Accident on Coleridge Highlights Concerns About Speeding Traffic


A weekend car accident on Coleridge Avenue (at Heyman) accentuated the concerns that several neighbors have expressed about new traffic patterns that may stem from the creation of the Muni “red carpet” on MIssion Street, one block to the west.

Neighbor Stan tells Bernalwood:

Traffic has increased on Coleridge since the changes were made to Mission. Traffic is heavier, and cars often speed. Looks like it resulted in a fairly serious accident Sunday  morning.

I don’t know for sure, but it appears that the car in the rear was speeding down Coleridge while the car in the front was turning off of Heyman onto Coleridge. I don’t believe anyone was seriously hurt, but a little girl in the front car was very traumatized.

Just wanted to share this, to get feedback from the community on the need for traffic calming on Coleridge.

PHOTO: Car accident on Coleridge, Nov. 13, 2016, by Neighbor Stan

29 thoughts on “Accident on Coleridge Highlights Concerns About Speeding Traffic

  1. Here’s a neighbor (on Coso at Coleridge) that supports the red carpet. We’ve always had problems with speeding down Coleridge and similar streets and I’d love the city to help with enforcement and a road diet (like narrowing certain corners to slow down traffic)

    If people want to drive everywhere, there is going to be traffic everywhere. I’m sure we’re all cutting through other people’s neighborhood when driving across town. (We all love going up an over Nevada or down Precita to 101 right?)

    The bus needs to be fast to get people out of their cars. Why should my bus of 50+ people the (the 14 or 49) have to wait behind a single person double parking or picking up dinner?

    MTA needs to fix some things like the light timing on s. van ness, but not everyone is against the red carpet.

      • Here here!

        Long live the red carpet and thank you MTA for finally doing something to speed up transit on Mission. Good luck with the effort on Van Ness.

    • The red carpet is in unmitigated disaster for most local mission st businesses. I say this as someone I say this as someone for whom it has sometimes proved handy, when I take the bus to work on mission street. But virtually all the merchants I talk to, say it has had a big impact on reducing their foot traffic. The crazy thing is, there is fast, high traffic, commute corridor Van Ness Ave. only two blocks away. Why didn’t they put the stupid red carpet there? Why didn’t they just massively step up parking enforcement for double parked cars on mission street, thereby saving a whole lane?

      • Have to agree — tried to attend an opening at Secession Gallery on a Friday night and couldn’t get within a mile of the place in any direction due to the empty red carpet lane and the one lane of vehicle traffic backed up in both directions. We finally gave up and left.

  2. “accentuated the concerns that several neighbors have expressed about new traffic patterns that may stem from the creation of the Muni “red carpet” on MIssion Street, one block to the west.”

    Look, most of the world have the colored lanes for buses and they have little to no issues with traffic. I’ve seen the people drive here and they’re terrible. Checking your phone is causing most accidents these days not the “red carpet.” Get over it and stop blaming the bus lanes. We just need to adjust to the new lanes and that’s final.

  3. In my opinion, the bus lanes work reasonably well north of Cesar Chavez. But south of that street they are a disaster, creating long traffic back-ups going north from the intersection of Valencia, Mission and Fair Streets. Traffic going to the B of A is confused about their appropriate turns, and turning south from the B of A parking lot, to 29th St. is confusing too, especially if turning west onto 29th. And for cars trying to turn north from the B of P parking lot, just forget it. Since that is impossible, they then change their minds, turning south and going around several blocks on the way to their destination. As for “traffic calming” attempts like the curb bulb-outs, they cause more problems than they solve, with buses and trucks, as well as cars having trouble turning because of them. I’ve lived on Coleridge St. for 31 years, and traffic here has always been a problem because of the abrupt change from one way to two way traffic between Virginia and Fair streets at the Esmeralda Stairway. But it has gotten worse lately, partly because of the road work on Mission, and partly because of the red bus lanes on Mission St. Just plain old stop signs at problem intersections might help, for example, at Coleridge and Esmeralda.

  4. We have the same problem on Prospect since the red lanes went in. We called the city to get some speed bumps but were told we couldn’t even apply until. 2017 and they wouldn’t be constructed until 2018! We will apply but it’s a longtime to wait for a solution to the problem!

