Phoenix, Arizona

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This article is about the city in Arizona. For the mythical creature see Phoenix, and other uses see Phoenix (disambiguation).
Phoenix, Arizona
City flag City seal
City nickname: "Valley of the Sun"

Location in Maricopa County and Arizona
County Maricopa County, Arizona
 - Total
 - Water

1,230.5 km² (475.1 mi²)
0.6 km² (0.2 mi²) 0.05%
 - Total (2000)
 - Metropolitan
 - Density

Time zone Mountain: UTC–7

Does not observe Daylight Savings Time

Location 33° 31′ 42″ N, 112° 4′ 35″ W
Mayor Phil Gordon
City website

Phoenix was incorporated as a city on February 5, 1881. It is the capital, largest city and largest metropolitan area in the state of Arizona in the southwestern United States, 150 miles (241 km) northwest of Tucson. It is also the county seat of Maricopa County and the principal city of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Phoenix is appropriately called Hoodzo (which translates to, "the place is hot," in the Navajo language) and Fiinigis in the Western Apache language.

The following statistics attest to Phoenix's population boom: 1890, 3,152; 1900, 5,544; 1910, 11,134; 1920, 29,053; 1940, 65,414; 1950, 106,818; 1970, 584,000; 1980, 789,704; 1990, 983,000; 2000, 1,321,045; 2004 (est.) 1,418,041. Phoenix is currently the sixth largest city in the U.S. The Phoenix Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is currently the fourteenth largest MSA of the United States, with a population of 3,251,876 (according to the 2000 U.S. Census); with a 2004 estimate of 3,790,000. It ranks as the eighth fastest growing metropolitan area in the U.S, growing 34 percent between 1990 and 2000.

Phoenix is the largest capital city by population in the U.S., and the third largest capital city by area in the U.S. (behind Juneau, AK and Oklahoma City, OK).



Phoenix was incorporated in 1881, the charter of that year being revised in 1893.


The earliest settlers in the Valley of the Sun were the Hohokam Indian people, who lived there as early as 300 BC. They were the first to farm there, building an extensive network of irrigation ditches that brought water from the Salt River. Their name is derived from their O'odham name, Huhu:gam. They also lived in the Pueblo Grande between 700 and 1400 A.D. Their irrigation system comprised some 135 miles (217 km) of canals that lasted until their culture's decline. Their disappearance ca. 1450 A.D. remains a mystery. Prolonged drought may have destroyed or displaced them; or, they may be the ancestors of the modern Pima who now live on the Salt River and Gila River reservations and the Tohono O'odham who live in southern Arizona.

Origin of the city

In 1867, Jack Swilling of Wickenburg stopped to rest his horse at the foot of the north slopes of the White Tank Mountains. He looked down across the expansive Salt River Valley and his eyes caught the rich gleam of the brown, dry soil turned up by the horse's hooves. He saw farmland, predominantly free of rocks, and beyond the reach of heavy frost or snow. All it needed was water. By 1868, he and others from Wickenburg had dug a short canal from the Salt River and founded a small farming colony approximately four miles (6 km) east of the present city (about 22 miles west of Mesa, which was already a city of 1,000 people; and a few miles northwest of a similar farming community at Hayden's Ferry, which would become Tempe).

The area was named Swilling's Mill in his honor. It would later become Hellinwg Mill, Mill City, then East Phoenix. As for the town that was to be built, Swilling, a former Confederate soldier, wanted to name it Stonewall, after Stonewall Jackson; others suggested Salina.

Darrell Duppa recommended the name Phoenix, memorializing the birth of a new civilization from the ruins left by the Hohokam.

The town of Phoenix was officially recognized on May 4, 1868, when the Board of Supervisors of Yavapai County (which at the time encompassed Phoenix), formed an election precinct there. The Phoenix post office was established June 15, 1868, with Jack Swilling as postmaster.

The area was surveyed in 1870 and mass meeting of the citizens of Salt River Valley was held on October 20, 1870, to select a suitable piece of unimproved public land for a town site. They recommended the North 1/2 of section 8 Township 1 N., Range 3 E. and that the town be called Phoenix.

On February 12, 1871, the territorial legislature created Maricopa County, the sixth in the state, by dividing Yavapai County. Maricopa county gave up portions in 1875 and 1881 to help form Pinal and Gila counties, respectively. The first county election in Maricopa County was held in 1871, when Tom Barnum was elected the first sheriff of Maricopa County.

