Learn more about Phoenix, Arizona
|Nickname: "Valley of the Sun"|
|Maricopa County and the state of Arizona|
|Incorporated||February 25, 1881|
|Mayor||Phil Gordon (D)|
|- City||1,230.5 km² (475.1 sq mi)|
|- Land||1,229.9 km² (474.9 sq mi)|
|- Water||0.6 km² (0.2 sq mi)|
|Elevation||331 m (1,086 ft)|
|- City (2005)||1,461,575<ref name=popest>Template:Cite web</ref>|
|- Density||1,188.4/km² (3,077.6/sq mi)|
|Time zone||MST (no daylight saving time) (UTC-7)|
Phoenix /ˈfiːˌnɪks/ is the capital and the most populous city of the State of Arizona and the county seat of Maricopa County. It was incorporated as a city on February 25, 1881 and is called Hoozdo, or "the place is hot", in the Navajo language and Fiinigis in the Western Apache language.
With a population of 1,321,045, Phoenix is the sixth-largest city in the United States. Census reported the Phoenix Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) as the 14th-largest in the United States, with a 2005 estimated population of 3,865,077<ref>http://www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/Estimates%20pages_final.html</ref>.
Phoenix natives and residents are referred to as Phoenicians.
Phoenix was incorporated in 1881; the charter of that year was revised in 1893.
Passing through the area in 1867, Jack Swilling of Wickenburg, Arizona stopped at the foot of the north slopes of the White Tank Mountains and saw conditions conducive to farming, though lacking 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 and a few miles northwest of a similar farming community at Hayden's Ferry, which would become Tempe.<ref>"Out of the Ashes, Early Life along the Salt River." City of Phoenix. Accessed on November 26, 2006.</ref>
The area was named Swilling's Mill in his honor. It would later become Hellinwg Mill, Mill City, then East Phoenix. Swilling, a former Confederate soldier, wanted to name it the town "Stonewall", after Stonewall Jackson; others suggested Salina. Lord Darrell Duppa recommended the name Phoenix, memorializing the birth of a new civilization from the ruins left by the Hohokam.<ref>"Out of the Ashes, Phoenix is Born." City of Phoenix. Accessed on November 26, 2006.</ref>
The town of Phoenix was officially recognized on May 4, 1868, when the Board of Supervisors of Yavapai County (which at the time encompassed present-day Phoenix), formed an election precinct there. The Phoenix post office was established June 15, 1868, with Jack Swilling as postmaster.<ref>"Out of the Ashes, Phoenix is Born." City of Phoenix. Accessed on November 26, 2006.</ref>
The area was surveyed in 1870 and a mass meeting of the citizens of the Salt River Valley was held on October 20, 1870, to select a suitable piece of unimproved public land for a town site. They recommended they site chosen be called Phoenix.<ref>"Out of the Ashes, Selecting a Townsite." City of Phoenix. Accessed on November 26, 2006.</ref>
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.<ref>"Out of the Ashes, The Great Sale." City of Phoenix. Accessed on November 26, 2006.</ref>
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.<ref>"Out of the Ashes, The Great Sale." City of Phoenix. Accessed on November 26, 2006.</ref>
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.<ref>"Out of the Ashes, Whole Town Worth $550." City of Phoenix. Accessed on November 26, 2006.</ref>
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.<ref>"Out of the Ashes, Incorporation in 1881." City of Phoenix. Accessed on November 26, 2006.</ref>
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 response, the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce was organized on November 4, 1888.<ref>"Out of the Ashes, Transportation: Horses and Rails." City of Phoenix. Accessed on November 26, 2006.</ref>
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.<ref>"Out of the Ashes, Transportation: Horses and Rails." City of Phoenix. Accessed on November 26, 2006.</ref>
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.<ref>"Out of the Ashes, Roosevelt and Reclamation." City of Phoenix. Accessed on November 26, 2006.</ref>
On February 14, 1912, under William Howard Taft, Phoenix became the capital of the newly formed state of Arizona.<ref>"Out of the Ashes, Roosevelt and Reclamation." City of Phoenix. Accessed on November 26, 2006.</ref>
In 1913, Phoenix changed its form of government from mayor-council to council-manager, making it one of the first cities in the United States with this form of city government.<ref>"Out of the Ashes, Establishing a Council-Manager Government." City of Phoenix. Accessed on November 26, 2006.</ref>
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.
