DES MOINES, Iowa — The city of Des Moines is considering reducing Euclid Avenue down to three lanes on a portion of the road east of the Des Moines River.
The Highland Park and Oak Park Neighborhood Associations initially proposed the action with the goal of improving safety for vehicles and pedestrians by calming traffic in the area. The project would also add some on-street parking to aid economic development in the area.
The City Council voted earlier this week to submit a proposal for the pilot project to the Iowa Department of Transportation, which it must do because Euclid Avenue is also U.S. Highway 6.
The pilot program would reduce Euclid Avenue between 12th Street and 2nd Avenue to three lanes — one east, one west, and one center turning lane. It would add on-street parking between 6th Avenue and 2nd Avenue.
That road is currently four and five lanes wide in some areas.
If approved by the Iowa DOT, the change would be made in June of 2020 after the school year concludes. After a one-year evaluation period, the city and DOT will take a look at whether the reduction of lanes made an improvement in safety and determine whether to make the change permanent.
The pilot project is expected to cost $200,000 but if it proves successful, the city will incur more costs to construct concrete bumpouts at the intersections between 6th Avenue and 2nd Avenue to shield parking and shorten the pedestrian crossing distances.