The first public school in Phoenix opened on September 5, 1872, in the courtroom of the county building. By October 1873, a small adobe school building was completed on Center Street (now Central Avenue), a short distance north of where the San Carlos Hotel now stands. Miss Nellie Shaver, a newcomer from Wisconsin, was appointed as the first female schoolteacher in Phoenix.

On April 10, 1874, President Grant issued a land patent for the present site of Phoenix. The total cost of the Phoenix Townsite of 320 acres (1.3 km2) was $550, including all expenses for services.

By 1881, Phoenix had outgrown its original townsite-commissioner form of government. The 11th Territorial Legislature passed the Phoenix Charter Bill, incorporating Phoenix and providing for a mayor-council government. The bill was signed by Governor John C. Fremont on February 25, 1881. Phoenix was incorporated with a population of approximately 2,500, and on May 3, 1881, Phoenix held its first city election, in which Judge John T. Alsap defeated James D. Monihon, 127 to 107, to become the city's first Mayor.

Prosperity and modernity

Phoenix Downtown (southern skyline) in 2004, looking west
Phoenix Downtown (southern skyline) in 2004, looking west

The coming of the railroad in the 1880s was the first of several important events that revolutionized the economy of Phoenix. Merchandise now flowed into the city by rail instead of wagon. Phoenix became a trade center with its products reaching eastern and western markets. In recognition of the increased tempo of economic life, the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce was organized on November 4, 1888.

In early 1888, the city offices were moved into the new City Hall, built where the downtown bus terminal now stands. This building also provided temporary offices for the territorial government when it moved to Phoenix from Prescott in 1889.

In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the National Reclamation Act making it possible to build dams on western streams for reclamation purposes. Valley of the Sun residents were quick to supplement this federal action by organizing the Salt River Valley Waters Users' Association on February 4, 1903, to assure proper management of the precious water supply. It functions to this day as the major agency for controlled use of irrigation water in the Valley.

On May 18, 1911, the Theodore Roosevelt Dam, then the largest masonry dam in the world, began operation. It created Roosevelt Lake, expanded irrigation of land in the Valley for farming, and increased the water supply for the growing population.

On February 14, 1912, President William Howard Taft approved Arizona's statehood, making Phoenix the state capital.

In 1913, Phoenix changed its form of government from mayor-council to council-manager. Phoenix was one of the first cities in the United States to have this form of city government.

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge sold 13,000 acres (53 km²) of South Mountain to the city of Phoenix for $17,000. At its present size of 16,500 acres (67 km2), South Mountain Park is the largest metropolitan park in the world, and it entertains 3 million visitors each year.

Phoenix began to grow into a young metropolis. By 1920, Phoenix had a population of 29,053 inhabitants, which by 1930 had grown by 60%, to 48,118.

1940 marked another turning point, as the war changed Phoenix from a farming center to a distribution center. Phoenix rapidly turned into an embryonic industrial city with mass production of military supplies. Luke Field, Williams Field and Falcon Field, coupled with the giant ground-training center at Hyder, west of Phoenix, brought thousands of men into Phoenix.

In 1950, 105,000 people lived within the city limits and thousands more lived in adjacent communities and depended upon Phoenix for their livelihoods. The city had 148 miles (238 km) of paved streets and 163 miles (262 km) of unpaved streets, a total of 311 miles (501 km) of streets within the city limits.

Phoenix has been selected four times since 1950 as an All-America City, rare among larger cities. The hallmark of an All-America City is the extent to which its private citizens get involved in the workings of their government. Thousands of citizens have served on various city committees, boards and commissions to assure that major decisions are in the best interest of the people.

In 1993, Phoenix was selected as the "Best Run City in the World", also known as the Carl Bertelsmann Prize, by the Bertelsmann Foundation of Germany, a branch of Bertelsmann media company. It shared the honor with Christchurch, New Zealand.


Landsat 7 Satellite image of the Phoenix Metro Area in 2002.
Landsat 7 Satellite image of the Phoenix Metro Area in 2002.

Phoenix is located at 33°31'42" North, 112°4'35" West (33.528370°, -112.076300°)1 in the Phoenix Valley or "Valley of the Sun" in central Arizona. It lies at a mean elevation of 1,117 feet (340 m) in the heart of the Sonoran Desert.

The Salt River course runs westward through the city of Phoenix; the riverbed is normally dry except when excess runoff forces the release of water from the four dams upriver. The city of Tempe has built two inflatable dams in the Salt River bed to create a year-round recreational lake, called Tempe Town Lake. The dams are deflated to allow the river to flow unimpeded during releases.

