Exploring San Francisco through the lens of city blocks, Blocker is a regular series by Charles Hodgkins. Look for it on SFist every other Wednesday, around the lunching hour.

View the map of all published Blocker episodes.

Blocker, No. 29: Leland Ave. in Visitacion Valley

In the tussle over the mantle of San Francisco’s Most Tucked-Away Neighborhood, Visitacion Valley gets our vote...particularly if by “tucked-away,” one really means “neglected.” Geographic and economic isolation have contributed to infrastructural decline - and crime - here for quite some time, although earnest efforts are being made these days to turn the tide.

The block of Leland between Peabody and Rutland is dually zoned for business and residence, so the street is one of Viz Valley’s main drags. There’s plenty of foot and auto traffic here, and the 56 Rutland bus even shuffles by on occasion. Businesses bookend the nondescript strip as post-WWII housing, other small commercial concerns, and a pair of bottlebrush trees fill in the space between. Pretty? Not quite. But, utilitarian? Sure.