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Road Runner by Andrea Kelly : 'Stravenue': Is it unique to Tucson?

Road Runner by Andrea Kelly : 'Stravenue': Is it unique to Tucson?

In last week's column, an important question went unanswered. The column should have said it's legal for a bicyclist to ride in the lane of traffic, regardless of whether there is a bike lane on a road. That information was edited out last week.

Now this week's topic: What's up with the name "stravenue"?

Reader Jack Baker wrote with a question I can't help but think everyone wonders about upon moving to Tucson. After you've been here awhile, stravenues just become normal. But the first time most people hear about them, they do a double take.

"I notice that there are some streets in Tucson that are called 'Stravenue.' What does this mean? And how is it that Tucson has these?" Baker wrote.

While my editor, who grew up in Tucson, thinks this is an all-too-obvious topic for the column, I believe Baker isn't the only person wondering about these apparently unique streets. Let's start with the official definition.

The Pima County Code defines a "stravenue" as "a street which runs diagonally between and intersects a street and an avenue."

Further online research leads to entries on several blogs and Web sites. An entry on a user-generated online encyclopedia, Citizendium, says these roads were designated as stravenues by the developers of the subdivisions. The stravenues I've most often encountered are near the Barraza-Aviation Parkway and Benson Highway, which both bisect the city diagonally.

To name a few of our stravenues (and I'm sure there are several more): Belford, Bryant, Camilla, Canada, Cerius, Cherrybell, Concord, Desert, Dover, Drexel Manor, Fairland, Forgeus, Frankfort, Hartford, Helena, Hemlock, Holly, Howard, Kelvin, Lansing, Madison, McFee, Mendham, Menor, Miramonte, Nebraska, Olympia, Ray, Rex, Tucson and Venice.

The standard postal abbreviation for stravenue is Stra., according to the U.S. Postal Service Web site. But we'd suggest spelling it out to avoid confusion.

Some of the sites I found online said stravenues are unique to Tucson, and addresses referencing stravenues in a Google search seemed to turn up locations in Tucson and Arizona only.

Road Q

Question: "When is La Cañada Drive between West Calle Concordia and River Road scheduled to be widened?" wrote Mary Lofquist, who added that the project was approved by voters in a bond election, and an influx of cars in the area has increased the need for a wider thoroughfare.

Answer: The project was included in the 1997 bond program and in the regional transportation plan, both approved by voters. The project has been split into two phases, one encompassing La Cañada from Calle Concordia to Ina Road, and one from Ina to River, said Annabelle Quihuis, spokeswoman for the Pima County Department of Transportation.

The first section scheduled for construction is Ina to Calle Concordia. Work is anticipated to start late this year or early next year, Quihuis said. That's an estimate, because it depends on the resolution of some utility issues and federal environmental issues, she said.

● Road Runner answers road-related questions in this column on Mondays. Find Road Runner plus traffic cams and other transportation news at ● Send your questions by e-mail to roadrunner@azstarnet. com or to P.O. Box 26807, Tucson, AZ 85726. Please include your first and last names. ● Find traffic updates and other transportation news on the Gridlocked blog at

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