Recently central Iowa has provided some outstanding examples of what makes this such a great place – the hosting of the Solheim Cup, Apple coming to town and more Iowa State Fair records. Our very special place is getting some well-deserved national attention.
Another exciting project is underway downtown on East Grand Avenue with the East Grand Avenue Complete Streets Conversion Project. This pilot, taking place between 2nd and Penn, provides central Iowa residents with a great early look at what Des Moines could provide with better and safer access for everyone. The pilot includes protected bike lanes with more street parking in a unique safer location. I encourage you to visit the area on foot or on bike to experience in person how we will make Des Moines more pedestrian and bike friendly.
As downtown continues to become more vibrant, walkability and connectivity will continue to play a vital role in our success. We know that promoting walking provides a wide variety of benefits to our community including better health, more street life, community growth and business growth. Walkability is critical to all ages in our community from our children as we work to make them more active, to our millennials who embrace a future without so much auto travel, as well as our seniors who want to be active and independent.
Walkability is alive and well in Des Moines and well on its way to becoming another shining example of why this place is so special. Stop down on East Grand and find out why, as Frederic Gros tells us in “A Philosophy of Walking”, that walking “makes it possible to recover the pure sensation of being, to rediscover the simple joy of existing.”
Guest blogger, Kristin Saddoris, 2017 Iowa Walking College Fellow