The Phoenix area is surrounded by the McDowell Mountains to the northeast, the White Tank Mountains to the west, the Superstition Mountains far to the east, and the Sierra Estrella to the southwest. Within the city are the Phoenix Mountains and South Mountains. Current development (as of 2005) is pushing rapidly beyond the geographic boundaries to the north and west, south through Pinal County towards Tucson, and beginning to surround the large Salt River and Gila River reservations.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1,230.5 km² (475.1 mi²). 1,229.9 km² (474.9 mi²) of it is land and 0.6 km² (0.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.05% water.

The Phoenix Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) (officially known as the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale MSA), is the 14th largest in the United States, with a total population of 3,251,876. It includes the Arizona counties of Maricopa and Pinal. Major cities include Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, and Peoria. Several smaller communities are also included, such as Goodyear, Fountain Hills, Litchfield Park, Anthem, Sun Lakes, Sun City, and Sun City West. The community of Ahwatukee is a part of the City of Phoenix itself, but is almost entirely separated from it by South Mountain.


Phoenix Sunset
Phoenix Sunset

Phoenix has an arid, semitropical climate, with little seasonal change during the year. Clear blue skies are typical on most days, with an average of 300 sunny days per year. The temperature reaches or exceeds 100 °F (38 °C) on an average of 89 days during the year, including most days from early June through early September. On June 26, 1990, the temperature reached an all-time high of 122 °F (50 °C). The dry Arizona air makes the hot temperatures more tolerable early in the season; however, the influx of monsoonal moisture has been known to make August in Phoenix almost as humid as summers in the Southeastern United States.

The normal annual rainfall at Sky Harbor International Airport is 8.29 inches (211 mm). March is the wettest month of the year (1.07 inches or 27 mm). Rain is particularly scarce from April through June. Although thunderstorms occur on occasion during every month of the year, they are most common during the monsoon season from July to mid-September as humid air surges in from the Gulf of California. These can bring strong winds, large hail, or tornadoes. Winter storms moving inland from the Pacific Ocean occasionally produce significant rains but occur infrequently. Fog is observed from time to time during the winter months.

A typical Phoenix afternoon viewed from Camelback Mountain
A typical Phoenix afternoon viewed from Camelback Mountain

At the airport, the mean date of first frost is December 12 and the last is February 7; however, these dates do not represent the city as a whole because the frequency of freezes varies considerably among terrain types and elevations. Some areas of Phoenix may see frost for a month or more before and after the airport readings. The earliest frost on record occurred on November 3, 1946, and the latest occurred on April 4, 1945. Successive winters without any frosts at the airport have been recorded, and the longest period without a freeze stretched from November 23, 1979 to January 31, 1985. The all-time lowest temperature in Phoenix was recorded at 16 °F (-8.8 °C) on January 7, 1913.

Snow is extremely rare in the area, though still can occur from time to time. Since it was officially recorded in 1896, snowfall has accumulated to 0.1 inch (0.25 cm) only 7 times. The heaviest snowstorm occurred on January 20-21 1937, when 1 to 4 inches fell (2 to 10 cm) in parts of the city and did not melt entirely for four days. Another 1 inch (2.5 cm) fell on January 20, 1933. On February 2, 1935, 0.5 inches (1 cm) fell. Most recently, 0.4 inches (1 cm) fell on December 21-22 1990. Snow also fell on March 12, 1917 November 28, 1919, and December 11, 1985.


The early economy of Phoenix was primarily agricultural, dependent mainly on cotton and citrus farming. In the last two decades, the economy has diversified as rapidly as the population has grown. As the state capital of Arizona, many residents in the area are employed by the government. Arizona State University has also enhanced the area's population through education and its growing research capabilities. Numerous high-tech and telecommunications companies have also recently relocated to the area. Due to the warm climate in winter, Phoenix benefits greatly from seasonal tourism and recreation, and has a particularly vibrant golf industry.

Phoenix is currently home to two major Fortune 500 companies: electronics corporation Avnet, Inc. and mining company Phelps Dodge Corporation. The area is also home to America West Airlines, which will become a Fortune 500 company upon completion of its merger with US Airways Group Incorporated (the new company will be located in Tempe). Nearby Scottsdale is also home to Allied Waste Industries, Inc. (also listed on the Fortune 500), the second largest non-hazardous solid waste management company in the United States.

