Euclid Avenue Pilot Project

Project Overview


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In August 2021, the pavement markings, temporary concrete curb bumpouts (between 2nd Avenue and 6th Avenue to delineate the added on-street parking), and signage were installed to implement the Euclid Avenue Pilot Project between 12th Street and 2nd Avenue.

The Euclid Avenue Pilot Project, initiated by the City Council and in response to the Highland Park and Oak Park Neighborhoods and area business owners, converts Euclid Avenue from 12th Street to 2nd Avenue to a 3-lane cross-section roadway. The corridor now consists of one (1) westbound lane, one (1) eastbound lane and a center continuous 2-way, left-turn lane while adding on-street parking along both sides of Euclid Avenue between 6th Avenue and 2nd Avenue.
The on-street parking provided by these modifications is now available all day with restrictions during the early mornings or late afternoons.
It will take time for traffic to adjust to these modifications.

We ask that you please be patient when traveling this corridor.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are interested in more information on the project, you can read through the FAQ below. If you are looking for information regarding a specific part of the project, you can also use the search bar below to locate your answer faster.

Questions Related to the Euclid Avenue Pilot Project
City of Des Moines Traffic and Transportation Division

General Questions Received about the Euclid Avenue Pilot Project

What are the concrete islands for?

The temporary concrete curb bumpouts with yellow and black object marker signs were added on Euclid Avenue between 2nd Avenue and 6th Avenue to define the added on-street parking area. These concrete bumpouts are dowelled into the existing asphalt pavement, and therefore can be easily removed once the Euclid Avenue Pilot Project is complete and permanent improvements are constructed.

Why are there no pavement markings or signs identifying the new on-street parking?

The City of Des Moines places signage to identify parking restrictions. On Euclid Avenue between 6th Avenue and 2nd Avenue, parking is always allowed so there aren't any signs restricting parking. There are thousands of on-street parking spaces in the City of Des Moines, making it infeasible to place signs and/or pavement markings to identify every parking space in the City; therefore only parking restriction signage is installed where necessary throughout the City.

Why was this Euclid Avenue Pilot Project considered for implementation?

The changes on Euclid Avenue were made in response to the request of the Highland Park and Oak Park Neighborhood Associations and the Ward Council member to reduce speeds, add on-street parking and generate additional economic development in the area. Being a major commercial node, the project hopes to calm traffic through this commercial area to make it safer for all transportation users to travel through and to walk along and cross this area of Euclid Avenue.

Council Communication for the Euclid Avenue Pilot Project can be found here: 2019 Council Communication.

Why has a Pilot Project been implemented, instead of permanent improvements?

While any major changes to a roadway are analyzed and evaluated prior to implementation, in some cases, changes are implemented on a trial basis to provide a clear and accurate picture of the advantages and disadvantages of the changes under real-world conditions. While the City Engineering staff concur that the conversion to a three-lane cross-section will likely reduce speeds, which may result in a reduction in severe crashes, City Engineering staff have the following concerns for the conversion to a three-lane cross-section roadway:

  • A significant increase in traffic delay on Euclid Avenue could result in motorists taking alternate routes through neighborhood streets, as there are not many other alternate east-west routes across the north side of Des Moines. Significant traffic delays can also result in poor driving decisions and behaviors by motorists thus increasing the potential for crashes. Also, as traffic congestion increases, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions also increase.
  • A lack of parking demand and utilization could present a problematic situation where traveling motorists do not recognize the on-street parking and use the parking lanes as travel lanes thus increasing the potential for crashes. There is a significant amount of off-street parking along the corridor, along with several driveway and roadway access points along the corridor where on-street parking wouldn't be allowed. This could result in sporadically occupied on-street parking spaces.
How will the City and Iowa DOT determine if the changes will become permanent?

Euclid Avenue between 12th Street to 2nd Avenue is under the State's jurisdiction. City Engineering staff, Iowa DOT staff, and a Traffic Engineering Consultant to the City have concerns for potential adverse effects from the Pilot Project (delays causing motorists to take alternate routes down adjacent residential streets, increased fuel consumption and CO2 emissions).

In a response to these concerns, and following a meeting with Iowa DOT staff, City staff developed Pilot Project Evaluation Criteria to monitor the performance of the Pilot Project. Listed below are the criteria:

  • Speed Reduction
  • Parking Utilization
  • Travel Time Increase
  • Traffic Volume Increase on Adjacent Roadways
  • Crash Reduction
  • Positive Business Impact

City staff and the Iowa DOT is collecting data to determine if the Pilot Project is effective or having adverse effects before spending City funds to construct permanent improvements.