A Walk In the Park(ing space): Parking in the East Village

east-village-promenadeAs you may have recently heard, there are some changes to the parking situation in Downtown Des Moines and the East Village.

What’s going on with parking? Well, right now, in the East Village, nothing, really.

First, Court Avenue. Updated parking policies were implemented in January, in the Court Avenue district on the other side of the river. The charge at parking meters on the street is rising in that entertainment zone, and the hours where paid parking is required are expanding. Visitors to the Court Avenue district will pay to park on the street at a meter 9 am – 9 pm, Monday through Saturday.

Next, the East Village. Later in spring or summer 2018, the East Village (and the streets around the popular Pappajohn Sculpture Park) will follow suit: when the changes take effect, paid parking at meters in the heart of the neighborhood will be enforced 9 am – 9 pm, Monday – Saturday.

The silver lining? At the same time as parking meter hours expand and the meter rates change, hourly rates in downtown and East Village parking ramps are decreasing, to encourage long-term parking in those structures instead.

Oh, and two more improvements: (1) the City of Des Moines is removing peak (rush) hour parking restrictions in key areas, and (2) expanding free or discounted parking areas in surface lots and on the periphery of downtown.

DesMoines-parking-meters-mon-sat-9-9AllSpice Owner Rory Brown talked with a couple businesses in the Court Avenue district, where parking policy changes were implemented at the first of this year. Here’s what he found out about their experience:

“The business owners have said that [charging more for parking meters and extending the hours one must pay to park] has helped with customers being able to find available parking. So part of the reason for going to paid parking later at night, and on Saturdays, is to help create turnover in parking – and free up some parking spaces for visitors.

“With more and more residents living and working downtown, more people are parking for longer periods of time and taking up parking spots at the meters. What the city is trying to do [with these changes] is to create more of the cheaper long-term parking options. That way, these people who need a long-term parking spot are encouraged to park in ramps or specific lots — and not at meters on the streets, where we want customers to be able to park.

“The end goal, really, is to have more street-level parking turnover during business, late night, and Saturday hours. That will keep it convenient for customers and patrons to have access to parking when they want to shop, have lunch or dinner, or enjoy many of the other services here in the East Village. Des Moines is growing and that is a beautiful thing, but with growing and becoming a more urban city, there is necessary change.”

Bottom line: parking metered spaces in the East Village is still free after 6pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays. Change is coming to the East Village this Spring, but there have not been any definite dates posted at this time. We promise we’ll be very quick in letting you know of any changes, as soon as we hear any updates.

For more information about the upcoming changes to parking rates and policies in downtown and the East Village, check out the city’s Park Downtown website.

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