Mary Ann Cleveland Way

This article authored by: Catherine Hallberg

Ever wonder why the road joining Houghton and Colossal Cave has such a long name?

That road exists thanks to the efforts of a woman who still lives in nearby Rita Ranch. For over 3 years she campaigned and met with Tucson officials to gain permission to join these two roads.

Vail AZ School BusesPrior to 2005, the portion of the road off Houghton was merely a utility easement which meant that students wanting to reach Empire or Cienega High School had to be bused  to the Colossal Cave exit, go North through Vail and travel 4 miles back towards Houghton to reach their destination. Parents weren’t happy with their kids riding the bus on the interstate and didn’t enjoy driving them either.

Enter Mary Ann Cleveland, a retired REALTOR®  who had become a full-time volunteer and activist. She and Calvin Baker, the superintendent of the Vail School District, and a small citizen’s group, worked tirelessly for nearly 3 ½ years beginning in 2002. They met monthly with local and state government representatives at Councilwoman Shirley Scott’s office until finally the Tucson City Council voted to fund the road in 2004. They named the connector Mary Ann Cleveland Way after the woman who worked so hard to make it a reality. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony Mayor Bob Walkup proclaimed 5/23/2005 Mary Ann Cleveland Day and she even got a parade!

As the name is sort of a mouthful, many refer to it as MAC, but it still gets you where you’re going in record time. If more citizens would take such an interest in our roadways, Tucson and Vail  would certainly have a more up to date highway system. Kudos to you, Mary Ann Cleveland!

Catherine Hallberg

Rob and Catherine Hallberg are Associate Brokers with Long Realty, a Berkshire-Hathaway Affiliate and Southern Arizona’s largest Brokerage. Since 2008, they have been ranked in the top 5% to 8% of all U.S. REALTORS®. Send Rob and Catherine an email for a fast response to your questions; for an even faster response, Call (520) 407-8667.

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