Steve Belt of Real Phoenix Living recently posted an article about getting around in Phoenix which promted this response:
The bulk of my youth youth (I say that because I’m relatively young to some) was spent on a bicycle and in a car. On a bike because I delivered newspaper, and in a car because I delivered Pizza, for 3 different companies over time. I also delivered a USA Today route in my car in 1991. Addresses are very easy for me to find which is why I’ll typically ask someone for the address and only the address to find my way. They’ll still explain the “lefts” and the “rights” but it usually goes in one ear and out the other. I can find my way around anywhere. Since most of the east/west streets in Phoenix are named rather than numbered, the only bit of research that I need to conduct is how far north or south that street is relative to a major intersection. Being a native Arizonan makes it fairly easy to know the major streets. You say between Cactus and Thunderbird and I’ll find it with the address.
Where it gets confusing is where cities overlap. One example will be Broadway road in Mesa/Tempe. Tempe follows the same pattern as Phoenix in numbering their addresses, and so does mesa, but there’s a point on an east/west street where the address shifts from east to west or west to east based on the city you’re in, and as a result, the numbers increment in a different direction. Make sure you know what city you’re in, then you can find anything.
Another observation is that typically any address that ends in 02 is on a northeast corner, and any address that ends in 01 is on a southeast corner. On Yucca, for example, the address 2702 E. Yucca indicates first that it’s at 27th Street. We know it’s street because it’s east and there are no streets west of Central, rather Avenues. The E is a big clue that it’s east of Central. 🙂 Yucca tells you little about how far north and south the street may be, so you’d have to know the area or look it up. By the time everyone gets around to that, we’ll all have GPS Navigation in our cars.
So, the 27 means 27th street, and the 02 means it’s the first address on the north side of the street just east of 27th, typically a corner. 2701 E. Yucca would be right across the street. 2636 E. Yucca would be on the north side of the street, most likely just west of 27th street on the other corner.
Sometimes an east/west street has no north/south street bisecting it. Let’s say a northbound 27th Street ended in a “T” at Yucca. In this case, there would be no northeast corner, but the house straight ahead or just to the right would still be numbered 2702 E. Yucca because Yucca crosses the 27th Street line. Sometimes there’s not even a “T” and Yucca would have no bisecting north south street…but the addresses are still reset to 01 and 02 where Yucca crosses the north/south street’s line.
Confused yet? It’s all the same when you’re talking about north/south streets.
There are flaws in the system, however, and they typically show up in areas where a townhome development on the corner of an intersection spans multiple streets. One area of the development will have a north/south address and the unit just next to you will have an east/west address. It’s very confusing in this case. I happen to live in one of those areas :).
I am hoping that your head didn’t just explode.