The 1940s marked another turning point, as 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.<ref>"Out of the Ashes, Growing into a Metropolis." City of Phoenix. Accessed on November 26, 2006.</ref>
In 1950, 105,000 people lived within the city limits and thousands more lived in adjacent communities. 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.<ref>"Out of the Ashes, Growing into a Metropolis." City of Phoenix. Accessed on November 26, 2006.</ref>
 Physical setting
Phoenix is located at 33°31'42" North, 112°4'35" West (33.528370°, -112.076300°)GR1 in the Salt River 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 475.1 square miles (1,230.5 km²)—474.9 square miles (1,229.9 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²) 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 at the 2000 U.S. Census. 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 Queen Creek, Goodyear, Fountain Hills, Litchfield Park, Anthem, Sun Lakes, Sun City, Sun City West, Avondale, Surprise, El Mirage, and Tolleson. The community of Ahwatukee is a part of the City of Phoenix itself, but is almost entirely separated from it by South Mountain.
Phoenix has an arid climate, which is characterized by some of the hottest seasonal temperatures experienced by any large city. In fact, out of the world's large urban areas, only some cities around the Persian Gulf, such as Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Baghdad, Iraq, have higher average summer temperatures. 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). Low temperatures have shown a strong upward trend during the past three decades, likely due to the Urban Heat Island. Overnight lows greater than 90 °F (32 °C) occur with greater frequency every summer. The all-time highest low temperature was 96 °F (36 °C), which occurred on July 15, 2003.
The dry Arizona air makes the hot temperatures more tolerable early in the season, however, the influx of monsoonal moisture in July significantly raises moisture levels. On the other hand, the winter months are usually mild and sunny.
Phoenix sees some 300 sunny days per year and scant rainfall, the average annual total at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport being 8.3 inches (210 mm). March is the wettest month of the year (1.07 inches or 27 mm) with May being the driest (0.09 inches or 2 mm). Although thunderstorms occur on occasion during every month of the year, they are most common during the monsoon from July to mid-September as humid air surges in from the Gulf of California. These can bring strong winds, large hail, or rarely 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.
Due to the Urban Heat Island effect, frost rarely occurs in the center of the city. The last time the temperature fell below 32 °F (0 °C) at the airport was December 23, 1991. The long-term mean date of the first frost is December 15 and the last is February 1; however, these dates do not represent the city as a whole because the frequency of freezes varies considerably among terrain types and elevations. Frequently, outlying areas of Phoenix will see frost the airport does not. The earliest frost on record occurred on November 3, 1946, and the latest occurred on April 4, 1945. 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. Snowfall was first officially recorded in 1896, and since then accumulations of 0.1 inches (0.25 cm) or greater have occurred only seven times. The heaviest snowstorm on record dates to 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. Prior to that, 1 inch (2.5 cm) had fallen on January 20, 1933. On February 2 1935, 0.5 inches (1 cm) fell. Most recently, 0.1 inches (1 cm) fell on December 21-22, 2005. Snow also fell on March 12, 1917, November 28, 1919, and December 11 1985.
|Month<ref>Monthly average temperatures and precipitation from weather.com.</ref><ref>Weather and climate data from weatherbase.com.</ref>||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec||Year|
|Avg high °F (°C)||66°F (19°C)||70°F (21°C)||75°F (24°C)||84°F (29°C)||93°F (34°C)||103°F (39°C)||105°F (41°C)||103°F (39°C)||99°F (37°C)||88°F (31°C)||75°F (24°C)||66°F (19°C)||86°F (30°C)|
|Avg low temperature °F (°C)||41°F (5°C)||44°F (7°C)||49°F (9°C)||55°F (13°C)||64°F (18°C)||72°F (22°C)||80°F (27°C)||79°F (26°C)||72°F (22°C)||61°F (16°C)||48°F (9°C)||42°F (6°C)||59°F (15°C)|
|Rainfall in. (mm)||0.8" (21mm)||0.8" (20mm)||1.1" (27mm)||0.3" (6mm)||0.2" (4mm)||0.1" (2mm)||1.0" (25mm)||0.9" (24mm)||0.8" (19mm)||0.7" (20mm)||0.8" (19mm)||0.9" (23mm)||8.4" (210mm)|
Phoenix was ranked as the #1 hottest city in the U.S., and #2 as the driest city in the U.S. on The Weather Channel's "Top 10", a program involving with ranking cities on criteria such as hottest, driest, coldest, wettest, windiest, sunniest, snowiest, and most humid.
