A serious hit-and-run accident on Christmas Day that left a 24-year-old man fighting for his life has neighbors talking again about safety at the corner of 25th and Bartlett, where the incident occurred.

At 12:20 a.m. on December 25, a car going east on 25th Street made a left turn onto Bartlett and hit the cyclist, who was going west on 25th Street, police said.

There is a stop sign on Bartlett but none on 25th Street. The cyclist had the right-of-way because the car was turning, police said.

Several neighbors wrote to Mission Loc@l that they have seen car crashes and several close calls in the area.

“I can’t help but wonder if there was a stop sign, like there is on Bartlett at 24th, 23rd, 22nd…etc. Maybe this accident wouldn’t have happened?” a neighbor said in an e-mail. “I live at the corner and I’ve seen close calls with cars, bicycles, and most common is with walkers.”

There is a four-way stop at all of these intersections.

Miriam Jacobson, another neighbor, said she thinks that people use the smaller streets as shortcuts to avoid traffic.

“I think people speed because…[they] are coming from the highway onto Cesar Chavez, then up into the Mission area, and they don’t realize it is a slower, neighborhood zone,” Jacobson wrote in an e-mail. “People are trying to take shortcuts, to avoid traffic and don’t encounter bikers or pedestrians at certain times of day, and then when they do they don’t think to slow or look.”

The only stop signs at the intersection are on Bartlett, and one is covered by foliage. Christine Falvey, a spokeswoman with the Department of Public Works, said the issue has been reported to 311.

A crew will trim the foliage if it’s a hazard, and might contact the property owner to do the trimming if there is time, Falvey said.

Other residents are calling for more stops signs in the area. Neighbors a couple blocks over at 24th and San Jose Avenue have opened an issue at SeeClickFix, asking for installations.

“Drivers use San Jose Avenue as their personal autobahn between 23rd and 24th streets,” a “concerned citizen” wrote. “It doesn’t help that there is no STOP sign for cars coming from Guerrero on Elizabeth Street.”

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, in charge of installing stop signs, could not immediately be reached for comment.

However, neighbors can send a petition to the SFMTA, which will then conduct a study to find if a stop sign at the intersection is necessary.

The petitions can be sent via e-mail to dpt.website@sfgov.org, or via regular mail to SFMTA, Attention: Traffic Engineering, 1 South Van Ness, Seventh Floor, Room 7046, San Francisco, CA 94103.

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Rigoberto Hernandez is a journalism student at San Francisco State University. He has interned at The Oregonian and The Orange County Register, but prefers to report on the Mission District. In his spare time he can be found riding his bike around the city, going to Giants games and admiring the Stable building.

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  1. The email address bounces back with a “no longer in service” message. Try emailing to reach the assistant to Nat Ford, the head of MTA. Please also email (Mission District Supervisor) and (Mayor til the end of the week). 311 might also take your request over the phone. Thanks!

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  2. There is a stop sign, but for only one direction of traffic (northbound on Bartlett). Crosswalks are painted on all four sides—it looks like a four-way stop, but isn’t.

    Please write the City to request a stop sign. I’ve written three letters in three years but they won’t listen to one person. I see minor car accidents at this corner nearly once a month.

    Thank you.

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  3. “I think people speed because… [they] are coming from the highway onto Cesar Chavez, then up into the Mission area, and they don’t realize it is a slower neighborhood zone.”

    This neighbor pinpoints one of the reasons for the project to calm traffic on Cesar Chavez that should finally break ground in 2011. Drivers treat Cesar Chavez as an extension of the freeway, even though the street is primarily residential. We need to slow them down as soon as they take that offramp by showing that they are entering a neighborhood of walking children, slow-moving seniors (of which I am now one), cyclists, and transit users. The new street layout for Cesar Chavez is designed to do just that.

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