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4 takeaways from Capital Crossroads quarterly report


Here are four key takeaways from Capital Crossroads’ annual report released this week. 

Water trails
The $25 million federal grant for the water trails announced in November will help to activate a five-mile stretch of the Des Moines River by mitigating the Scott Avenue dam and making improvements at three access points. The Scott Avenue dam will be replaced with two drop crests that, in addition to improving safety, will provide recreational whitewater amenities and improved fish passage. The project also includes improved fishing amenities along the riverbanks. 

Additionally, the grant will help pay for better user access and boat launches, portage, trails and signage at Prospect Park, Birdland Marina and Harriet Street. The total cost of these four projects is $31.25 million, 80% of which will be covered by the federal Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grant. 

Polk County is managing the BUILD grant. Permitting and design are happening through June 21.

Parking kiosks
A task force is studying changes to the downtown parking meters. Their objective is to understand alternatives, costs and benefits of implementing meters with remote payment technologies. 

Stormwater vetting
The local governance committee has convened experts from jurisdictions and the development community for its stormwater project, to discuss regional stormwater goals and best practices. The committee has agreed upon the model for calculations as well as an achievement goal. The project is currently being vetted by the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. Discussions have wrapped up on specific standards and practices in both current and new development. The committee plans to share proposed goals and practices with the metro mayors and city managers this spring, followed by a presentation to the Metro Advisory Council. 

DART looking into new shelters
Des Moines Area Regional Transit is looking into improving its bus shelters, which is the most requested service enhancement from customers and community partners. Over the last 18 months, DART has been working on a regional vision to increase the number of shelters at existing DART stops and incorporate public art elements into the standard shelter design to support aligned regional priorities such as every day, everywhere art.

Two pilot projects are being installed this spring as part of the Drake/University Avenue and Sixth Avenue Corridor streetscape projects. Drake University will initially install two art shelters and the Sixth Avenue Corridor will install the first of 12 eventual art shelters. DART is seeking local and regional funding partners to support future art shelter projects. At the quarterly meeting, it was announced Bravo would be supporting the initiative. 

View the full quarterly report.

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