Des Moines recognized for having #2 Best Complete Streets Policy of 2018


The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2018DES MOINES, IOWA — Wednesday, May 8, 2019 — The City of Des Moines has received national recognition for its recently updated Complete Streets policy, ranked as the #2 Best Complete Streets Policy of 2018 by the National Complete Streets Coalition (NCSC). The City’s score of 87 out of 100 is a notable increase from last year’s score of 39.

The U.S. Department of Transportation defines Complete Streets as streets designed and operated to enable safe use and support mobility for all users, regardless if they are travelling as drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists or public transportation riders.

NCSC’s grading framework was developed by transportation professionals from across the country. The framework includes elements such as how a city’s policy benefits all users equitably, and a city’s commitment to adhering to the policy in all transportation projects.

To achieve the goals identified in the City’s comprehensive plan, PlanDSM, and transportation master plan, MoveDSM, residents and community partners worked with City staff and elected officials to update the City’s 2008 Complete Streets policy. Those goals include:

  • Develop a complete multi-modal transportation network for pedestrians, bikes, transit and automobiles
  • Develop updated street design standards that allow for and balance the needs of all forms of transportation
  • Provide opportunities for healthy lifestyles through walking as a primary mode of transportation
  • Enhance the bicycle network by expanding bicycle facilities that are safe, comfortable and easily accessible

The American Heart Association, AARP and additional community organizations partnered with the City to support the effort. The updated Complete Streets policy was approved by City Council on November 19, 2018 and went into effect on January 1, 2019.

“Residents should feel safe traveling in Des Moines, no matter how they choose to get around,” said Mayor Frank Cownie. “This nationally recognized policy is a good step towards improving safety for all of our residents.”

The complete NCSC report is available for download at

Jeff Wiggins

Transportation Planner, Department of Engineering
(515) 283-4059

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 DSM.cityFacebook and Twitter for more information.