Van Buren Street, 2nd St in downtown Phoenix, facing East
|Namesake||Martin Van Buren|
|Length||30.2 mi (48.6 km)|
|Location||Phoenix Metropolitan Area|
|West end||North 195th Avenue/Jackrabbit Trail|
|East end||North Priest Drive/North Galvin Parkway|
Van Buren Street is a major arterial street that runs through a number of municipalities in Maricopa County in the U.S. state of Arizona. At one point, the road was simultaneously the route of U.S. Route 60 (US 60), US 70, US 80, and US 89.
Built after the founding of the city of Phoenix, the road was located outside of town in the 1880s. Following the expansion of the city northwards, the street became increasingly popular as people began to use it more and more. The routing of the Bankhead Highway, US 60, US 70, US 80, and US 89 also increased its popularity, turning the area into a center of life in the city. The demand for service on the street was so great that Arizona's first drive-in movie theater was sited on Van Buren, and motel owners introduced gimmicks to draw people to their attractions.
Following the completion of Interstate 10 to the south, the area became subject to urban decay, as the former U.S. Routes were removed from the system or rerouted around the street. This led to a decline in commerce in the area, and the eventual shuttering of many businesses on the street. This in turn led to an increase in crime and prostitution that has continued to this day.