City to Revitalize Downtown Street Parking with Tech Upgrades

DES MOINES, IOWA – Tuesday – Nov. 17, 2020 –The City of Des Moines has initiated a multi-year effort to revamp downtown on-street parking with upgraded technology, multi-space pay stations and a pay-by-phone mobile app. City Traffic Engineer John Davis said the project will improve the downtown parking experience by providing cost efficiencies, optimizing parking enforcement and enhancing data collection and data interpretation.

“The new system will provide customers more payment options, convenience and clarity about their parking experience,” Davis said. “Data collection provided by the new system will allow us to more easily, quickly and accurately interpret parking trends and needs.” 

The street parking technology upgrade will remove all meters, mount identification markers on the existing meter posts, install approximately 400 multi-space meter pay stations (kiosks) and, for the first time in Des Moines, implement a mobile device payment app.

The upgrade also affords the City the perfect opportunity to consolidate its overall parking efforts under one unified brand: Park DowntownDSM. This will create for customers a more informative, clearer and user-friendly approach to the choices available to them.

“Park DowntownDSM will help eliminate any ambiguities or uncertainties and provide customers clear and consistent information about their parking options in Des Moines,” Davis said.

The City’s parking revenue for the fiscal year 2021 was budgeted at $12,152,820 – with the bulk of that (roughly two-thirds) derived from garage/ramp parking. The revenue budgeted this year for the City’s parking meters is $4,010,000.

Presently, there are 3,043 traditional parking meters covering 3,406 metered spaces in Des Moines. Of that figure, about 38 percent accept coins, SmartCards and credit/debit cards while the remainder – nearly two-thirds of all meters – accept only coins and SmartCards.

Al Setka
Communications Manager, City Manager’s Office
(515) 283-4057

About the City of Des Moines
The City of Des Moines: Iowa’s capital city and local government servicing more than 217,000 residents, 51+ neighborhoods, over 4,000 acres of parkland and 81 miles of trails. The City of Des Moines stands to be a financially strong city with exceptional city services, fostering an involved community in a customer friendly atmosphere. Visit, Facebook and Twitter for more information.