• Tue August 25 2009
  • Posted Aug 24, 2009
Des Moines, IA By JASON PULLIAM August 24, 2009 The Des Moines City Council has advanced a controversial plan to "re-stripe" Ingersoll Avenue in an attempt to calm traffic and make the street more accessible to bicycles. The ordinance requires one additional vote for final passage on Sept. 14. Under the terms of tonight's action, the lanes will not be reconfigured until spring. The plan calls for cutting the number of lanes for vehicle traffic from four to three — one lane in each direction with a center lane for left-hand turns — and adding bicycle lanes in each direction. Councilwoman Christine Hensley said the delay will allow opponents of the plan more time to ask questions and adjust to the change. Further, Hensley said starting a six-month review in the spring would give city officials a better opportunity to assess how well the changes are working. Some Ingersoll Avenue business owners are concerned cutting the number of lanes for vehicle traffic would divert traffic away from the corridor and decrease sales. The plan would also increase the number of on-street parking spots by roughly 50, according to city estimates. Hensley said she believes the change is the right approach to handling traffic along Ingersoll, but she does not believe communication from city officials regarding the proposed changes has been as effective as it should have been. Recent public meetings on the plan have drawn more that 200 people. City officials estimate it will cost roughly $10,000 to remove the existing lane striping, repaint the lines and upgrade street signs. They also say traffic lanes could be changed back to their original form if the plan does not work. The council's first vote on the ordinace passed 6-0 on Aug. 10. Mayor Frank Cownie, who owns a business on Ingersoll Avenue, declared a conflict of interests and abstained from the vote.

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