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Des Moines Has a Plan to 'Connect Downtown'

Des Moines is considering an ambitious complete streets makeover of its downtown streets.
June 12, 2017, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge
The Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge over the Des Moines River features two separate pathways — one for walkers and runners and another for bicyclists.
Nagel Photography

Kim Norvell reports on the Connect Downtown plan under consideration in Des Moines, ahead of an expected adoption by the City Council in fall of 2017. The plan has been made public in a round of public open houses this month, with street changes proposed to increase safety and street life.

"Planners hope the changes, slated to be complete by 2030, will create a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists, which in turn will encourage business growth and attract young, creative professionals who want to commute to their jobs on foot or by bike," explains Norvell.

The draft version of the plan could affect "[n]early every street in the downtown core would be touched," explains Norvell. The plan would convert existing one-way streets to two-way traffic, reduce traffic lanes on some streets, and create protected bike lanes for a "connected bike network."

Jeff Speck, well known to Planetizen readers as the author of Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time, led a team of planners from San Francisco on a year of study prior to this point. 

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, June 8, 2017 in The Des Moines Register
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