Grace Period Over For Downtown Parking, Businesses See Positivity

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DES MOINES, Iowa -- If downtown goers weren't already aware of parking changes in the Court Avenue district, Des Moines parking enforcement is already offering a friendly reminder.

While frustrating, that $15 ticket is seen by some as a positive.

"Des Moines is booming and just look around and see how many cranes are in the air," said Scott Carlson, owner of Court Avenue Brewing Company in the Court Avenue District.

He said another positive sign for businesses came when the city increased metered parking hours 9 a.m.- 9 p.m. and included Saturdays.  "We've already had a few people that say it is easier to park."

Carlson says it helps more people enjoy the district now that the meters do not stop charging after 6 p.m.   "That does keep the flow of the 40-50 spots on Court Avenue for people to come down and do more eating, drinking when they come down with their family," said Carlson.

A price reduction in city-owned parking garages has provided more options.  Clearing metered spaces and it has been a hit with employees.  Carlson said, "Our staff is even enjoying the garage on 3rd and Court.  It's a dollar an hour and used to be two dollars an hour and they can park there longer than two hours."

Carlson admits there will be growing pains, like the 92 tickets issued Wednesday night between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. hours that were once free, but it is a problem in the name of progress.  "We are kind of ground zero for the new parking but the whole city is going that direction in the next nine months.  I'd rather have this growing pain than have a city that is not growing at all."

Parking at meters and ramps will continue to be free on Sundays.  The same changes will begin in the East Village in spring and in Western Gateway Park over the summer.