The official transition for the renaming of Mesa’s Eighth Street to Rio Salado Parkway began this week, when dual-named street signs were installed along the road between Country Club Drive and the Loop 101 freeway.
The new signage will include a large “Rio Salado” sign above a smaller sign reading “8th Street.”
The renaming process began in 2011 when the Mesa Grande Community Alliance approached the city about the change.
“People wanted to look at the regional connection with Tempe,” said Mesa District 1 Councilman Dave Richins. “And one of the ways they thought we might accomplish it is the name change … creating a more of sense of place there.”
The vision is to create economic growth along the road, which already becomes Rio Salado when one crosses Loop 101 west into Tempe, in essence, a single Rio Salado Parkway economic corridor stretching across the two cities.
“I really think that the Rio Salado Corridor over there is going to be one of the most dynamic areas in the Valley in the next 10 to 20 years,” Richins said.
He pointed out that the route connects not only the large Mesa Riverview and Tempe Marketplace retail developments, but also the new Riverview stadium site, where the Chicago Cubs will move in for Spring Training beginning next season, but also the potential development of ASU’s property along the road and other shopping venues.
He also notes that the parkway is relatively close to the coming light rail extension along Main Street, where additional explosive development is expected.
Richins said residents do not have to worry too much about how the address change will affect them.
City transactions will allow for the use of either street name.
Furthermore, the U.S. Postal Service has a “ghost address” system in place that will make both addresses deliverable.
“The folks that live on that street can keep ‘Eighth Street’ until they don’t live there any more if they want,” Richins said.
The onus is on residents for other transactions that might require the new address, such as private business transactions.
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