Even with light rail (WBIYB), most Phoenicians spend vast amounts of time in their cars. But you can't avoid history, if you're paying attention.
Most people know the east-west grid of the original city has streets named after presidents, from Grant to the south to Roosevelt at the north (named after Theodore). The least deserving president is James Buchanan but there he is, right by the railroad tracks.
With so many streets in 1,500-square-miles of urban space, there's also plenty of asphalt to give faux Spanish names, or the names of developer's wives and daughters (Cheryl, Susan, Linda, Pamela, Sharon, Cindy, etc.). But the next time you're racing along in your SUV, consider:
McDowell Road, which was the wagon road to Fort McDowell, the supplying of hay to the cavalry being one of early Phoenix's raisons d'etre. Irwin McDowell was in command of union forced defeated at First Bull Run in the Civil War.
Thomas Road was named after William Thomas, a rancher and Maricopa County recorder at the turn of the 20th century.
Earll Drive takes its name from E.A. Earll, who platted the Earll Place homes. The origin of nearby Cheery Lynn is unknown (at least to me).
Osborn Road does not honor the state's seventh governor, Sidney Preston Osborn, who served from 1941 to 1948. Instead, it was named after homesteader John Preston Osborn, Sidney Osborn's grandfather.