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In the heart of Des Moines, Ingersoll Avenue is rich with character, small shops, public art and a vibrant dining scene. Over the past two decades, the corridor has undergone significant transformation to foster a sense of pride and connection among residents and visitors alike.

The new streetscape contributes to this goal by cultivating a vibrant and inviting pedestrian-friendly environment within the district to create a place that the community views not just as a corridor – but as a destination. Let’s dive into the benefits of the Ingersoll streetscape:

Pedestrian-Focused: One of the primary objectives of the Ingersoll Streetscape is to prioritize pedestrians. Wide sidewalks, enhanced crosswalks, curb extensions and pedestrian-friendly signals enhance safety and accessibility. This encourages residents to explore local businesses, fostering economic growth, and creating a more walkable, community-oriented neighborhood.

Support for Local Businesses: A thriving streetscape supports the local economy and community engagement. Creating a safe and inviting environment encourages foot traffic to attract customers to shops and restaurants. There were more than 2 million visits on Ingersoll Avenue last year and the 50312 ZIP code saw a 23% increase in retail sales after making bike and pedestrian improvements (Connect Downtown, 2017).  The Ingersoll design also includes features such as outdoor seating, bike racks, and public spaces that support local businesses.

Sustainable Design: The Ingersoll Avenue project incorporates sustainable urban development practices. Tree-lined streets, planter boxes and permeable parking stalls contribute to stormwater management, reducing the environmental impact of runoff.

Enhanced Connectivity and Transit: Ingersoll’s design recognizes the importance of connectivity within the community. The integration of protected bike lanes, public transit stops, and pedestrian infrastructure facilitates diverse transportation options. This not only accommodates the needs of different residents and visitors, but also promotes sustainable and inclusive mobility solutions. DART routes 60 and 11 both serve Ingersoll Avenue and saw a combined 300K+ passenger rides last year!

Traffic Calming Measures: Ingersoll Avenue’s design incorporates traffic-calming measures to enhance safety for all road users and slow traffic speeds. Well-defined crosswalks, traffic islands, landscaping and curb extensions contribute to a safer environment. These measures prioritize the well-being of pedestrians and cyclists, creating a more inclusive and secure community. So far, it’s working. Traffic speeds reduced 16% due to street improvements and there has been a 50% drop in crashes since Ingersoll was converted to three travel lanes, while traffic times and congestion have been relatively unchanged.

The Ingersoll Avenue streetscape demonstrates how community-centric design can transform a neighborhood. By combining aesthetic appeal with practical functionality, the streetscape enhances the overall quality of life for residents while supporting local businesses and creating a unique sense of place within our district.

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