintain in climates prone to snow and ice.

Treatment Adoption and Professional Consensus

  • Commonly used in dozens of European bicycle friendly cities.
  • Currently used in the following US cities:
    • Portland, OR
    • New York, NY

Click to see the complete reference material for this treatment.