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City Council to Vote on Des Moines’ First Transportation Master Plan

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  The lack of public transportation and the safety of sidewalks has been a concern in Des Moines for a number of years. Two years ago, the city of Des Moines created a transportation master plan called Move DSM and it goes before the city council Monday night.

City planners call this a multimodal plan intended to serve everyone in the community no matter where they live or how they get around -- whether it is by walking, biking, taking the bus, or driving their own car. Through surveys and meetings with the community, the city of Des Moines found three big challenges in the current transportation system. The size and design of streets, safety for all users, and gaps in the multimodal system that create disconnected networks for biking, walking, and transit.

“We have a lot of disjointed systems whether that’s the sidewalk system, the bicycle facilities, transit where you have a bus shelter or not. So again, trying to identify those gaps and identify the priorities and say these are the things we have to address first,” City of Des Moines Traffic Transportation Planner Jeff Wiggins said.

One current project that follows the same principles of MoveDSM is the construction of the Hubbell corridor. They are adding sidewalks, connecting the Gay Lea Wilson bike trail, adding a median, and manipulating intersections so they will align at a 90-degree angle, and new signals, all helping increase the safety of the road.

If this transportation master plan is passed it will be a very long process spanning about 25 years.