The military has a significant presence in Phoenix with Luke Air Force Base located in the western suburbs. At its height, in the 1940s, the Phoenix area had 3 military bases: Luke Field (still in use), Falcon Field, and Williams-Gateway Field, with numerous auxillary air fields located throughout the region.

Phoenix is also a popular location for filming, whether it’s a full-length feature film, television commercial, or a print ad. The city government operates a film office that provides an array of services for motion picture and advertising companies that are interested in filming at city-owned sites or other locations throughout the metropolitan area. Some of the major feature films that have been filmed in the area include Chastity, The Gauntlet, Psycho, Raising Arizona, Waiting to Exhale, Jerry Maguire, Bad Santa, The Prophecy, Used Cars, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (used as a stand-in for San Dimas, California), U Turn, The Nutty Professor (1963 version with Jerry Lewis; the college exteriors were shot on the campus of Arizona State University), Blue Collar Comedy Tour:The Movie, Just One Of The Guys, Terminal Velocity, Taxi, and The Banger Sisters.

See also: List of major corporations in Phoenix.

People and culture

Phoenix Sunrise.
Phoenix Sunrise.


At the census of 2000, there were 1,321,045 people, 465,834 households, and 307,450 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,074/km² (2,782/mi²). There were 495,832 housing units at an average density of 403/km² (1,044/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.07% White, 5.10% African American, 2.02% Native American, 2.00% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 16.40% from other races, and 3.28% from two or more races. 34.06% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any country origin.

There were 465,834 households out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.0% were non-families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.39.

In the city the population age distribution was 28.9% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 8.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 103.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $41,207, and the median income for a family was $46,467. Males had a median income of $32,820 versus $27,466 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,833. 15.8% of the population and 11.5% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 21.0% of those under the age of 18 and 10.3% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


The first newspaper in Phoenix was the weekly Salt River Valley Herald, which later changed its name to the Phoenix Herald in 1880.

Today, the city is served by two major daily newspapers: The Arizona Republic (serving the greater metropolitan area) and The East Valley Tribune (serving primarily the cities of the East Valley). In addition, the city is also served by numerous free neighborhood papers and weeklies such as the Phoenix New Times, Arizona State University's The State Press, and the College Times. For 40 years, The Bachelor's Beat, a paid weekly newspaper, has covered local politics while selling ads for area strip clubs and escort services.

The Phoenix metro area is served by many local television stations, and is the fifteenth largest designated market area (DMA) in the U.S. with 1,596,950 homes (1.46% of the total U.S.). The major network television affiliates are KPNX 12 (NBC), KNXV 15 (ABC), KPHO 5 (CBS), KSAZ 10 (FOX), KUTP 45 (UPN), and KASW 61 (WB). Other major network television affiliates operating in the area include KAET 8 (PBS, operated by ASU), KPAZ 21 (TBN), KTVW 33 (Univision), KDRX 48 (Telemundo), and KPPX 51 (i, formerly PAX). KTVK 3 (3TV) and KAZT 27 are independent television stations operating in the metro area.

The radio airwaves in Phoenix cater to a wide variety of musical interests. See Arizona Radio for a comprehensive list. The area's rock stations include KDKB (FM) 93.3, KUPD (FM) 97.9, KPKX (FM) 98.7 (The Peak) and KSLX (FM) 100.7. Pop and hip-hop can be found on KKFR (FM) 92.3 (Power), KZZP (FM) 104.7 (Kiss) and KMXP (FM) 96.9 (Mix). There are two alternative rock stations: KZON (FM) 101.5 (The Zone) and KEDJ (FM) 103.9 (The Edge), two country stations: KNIX (FM) 102.5 and KMLE (FM) 107.9 (Camel Country 108) and two oldies stations: KOOL (FM) 94.5 and KAZG (AM) 1440. Rhythmic oldies are heard on KAJM (FM) 99.3 / 104.3 (Mega). Big-band, swing and standards play on KSAZ (AM) 580, KSAZ, KOY (AM) 1230 and KZLB (FM) 97.5 (Star). Jazz airs on NPR station KJZZ (FM) 91.5, while the style known as smooth jazz is on KYOT (FM) 95.5 (The Coyote). The area's adult contemporary station KESZ (FM) 99.9 has been known to play Christmas music during the holidays, as has classical station KBAQ (FM) 89.5. Christian stations operate at KLVA (FM) 105.5 and KXEG (AM) 1280. Radio Disney is at KMIK (AM) 1580. Phoenix is one of the few cities in the United States with a station playing contemporary dance hits, KNRJ (FM) 92.7 / 101.1 (Energy), and it is home to the only known completely commercial-free rock music station in the United States. ,KCDX (FM) 103.1.