Like Los Angeles and other autocentric American cities, the city's automobile-dependent nature holds implications for greenhouse gas emissions. Like most United States cities, its public transit system remains unused for the majority of passenger trips. Despite its MSA population being approximately one fifth that of New York City's, its public transit system accounts for just one percent of the passenger miles that New York City's does. <ref>Owens, David. "Green Manhattan. Why New York is the greenest city in the U.S." The New Yorker. October 18, 2004. Retrieved on July 8, 2006.</ref>
Phoenix has six neighborhoods:
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 three major Fortune 1000 companies: electronics corporation Avnet, Apollo Group (which operates the University of Phoenix), and mining company Phelps Dodge Corporation. Honeywell hosts many factories for the building of military grade engines, as well as their company network gateway in Phoenix. American Express hosts their financial transactions, customer information, and their entire website in Phoenix. The area is also home to US Airways Group, Fortune 500 company 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 Air Force Base (now Williams-Gateway Field), with numerous auxiliary air fields located throughout the region.
Phoenix is also a popular location for filming for various media. The city government operates a film office that provides services for motion picture and advertising companies that are interested in filming at city-owned sites or in the metropolitan area. Some of the major feature films that have been filmed in the area include Song of the South, The Gauntlet, Psycho, Raising Arizona, Waiting to Exhale, Jerry Maguire, The Prophecy, Used Cars, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (used as a stand-in for San Dimas, California), U Turn, Eight Legged Freaks, 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.
As with the rest of Arizona, Phoenix does not observe daylight saving time. Because of the city's climate, more electricity stands to be saved through decreased air conditioner usage in the morning than is lost to indoor lighting in the evening.
- See also: List of major corporations in Phoenix.
| City of Phoenix |
Population by year<ref>Gibson, Campbell. "Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990." United States Census Bureau. June, 1998. Retrieved on October 7, 2006.</ref>
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 2,782 people per square mile (1,074/km²). There were 495,832 housing units at an average density of 1,044 per square mile (403/km²).
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.
 Race and religion
As of 2000, the racial makeup of the Phoenix 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 race.
In 2000, the Phoenix metro area's religious composition was reported as 45% Catholic, 13% Mormon (concentrated heavily in the suburb of Mesa) and 5% Jewish. The remaining 37% are largely members of Protestant denominations or are unaffiliated. <ref>Religion demographic data from The Association of Religion Data Archives.</ref>
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 according to September 2006 Nielsen estimate is the 13th largest designated market area (DMA) in the U.S. with 1,725,000 homes (1.55% 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), KASW 61 (WB) and KAET 8 (PBS, operated by ASU). Other network television affiliates operating in the area include KPAZ 21 (TBN), KTVW 33 (Univision), KTAZ 39 (Telemundo), KDTP 48 (Daystar), 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 and talk radio interests. Due to the region's large Spanish-speaking population, there are also several Spanish radio stations with the majority of them playing music from the Northern parts of Mexico as well as the American Tex-mex styles.
- See also: List of radio stations in Arizona
Phoenix is home to several professional sports franchises, including representatives of all four major professional sports leagues in the U.S.
The Arizona Diamondbacks play at Chase Field in the National League - West Division of Major League Baseball. They began as an expansion team in 1998. In 2001, the Diamondbacks defeated the New York Yankees 4 games to 3 in the World Series, becoming not only the city's first professional sports franchise to win a national championship, but also the youngest expansion franchise in U.S. professional sports to ever do so.
The Arizona Cardinals moved to Phoenix from St. Louis, Missouri in 1988 and currently play in the NFL's National Football Conference - West Division. They used to play at Sun Devil Stadium on the campus of Arizona State University in east suburban Tempe, and are now playing at University of Phoenix Stadium in the northwest suburb of Glendale. University of Phoenix Stadium was actually featured on the TV show Modern Marvels for the roll-out natural grass field. Glendale is scheduled to host the Super Bowl in 2008.
