We asked. You told us!

The Avenues is a very special community and the pandemic has us all looking at life through fresh eyes and living life in our yards and on our sidewalks. As a dense urban area, The Avenues sees a gap in Des Moines parks, trails and green spaces, so we’ve turned to you for ideas that would make The Avenues a better place to live, work and visit.

We’ll be posting our community’s ideas as we get them here. Now, it’s your turn to tell us what you think below!

Sidewalk Seating

Division Street in the Chicago neighborhood of Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village – has some awesome sidewalk seating. We could extend into the parking lane of Ingersoll, along certain areas. People will bitch about taking parking spaces on Ingersoll – but if we could somehow have a few more parking lots/spaces behind all the shops/businesses – this would mitigate. for example, the Star gas station would be amazing parking ๐Ÿ™‚ … at the back of the empty lot owned by Hurd – could be public parking – like behind Shops of Roosevelt. Chicago does outside seating very well, and we share the same climate, so much better parallel than say Austin or LA.

โ€” Barb N.

Zip Line

It would be great (Fun) to have a zip line running from the top of Ingersoll around 42nd St down pass the MLK Pkwy along Ingersoll ave.

โ€” Maja Q.

Lively Streets

I would love to see infusions from streets like Church Street in Burlington, VT, or Pearl Street in Boulder, CO into the Ingersoll area. They’re highly walkable. The live street performers: sword swallowers, tight rope walkers, jugglers, etc. are always such fun. Food you can eat as you walk from food carts you can stop at to grab something to eat as you wander is nice. More patio space, in general, would be great. If any old buildings could be converted into a space like the Stanley Marketplace at The Hangar in Aurora, CO, that would be excellent. Having an outdoor space for live bands to play to a small audience close by the main walking areas would be good. Utilizing the theater on Ingersoll would be amazing. Converting the old mechanics shop into an ice cream shop with outdoor seating would be neat.

โ€” Megan M

Public Spaces

Before moving back to DSM, we lived in the Washington, D.C. area for 10 years. There are SO many inviting public spaces for families. We now live in the North of Grand neighborhood with three kids under the age of ten so family-friendly areas that we can walk to are top on our list! A few of our top spots from DC, that could possibly be incorporated into The Avenues:

1) Shirlington, VA – Great street design. Lots of restaurants and shops; main road split by fountains and flowers, lots of outdoor seating

2) Pentagon Row (Arlington, VA) – In warm weather, shaded, turf area surrounded by shops and restaurants. Live music, yoga, fountains for kids. In winter, small skating rink.

3) River Farm (Alexandria, VA) – We need more green space in the Ingersoll area! Any kind of pop up garden or playground would be awesome. Could maybe incorporate some ideas from the River Farm–has a great natural playscape/garden area. (Google location for pictures, I’m over my limit ๐Ÿ™‚

โ€” Julie M.

Mixed-Use Development

As an organization, push strongly for mixed-use development of 3 or more stories along the Ingersoll/Grand corridors. Support developments seeking on-site vehicle parking requirement waivers through the plan & zoning process. Require that site design includes cafe seating, wide sidewalks, and few driveways. Vocally support municipal policies and designs that aim to slow motor vehicular traffic and enhance multi-modal access and safety. Focus on urban design.

โ€” Stephen B.

Green Space

Increase density to limit sprawl and protect green space. Put parks where surface parking lots are currentlyโ€”we have too much off-street parking, inducing too much driving and carbon emissions. Expand projects like the protected bike lane.

โ€” Blake I.

Community Ideas

  • Tell us what you'd like to see in 100 words or less. Your submission may be used in our work and communications.
  • Upload one or two images to show us your idea. Please upload images in JPG or PNG format.
    Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.