A rare wayfinding portmanteau of “Street” and “Avenue.”
Tucson, Arizona, is a city built on an orderly grid. Most of the North-South streets are named Avenues and the East-West ones are Streets. However, a quirky handful of outliers run diagonally and are called “Stravenues,” shortened on signage simply as Strav. or Stra.
Cherrybell Stravenue was the first of the lot. It’s a short half-mile stretch of asphalt that cuts across a square lot to connect with the Tucson central post office. Cherrybell dates to 1949, according to a reporter at the Tucson Daily Citizen who felt the momentousness of the newly named road warranted an entry into the historical record.
The local Uniform Naming and Numbering Committee agreed that a combination of Street and Avenue was the best way to square the circle for the sake of consistency. It’s not clear whether they also considered the alternate names Aveneet or Aventreet.
Within a few months of the Cherrybell Stravenue decision, the floodgates were thrown open and fresh Stravenues began appearing across the city. Today there are about 30 Stravenues in Tucson, but none anywhere else.
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