A- A+

I'm All for Parking Changes in Downtown DSM USA

Parking Downtown

January 18, 2018

One of the great things about Greater Des Moines’ (DSM’s) growth and resurgence in the last decade or so is the development going on Downtown. And what a transformation it has been!  

An Expanding Downtown

It’s easy to take for granted, but it wasn’t always this way. We now have incredible shopping options in the Historic East Village, world class public art in the Western Gateway and amazing restaurants all over Downtown DSM too numerous to list. Add to that the conversions of former industrial buildings into chic urban lofts and the expansion of many of our top employers, Downtown DSM has a variety of uses and attractions for all visitors and residents. Downtown DSM has transformed, but our parking rules were made for a different time. The current rules were developed when Downtown DSM was more of a commuter destination and less of a 24/7 neighborhood for those who work, live and visit.

Take the Historic Court District, for example. This is an area with a thriving restaurant scene that extends beyond business hours, not to mention vibrant nightlife and plenty of residential space. But our parking rules are currently not up-to-date for the mixed uses of the neighborhood. Surely, you might say, there is enough parking for everyone.

Parking Downtown

Well, it turns out there is. And the City of Des Moines’ efforts to adjust how we use that parking should help a great deal. 

Starting in the Historic Court District, as of this week, nearly 300 additional free parking spaces on nights and weekends have been made available on Polk County owned lots. Added to that, City parking garages have reduced in price to $1 per hour.

One move, that at first thought seems to go against conventional wisdom, but will actually help out a great deal, is changing the hours of metered street parking to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. It means long-term parkers will be encouraged to use the garages, especially during evenings and weekends, and those who want to park near their favorite restaurants will be able to do so in close proximity.

This move is designed to help our local businesses and restaurants and ensure Downtown DSM remains vibrant and a great place for us all. If we want Downtown to be the envy of the Midwest, we must support our local amenities. And it’s those amenities that are the reason why I moved Downtown in the first place. 

One surprising fact I saw is that the changes have increased parking options during evenings and weekends by over 35 percent. This change will make a small impact on how I live Downtown, but I am looking forward to the future development that these changes will bring to my community. There’s now close to 1,000 spaces in the Historic Court District, which means there’s room for all of us to experience Downtown DSM!

Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a growing, vibrant community that offers the energy, sophistication, housing and attractions of a big city. To learn more, click here. Visiting Downtown DSM is easy with plentiful  street and ramp parking options.