    • You can’t really think that folks are taking Prospect to avoid Mission. Give me a break. If they are, then they live in Bernal and it’s a neighborhood problem and not a red carpet problem.

  5. Yes We need traffic calming on all of Coleridge, even the one way portion(that needs to be better marked) as well. Speed humps would help. Maybe bulb outs on the corners. I know that impacts parking but maybe some form if bulb out that wouldn’t impact parking.

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Large trucks that have to drive on all of the Bernal streets have a real problem turning on our tight corners. Bulb outs make it harder for them to turn.

  6. We definitely need traffic calming on Coleridge. I put in a request for a stop sign at Coleridge/Fair quite a while ago — vehicles turn left onto Fair at high speeds without being able to see the street itself. No response from the city at all. (I’m fairly certain the SFMTA automatically deletes any request for service submitted through their website.)

  7. More traffic on adjacent neighborhood streets was the inevitable result of the red lanes on Mission. Traffic flows like water, following the path of least resistance. The SFMTA undoubtedly anticipated this but did not make it part of the red lane discussion prior to implementation.

  8. Makin a right from Heyman onto Coleridge has been challenging since I can remember… somethin about the slight tilt of the hill to the South, the ever-present contractor trucks (and occasionally a freakin boat) on the corner right where you need to see; and the confluence of traffic coming up Godeus and turning from Virginia… all on a narrow stretch of road. Slow down, put the phone away.

  9. I think the “red carpet” is fine, except for people turning right southbound on corners like 30th in front of the stopped busses, instead of waiting behind them. They can’t see pedestrians, esp those that just got off the bus.
    I am so-so on speed bumps, but in favor of more stop signs on Coleridge (and Prospect if folks there see the same problem). Also a reminder that in California pedestrians always have the right-of-way, whether in crosswalks or even if they are jay-walking. And in general, where are the moving violation enforcers. The only time I see police around 30th and Mission is after local teams win big games.

  10. The red lanes are great and traffic on Coleridge has gotten more dangerous. Both are true. I’m sure the red lanes throughout all of the Mission has caused some collateral damage everywhere. Let’s let our new supe Hillary know about it. Doesn’t hurt to get more representation on your side.

  11. I don’t think it’s the Red Carpet’s fault, it’s been like this for the 6 years I’ve lived on Coleridge. We used to have speed bumps between Fair and Powers but the city took them out when they repaved—then put them back, then took them out again.

    Although it’s not the stretch the accident occurred on, making Fair and Coleridge a two-way stop would go a long way to discourage people from using Coleridge the way it’s being discussed. Any intersection that allows traffic up from Mission to Coleridge should have a stop sign.

  12. Red carpet sucks. Has ruined any traffic flow south and north of Army St. Ruined Mission St.
    Bulb outs suck. Enforce and enable traffic flow. Force Muni to pay for itself. Collect fares. The funds could be well used to teach traffic design and flow. The MTA couldn’t design a route of a paper bag if they had to. Only made it worse for those on Bernal and surrounding businesses.

  13. To be clear, I mean any 2 or 4-way intersection, not just a stop sign giving Coleridge drivers right-of-way.

  14. Traffic on Bernal Heights is always crazy. People think going down hill gives them the right to speed down…I’d love to see more speed bumps installed to slow traffic.

  15. Let’s drop the euphemism “accident ” and call it what it is :a collision due to speeding and / or distracted driving. This occurs with or without red lanes nearby.

    • 1. Trying to control vocabulary is a tool of propagandists. We don’t know what caused this accident. We DO know that, no matter what, no one involved INTENDED it to happen. Therefore, it was an accident.

      2. Many people don’t care about the businesses hurt by the red carpet. They care for their own pet causes and personal comfort. For better or for worse, the Mission corridor will change. Established businesses will fail. And soon the earlier Mission Street will be a fading memory. .

  16. If they put speed bumps everywhere the red carpet has forced traffic off of Mission (a major thoroughfare), virtually every street on the Cesar Chavez side of the Hill would be covered by them. The bumps and bulb-outs on Precita have done little to slow traffic, and nothing to prevent bicycle and car drivers from turning off Mission and proceeding against traffic to Folsom. And what are the plans for traffic waiting to turn left from Cesar Chavez onto So. Van Ness? At least a few times a day that turn lane fills and backs up thru the Mission/CC intersection. The war on cars in this city is also a war on the independence of seniors and people with mobility disabilities.

