“Park, Eat, Play” Project to Combat Parking Problem in Downtown Des Moines

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The parking ramp on 5th and Walnut in Des Moines closed on Sunday. (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Parking in Downtown Des Moines can often seem impossible, and it is expected to get worse after a big closure.

The City will permanently shut down then 5th and Walnut Street on Sunday parking ramp because officials say the ramp is past its life span and is falling apart.

Downtown Des Moines has recently lost approximately 800 parking spaces due to new construction, but there is a plan in place to relieve parking stress.

The plan is called “Park, Eat, Play,” and is designed to help commuters find alternative parking downtown. It will redirect drivers to areas on 4th and Grand, as well as 8th and Mulberry.

“It’s probably a little bit of a change thinking,” says City Traffic Engineer Jennifer McCoy. “You won’t be able to park right in front of the businesses you want to visit. There are options, but you just need to walk a block and a half to three blocks. Be patient, try and plan ahead. Look at the map. Try and think of some alternative options from where you used to park. Maybe have a couple of ideas in your head before you head downtown.”

City officials estimate the area will still be short approximately 300 parking spots by the end of the project.