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Des Moines Eliminates Parking Restrictions on Select Downtown Streets As a Pilot for a Walkability Study

August 28, 2015

The City of Des Moines is looking for ways to make downtown more pedestrian friendly and generate more business activity. The City is working with the Urban Land Institute Iowa and the Greater Des Moines Partnership in this effort.

On Monday, August 31st the City will begin removing the rush hour parking restrictions (7-9 AM, 4-6 PM) signage on Locust Street, Mulberry Street and Seventh Street in downtown Des Moines. Motorists will be able to park in front of businesses and retail on these select downtown streets during rush hour.

This change is part of a pilot program for a Walkability Study in downtown. “Walkability” is a measure of how friendly an area is to pedestrian traffic. Walkability has many health, environmental, and economic benefits. The change will affect Locust Street between 17th Street and 2nd Avenue, Mulberry Street from 15th Street to Fifth Avenue and Seventh Street from School Street to West Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway.

City officials believe making parking more available will encourage people to stay downtown after traditional work hours to shop at local businesses and eat at local restaurants. Transportation experts also believe that allowing additional on-street parking will make conditions safer for walkers.

Des Moines City Manager Scott Sanders said, “We are happy to reinforce the vibrancy of our downtown district by further creating an environment that encourages people to spend time downtown after their workday is over and making parking easier for people who do not necessarily get downtown every day. By making it easier to park on our downtown streets at all times of the day, we are making a statement that downtown is open for business.”

“I applaud the City of Des Moines for this decision as it will promote businesses in our downtown core,” said Larry James, Counsel at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP and Chair of the Urban Land Institute Iowa. “This also represents another step to make the city even more user friendly for all forms of transportation.”

For more information contact the City of Des Moines Public Information Office at (515) 283-4057 or Kyle Oppenhuizen, Greater Des Moines Partnership, (515) 286-4972 or koppenhuizen@DSMpartnership.com.

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,100 Regional Business Members and more than 320 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.