There are also several talk radio stations, mostly operating on the AM band: KFYI (AM) 550 (conservative talk), KTAR (AM) 620 (news), KMIA (AM) 720 (Spanish news), KDIR (AM) 740 (Spanish talk), KKNT (AM) 960 (The Patriot), KXXT (AM) 1010 (Air America Radio), KFNX (AM) 1100 (CNN), KMYL (AM) 1190, KOY (AM) 1230 (CNN), KXAM (AM) 1310 (CNN), KPXQ (AM) 1360, KFNN (AM) 1510 (finance), and KPHX (AM) 1480 (Comedy Radio). Sports news is available on KMVP (AM) 860 (ESPN), KGME (AM) 910, and KDUS (AM) 1060.

Due to the region's large Spanish-speaking population, there are also several Spanish radio stations, including KNAI (FM) 88.3 (La Campesina), KCOO (FM) 89.9 (Air 1), KOMR (FM) 100.3 / 106.3 (Amor), KLNZ (FM) 103.5 (Radio Tricolor), KDVA (FM) 106.9 / 107.1 (Super Estrella), KHOT (FM) 105.9 (La Nueva), KCKY (AM) 1150, KVIB (FM) 95.1 (Club) and KSUN (AM) 1400 (Radio Fiesta).


Club Sport League Stadium Logo
Arizona Cardinals Football National Football League; NFC Sun Devil Stadium Arizona Cardinals Logo
Arizona Diamondbacks Baseball Major League Baseball; NL Chase Field Arizona Diamondbacks Logo
Phoenix Suns Basketball National Basketball Association America West Arena Phoenix Suns Logo
Phoenix Mercury Basketball Women's National Basketball Association America West Arena Phoenix Mercury Logo
Phoenix Coyotes Ice Hockey National Hockey League Glendale Arena Phoenix Coyotes Logo

Phoenix is home to several major league, professional sports. The Arizona Diamondbacks play at Chase Field in the National League - West Division of Major League Baseball. In 2001, the Diamondbacks defeated the New York Yankees 4 games to 3 in the World Series, becoming the city's first professional sports franchise to win a national championship.

In addition, nine Major League Baseball teams conduct spring training in the area. These teams, plus three that train in Tucson, are collectively known as the Cactus League.

The Arizona Cardinals currently play in the NFL's National Football Conference - West Division. They currently play at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, and are currently building a stadium in Glendale. The Arizona Rattlers are an arena football team that play in the Arena Football League. Phoenix will host the Super Bowl in 2008.

The Phoenix Suns are a professional men's basketball team in the National Basketball Association. The Phoenix Mercury are a professional women's basketball team in the WNBA. Both teams play at America West Arena.

Glendale Arena is the home of the Phoenix Coyotes, a professional ice hockey team of the National Hockey League. The Phoenix Roadrunners are also a minor league ice hockey team that plays in the East Coast Hockey League.

The Arizona Sting are a professional lacrosse team from Glendale that play in the National Lacrosse League.

The Phoenix International Raceway is a major venue for Indy Car Racing and NASCAR auto racing. Boat racing, drag racing, and road course racing are also held at the Firebird International Raceway.Sprint car racing is held at Manzanita Speedway.

The Arizona State University Sun Devils compete in football, basketball, baseball, as well as a number of other sports in the NCAA. The Sun Devils football team plays their games at Sun Devil Stadium, which also hosts the annual Fiesta Bowl (the game will move to the new Cardinals stadium in Glendale upon the completion of the stadium). Their nearest rival is the University of Arizona Wildcats, in Tucson.

Other major sporting events in the area include the Insight Bowl at Chase Field (will move to Sun Devil Stadium after the Fiesta Bowl moves to the new stadium in Glendale), and several major professional golf events, including the FBR Open of the PGA TOUR, the Standard Register Turquoise Classic of the LPGA, and The Tradition of the PGA Champions Tour.

See also: U.S. cities with teams from four major sports.

Museums and other points of interest



In 1913, the commussion form of government was adopted. The city of Phoenix is served by a city council consisting of a mayor and eight city council members. The mayor is elected At Large, to a four-year term. City council members are elected to four-year terms by voters in each of the eight separate districts that they represent. The current mayor of Phoenix is Phil Gordon. The mayor and city council members have equal voting power to make laws and set the policies that govern the city.

