Whether the topic is vandalism on the streets or Mark Zuckerberg’s new weekend home, the Mission can feel like San Francisco’s epicenter. Here’s our attempt to break down the most noteworthy stories of 2012.

Rent Increases

This was the year when it officially became too expensive to live in the Mission. With little housing built in 2011, the neighborhood was unable to accommodate an influx of tech workers looking for good food and easy access to transportation — even Mark Zuckerberg bought a weekend pad here. Inevitably, district rents increased to unprecedented levels.

Rents not only increased for residential buildings, but for offices and commercial storefronts as well.

Vandalism and Rioting

This year Valencia Street was the setting for not one, not two, but three separate riots (though some characterize this last one as acts of vandalism rather than a riot). The San Francisco Police Department drew the ire of the Mission business community because of the perception that officers did very little to stop the groups of misguided anarchists who caused thousands of dollars in damage. Vandals struck again in September after an officer was involved in a shooting, though this time the damage was less severe. And finally, who could forget about those who took over Mission Street after the Giants won the World Series for the second time in three years?

Valencia Street’s Booming Restaurant Scene

There appear to be no signs that the Valencia Street restaurant scene is slowing down. Some 16 restaurants have opened since the spring of 2011, and while they have no doubt created new jobs, not everyone is happy about the continuing boom. The Valencia Street Merchants Association has proposed a one-year moratorium on all new restaurants on Valencia Street. Supervisors Scott Wiener and David Campos are said to be working on legislation that would limit the number of restaurants in the corridor. The Mission’s supervisors are also said to be working on lifting a moratorium on liquor licenses.

Increase in Homicides

While we don’t yet have the latest crime statistics, Police Chief Greg Suhr told Mission Local that Mission Station recorded nine homicides in 2012, a 50 percent increase from the previous year. Gang crime ebbs and flows, but the killings of three people within a span of eight days in October shook the neighborhood.

Parking Wars

This year the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency felt the wrath of drivers after it announced that it was planning to install hundreds of parking meters in the northeast Mission. Residents argued that the neighborhood’s building stock, which ranges from offices to live-work spaces to manufacturing, did not warrant the entire neighborhood being “blanketed” with parking meters. Meanwhile, transit planners argued that it doesn’t make sense to have unrestricted parking in an area that is rich with transit options. To be continued …

The Mission’s Underperforming Schools Make Gains

Six of the city’s 10 underperforming schools were in the Mission. The federal government responded by giving the school district $45 million, and the Mission Economic Development Agency will receive an additional $30 million over the next five years to help the schools. The money won’t solve all the problems, but some schools improved their test scores and Mission High School redefined what it means to be an under-performing school.

The Rise of Wiener

Whether it was vandalism in Dolores Park or food trucks on the Mission’s streets, this year it seemed like District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener was on top of every neighborhood issue. It earned him a lot of respect with his constituents and a profile in the New York Times.

Woody Spotting

Woody Allen, that is.

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Rigoberto Hernandez

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. How about the story on MUNI using South Van Ness to deadhead buses in a volume never used before the repair work on Mission St.

    There are buses flying by day and night when they should be using Mission. ST. The notion that a bus route that spans from the foot of Market St to Daly City can be made faster by using SVN from 17th to 26th is ridiculous. Simply modifying the light timing on Mission St while make it faster. Instead they chose to pollute a neighborhood instead of a commercial St with noise and reckless driving.

    There have been more accidents on the St than I can count and still no road diets are on the horizon for this street. I guess SFMTA had a good reason for this…right?