  17. Man, the last two commentators want nothing more than to ramp up the rhetoric. “War on cars?” How about “War on pedestrians and humans who don’t occupy cars?” And that includes you when you walk out to unlock your car.

    And “propagandists”? Man, that’s a real stretch. And you are right, WE DON”T KNOW what caused this accident. But this questionable reporting by Bernalwood, with it’s “red-baiting” of the red-lanes by inferring that maybe THEY are the cause? Sloppy work. Todd, you ought to tighten up.

  18. Several serious accidents on Coleridge after I received this email.

    Feb 2016, email from Tom Folks, SFMTA Senior Engineer:

    Thank you for your request to install additional STOP signs on Coleridge Street at the intersections with Eugenia Avenue and Kingston Street.

    We share your concern about traffic and pedestrian safety and have conducted an investigation into the possibility of installing additional STOP signs at these intersections. Upon receiving a request to evaluate an intersection for additional STOP signs, we complete a study of intersection conditions such as vehicle volumes, sight lines, and reported collisions. The results of this study are measured against standards developed from state and federal guidelines, and if additional traffic controls are not justified, we do not recommend them. Installation of STOP signs where they are not warranted can result in poor compliance and weakens the authority of traffic control devices.

    Based on our investigation, we do not recommend installing additional STOP signs to stop Coleridge Street at the intersections with Eugenia Avenue and Kingston Street at this time. STOP signs are primarily used to designate the right-of-way at intersections where right-of-way may be unclear. Since Kingston Street is a ONE-WAY westbound street, the right-of-way is clear at the intersection with Coleridge Street. Additionally, the intersection of Coleridge Street and Eugenia Avenue is presently controlled by the STOP signs on the Eugenia Street, thus vehicles on this street must stop and yield the right-of-way to traffic on the crossing street. Our observations indicate that the vast majority of drivers comply with these right-of-way rules. These observations are further substantiated by the safety records of these intersections over the last five years, based on San Francisco Police Department reports.

    However, because visibility may be limited somewhat by vehicles parked at the corners of Coleridge Street at Eugenia Avenue, we recommend installing a red zone at the northeast, northwest, and southeast corners of the intersection. These red zones will set parked vehicles further back from the intersection improving both motorist’s sight lines and visibility for pedestrians entering Coleridge Street. We have sent a work order to our Paint Shop to install these red zones as soon as scheduling permits.

    With regard to using STOP signs for speed control, our general experience has shown that the placement of STOP signs does not effectively control excessive speeds except at the intersection itself. Additionally, this location may be a candidate for the SFMTA’s Traffic Calming Program, which seeks to make San Francisco safer by designing our streets to encourage slower speeds and improve safety. For more information on how you and your neighbors can apply for a traffic calming project, please visit

    Although we are unable to comply with your request, we appreciate your concern and interest in traffic and pedestrian safety. If you have any other questions, please contact Saranya Konala of my staff at 415-646-2125.


    Thomas Folks
    Senior Engineer, Sustainable Streets Division
    San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
    1 South Van Ness Avenue, 7rd Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94103

    • So the following was accomplished: Half a dozen parking spaces will be lost forever, and the City will install “traffic calming” measures, which impede police, fire and ambulance emergency vehicles… all at an intersection that the data shows is not a problem area.


      (Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets more grease than he bargained for…)

      • No traffic-calming measures were put into place. I think they painted only one red zone–next to my house–which is roundly ignored as someone is parked there all the time (and no one cares, because that particular red zone accomplishes nothing). So really the situation is unchanged. The major issues are: (1) people speeding on Coleridge–the downhill stretch from Cortland to Virginia, mostly; (2) people ignoring the stop sign on Eugenia x Coleridge. The evidence is nearly monthly serious accidents at that intersection. That should be a 4-way stop. I kind of bristle at the notion that stop signs themselves are not considered by the engineers to be traffic-calming measures in themselves. Someone explain that to me.

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