In addition to eight voting districts, the city is also divided into 15 "urban villages," the primary purpose of which is to assist the city council with zoning and planning ordinances. These urban villages are: Ahwatukee Foothills, Alhambra, Camelback East, Central City, Deer Valley, Desert Ridge, Desert View, Encanto, Estrella, Laveen, Maryvale, North Gateway, North Mountain, Paradise Valley, South Mountain, as well as a fifteenth which is as of yet unnamed (created in 2004 and currently called, "New Village."). The fifteenth is sparsely populated (if at all) and new development is not expected in the near future.


Public education in the Phoenix metro area is provided by 30 school districts. [1]

The main institution of higher education in the area is Arizona State University, with its main campus located in Tempe, and satellite campuses in Phoenix and Mesa. ASU is currently one of the largest public universities in the U.S., with a 2004 enrollment of 57,543.

The University of Phoenix is also headquartered in Phoenix. This is the nation's largest private, for-profit university with over 130,000 students at campuses throughout the United States (including Puerto Rico), Canada, Mexico, and the Netherlands.

There are also ten community colleges and two skills centers throughout Maricopa County, providing adult education and job training.


Phoenix is served by Sky Harbor International Airport (IATA: PHX, ICAO: KPHX), which is centrally-located in the metro area near the intersections of I-10, I-17, US 60, and state routes 51 and Loop 202. Sky Harbor is the fifth busiest airport in the U.S. and the world for passenger traffic for takeoffs and landings, handling more than 36 million travelers in 2000. The airport serves more than 100 cities with non-stop flights. British Airways, Air Canada and Lufthansa are among several international carriers providing flights to destinations such as London, Toronto, Mexico and Frankfurt, Germany.

The Williams Gateway Airport (IATA: WGA, ICAO: KIWA) in the suburb of Mesa also serves the area's commercial air traffic. It was converted from Williams Air Force Base, which closed in 1993, and is attempting to become a commercial airport, to relieve Sky Harbor of some of the main airport's traffic. The airport has occasionally received Boeing 737's from charter airlines to carry passengers to nearby destinations.

Smaller airports that primarily handle private and corporate jets include the Scottsdale Municipal Airport in Scottsdale and the Falcon Field Airport in Mesa.

Public transportation throughout the metropolitan area is served by Valley Metro, which operates a series of buses and rideshare options. While there is currently no subway or rail system in the city, Valley Metro is currently developing Valley Metro Rail, a light rail project.

The road system in Phoenix laid out in a traditional grid system, with most roads travelling either North-South or East-West. I-10 from Los Angeles travels from the west through downtown, and exits the metro area travelling to the southeast towards Tucson. I-17 begins in downtown Phoenix and travels north to Flagstaff. US 60 also travels through the heart of the city, going to the northwest through the suburbs of Glendale, Peoria, and Surprise. It also exits to the east of downtown, travelling through the suburbs of Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and Apache Junction, and beyond. State route Loop 101 is also a major highway that forms a semicircle around the northern suburbs of the city, starting from I-10 in the west and travelling around to I-10 (via state route Loop 202) in the southeast.

Phoenix has been rapidly expanding its highway system to meet needs of tomorrow. In 1985, voters passed a proposition to fund for new urban freeways (Arizona 51, Loop 101, Arizona 143, 153, Loop 202, Loop 303, and complete final section of I-10). Most of these have been completed by 2005 while Loop 202 and Loop 303 is in the final stages of construction and development.

Sister Cities

Phoenix, Arizona has eight sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI): Calgary (Alberta, Canada), Chengdu (China), Ennis (Ireland), Grenoble (Rhone-Alpes, France), Hermosillo (Sonora, Mexico), Himeji (Japan), Catania (Italy), Taipei (Taiwan).


Phoenix is where Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "Tent City", a modification of the Maricopa County Jail, is located. These tents were placed to ease overcrowding in this facility. As this jail becomes crowded, more tents are placed.

See also

External links

Flag of Arizona State of Arizona
Regions North Central Arizona | Northern Arizona | Phoenix metropolitan area | Southern Arizona
Counties Apache | Cochise | Coconino | Gila | Graham | Greenlee | La Paz | Maricopa | Mohave | Navajo | Pima | Pinal | Santa Cruz | Yavapai | Yuma
Largest cities Gilbert | Glendale | Mesa | Peoria | Phoenix | Scottsdale | Tempe | Tucson

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