Phoenix's first major professional franchise was the Phoenix Suns, the city's National Basketball Association team, which started play in 1968. It holds a special place in Phoenix culture as it was the city's only top-level sports franchise for nearly twenty years. The Phoenix Mercury are a professional women's basketball team in the WNBA. Both teams play at US Airways Center.
Jobing.com Arena (formerly Glendale Arena), adjacent to University of Phoenix Stadium, is the home of the Phoenix Coyotes (formerly the Winnipeg Jets), a member of the National Hockey League. They have played in the Phoenix area since moving from Winnipeg in 1996.
The Phoenix Roadrunners are a minor league hockey team in the East Coast Hockey League, owned by the Suns and Mercury ownership group and also playing in US Airways Center. This makes Phoenix one of the few cities where minor and major league teams in the same sport coexist.
The Phoenix International Raceway is a major venue for 2 NASCAR auto racing events per season. 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 had hosted the annual Fiesta Bowl, until the 2007 game moved to the new University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. 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 Safeway International of the LPGA, and The Tradition of the PGA Champions Tour. It was planned to host the 2006 NHL All-Star Game, but it was canceled due to the 2006 Winter Olympics (the recently adopted NHL collective bargaining agreement prohibits the All-Star Game to be held during Olympic years). As compensation, Phoenix has been granted the 2009 All-Star Game.
 Museums and other points of interest
The Phoenix Pride Commission maintains a list of 30 landmarks and attractions designated as Phoenix Points of Pride through resident voting. There are many other noteworthy locations in the metropolitan area.
- Arizona Biltmore
- Arizona Historical Society Museum
- Arizona Opera
- Arizona Science Center, designed by Antoine Predock
- Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds
- The Bead Museum - Glendale, Arizona
- Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park
- Burton Barr Central Library, designed by Will Bruder
- Camelback Mountain
- Castles N' Coasters amusement park
- Chase Tower (formerly Bank One Center), the tallest building in the state of Arizona
- Desert Botanical Garden
- Encanto Park
- Fleischer Museum
- Hall of Flame
- Heard Museum
- Hotel San Carlos
- Mystery Castle
- Papago Park
- Phoenix art museum
- Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation Area
- Phoenix Museum of History
- Phoenix Zoo
- Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Park
- Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
- St. Mary's Basilica
- South Mountain Park, the largest municipal park in the world with 16,500 acres.
- Symphony Hall for the Phoenix Symphony at the Phoenix Civic Plaza
- Taliesin West and Gammage Auditorium, both designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
- Tovrea Castle
- Wrigley Mansion
In 1913, the commission 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. Phoenix 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 (not to be confused with the town of 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.
Former mayors of Phoenix include Emil Ganz.
Public education in the Phoenix area is provided by over 30 school districts.<ref>"Schools in Phoenix." Phoenix.gov.</ref> The Phoenix Union High School District operates most of the public high schools in the city of Phoenix.
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 student 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.
University of Advancing Technology is also located in Phoenix and is a small private technology oriented school. They do not have a campus, and instead rent apartments from apartment complexes, in which students can live.
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, Loop 101, and Loop 202. Sky Harbor is the seventh-busiest airport in the U.S.<ref>"FAA Airport Traffic for CY2005." Federal Aviation Administration. Accessed on November 26, 2006.</ref> and 14th in the world<ref>"Airports Council International Passenger Traffic, 2005 Final." Airports Council International. Accessed on November 26, 2006.</ref> for passenger traffic for takeoffs and landings, handling more than 41 million travelers in 2005. The airport serves more than 100 cities with non-stop flights. British Airways, Air Canada and Aeromexico are among several international carriers providing flights to destinations such as London, Canada and Mexico.<ref>"Sky Harbor International Airport Destinations." Sky Harbor International Airport. Accessed on November 26, 2006.</ref>
The Williams Gateway Airport (IATA: WGA, ICAO: KIWA) in neighboring Mesa also serves the area's commercial air traffic. It was converted from Williams Air Force Base, which closed in 1993. Attempts are being made to convert it to a commercial airport to relieve traffic at Sky Harbor. 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 Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (IATA: DVT, ICAO: KDVT), located in the Deer Valley district of northwest Phoenix, as well as municpial airports in several area suburbs.
