Cool comment from Teslar Logistics on South Van Ness Ave.:
Fun Fact: Most of today's South Van Ness Ave. was originally Howard Street, and if you look at a map, this makes sense, because it is contiguous with Howard in SOMA. But it was renamed “South Van Ness” in 1932, around the time when they built the connector which now links Van Ness at Market to (what was) Howard at Duboce.
Why the name change? My understanding (I lived on SVN for 10 years) is that Howard in SOMA was so deeply associated with skid row squalor that the folks on the southern end of the street basically wanted to rebrand themselves to avoid the Howard Street taint.
Thus, South Van Ness now extends to Army/Chavez.