This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe streets in Peoria, Arizona

If you've lived in the Phoenix, Arizona area for a while, you know where Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe streets are. In downtown Phoenix, right? But they are also in Peoria, which to me has always seemed kind of strange.

Peoria is a separate city from Phoenix. It has its own mayor, police force, etc. And it adopted the names of the Phoenix streets long ago. Well, mostly. But if you go to downtown Peoria, which is west of Grand Avenue on Peoria Avenue and then go south, you will find some original names from the early town of Peoria.

The reason for this is Grand Avenue, which created a barrier, and still does. Anywhere east of Grand Avenue, the naming convention is based on Phoenix streets, that is, going south from Peoria Avenue: North Lane, Cochise Drive, Comet Avenue, Beryl Avenue, Cheryl Drive.

All of the other cities in the valley that have held onto some of their original street names while overall taking on the naming convention of the city of Phoenix. Some of it was civic pride, some of it was that it just didn't seem to make sense. So it's important to check not only the street name on your GPS, but the city name. Otherwise when you look for the library on 85th Avenue and Monroe, you could get lost!

Image above: map of Peoria, Arizona in 1937

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