Downtown Businesses See the Impact of Parking Changes

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Local businesses are already seeing the benefits of downtown parking changes.

“Every meter in downtown has now changed over to charge from monday through saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays remain free,” Jennifer McCoy with the City of Des Moines said.

This is the last major change to parking in downtown Des Moines and local businesses like Raygun said they’re already seeing the benefits.

“By increasing the rates and the time that the parking meters are enforced, we’ve had a lot more turn over and a lot more parking availability so people are able to come in and find usually one empty parking spot per block or so. There’s a lot less circling around and more just getting down here, parking and getting where you need to go,” Raygun Director of Stores and Inventory Taylor Frame said.

The meter time change has also helped businesses that have lots of customers before 9 a.m.

“We have Mars coffee shop in our space. So it’s allowed for people to come by stop, grab a cup of coffee, instead of fearing the meter maid in the morning when they are just trying to sneak in and grab a coffee real quick,” Frame said.

The city also added more meters that accept credit cards to the busiest parts of downtown.

“As of right now we actually have more meters on order to start filling in areas of Western Gateway like on Walnut Street, where they’ve kind of gotten a lot of new activity in that area and we are going to continue to look for areas to expand our credit card meters,” McCoy said.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership said they’ve already received a lot of good feedback from both businesses and customers following these changes.

“It just demonstrates that we are a growing, vibrant city and parking became an issue because we have more and more people living, visiting and working downtown. And that’s a nice problem to have and I think this is a very reasonable response to that issue,” President of the Greater Des Moines Partnership Eugene Meyer said.

For more information on parking changes click here.