Public transportation throughout the metropolitan area is provided by Valley Metro, which operates a system of buses and a rideshare program. Valley Metro is currently building Valley Metro Rail, a light rail project, which is scheduled for completion in 2008. As of 2004 (when Houston started running its METRORail), Phoenix has been the largest US city devoid of a rail transit system. Interest has also been expressed in Phoenix and several neighboring cities for the creation of a commuter rail system operating on existing railroad lines.<ref>Staff Writer. "A Brief History of Public Transportation in Metro Phoenix." Arizona Rail Passenger Association. Accessed on April 21, 2006.</ref>
Amtrak no longer serves Phoenix Union Station; Phoenix is the largest city in the United States, and perhaps the developed world, with no intercity passenger rail service[verification needed]. The Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle stop three times a week at Maricopa, thirty miles south of downtown Phoenix. (For shuttle and other travel information, see the Texas Eagle site). Amtrak Thruway buses connect Sky Harbor to Flagstaff for connection with the daily Southwest Chief service to Los Angeles and Chicago. Phoenix is served by Greyhound bus service, with the station at 24th Street located near the airport.
The street system in Phoenix is laid out in a traditional grid system, with most roads oriented either North-South or East-West. The zero point is the intersection of Central Avenue and Washington Street. Numbered Avenues run north-south west of Central; numbered Streets run north-south east of Central. Major arterial streets are spaced one mile apart. The one-mile blocks are divided into 800 house numbers, although this varies. Scottsdale Road, being 7200 East, is approximately 7200 / 800 = 9 miles east of Central. The Valley Metro bus numbers are also based on this numbering system, with the Central Avenue bus being Route Zero, and Scottsdale Road being Route 72.
I-10 (the Maricopa and Papago Freeways) from Los Angeles travels from the west through downtown, and exits the metro area in a southeast direction towards Tucson. I-17 (the Black Canyon Freeway) begins in downtown Phoenix and travels north to Flagstaff. US 60 (the Superstition Freeway) also travels through the heart of the city, heading northwest through the suburbs of Glendale, Peoria, and Surprise. It also exits to the east of downtown, traveling through the suburbs of Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, and Apache Junction, and beyond. State Route Loop 101 (the Agua Fria, Price, and Pima Freeways) is also a major highway that forms a semicircle around the northern suburbs of the city, starting from I-10 in the west and traveling around to the Santan portion of Loop 202 in the southeast.
Phoenix has been rapidly expanding its highway system. In 1985, voters passed a proposition establishing a ½ cent general sales tax to fund new urban freeways: Arizona 51, Loop 101, Arizona 143 (the Hohokam Expressway), 153 (the Sky Harbor Expressway), Loop 202 (the Red Mountain and Santan Freeways), and Loop 303 (the Estrella Freeway), and the final section of I-10. Most of these have been completed by 2005, with Loop 202 and Loop 303 being in the final stages of construction and development.
Bicycle transportation is also an option, and the Maricopa Association of Governments has a bicycle advisory committee working to improve conditions for bicycling on city streets as well as off-road paths.<ref>"MAG Regional Bike Map 2005." Maricopa Association of Governments. Accessed on April 21, 2006.</ref>
 Sister cities
Phoenix, Arizona has ten sister cities, as designated by the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission:<ref>Sister Cities information obtained from the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission." Accessed on April 21, 2006.</ref>
 See also
- List of major corporations in Phoenix
- List of mayors of Phoenix
- List of notable residents of Phoenix
- List of school districts in Phoenix, Arizona
- Phoenix Lights
- Tent City (Sheriff Joe Arpaio)
 External links
Image:Wiktionary-logo-en.png Dictionary definitions from Wiktionary
Image:Wikibooks-logo.svg Textbooks from Wikibooks
Image:Wikiquote-logo.svg Quotations from Wikiquote
Image:Wikisource-logo.svg Source texts from Wikisource
Image:Commons-logo.svg Images and media from Commons
Image:Wikinews-logo.png News stories from Wikinews
Image:Wikiversity-logo-Snorky.svg Learning resources from Wikiversity
- Official Government Website
- Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Phoenix Public Library
- USGS --Phoenix Elevation
- Maps and aerial photos
|State of Arizona|
|Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming|