Complete Streets Tactical Starts Grant Program

The MPO is offering a one-time tactical starts mini-grant program as part of the Wellmark Foundation funding received for the development and promotion of complete streets policies in Greater Des Moines. The Program will fund at least five projects from the $75,000 provided by the Wellmark Foundation with grant awards capped at $15,000 per project.


Complete streets can remove barriers to daily physical activity, promote more active transportation, and improve the health outcomes of the community. The Tactical Starts program is intended to spur the adoption and implementation of complete streets policies while providing on-the-ground examples of the positive infrastructure outcomes from such policies.


  • City/Municipality must be sponsor or co-sponsor
    • Other sponsors could include DART, HIRTA, community organizations or schools
  • There must be a local match of at least 25%
  • Projects must have a life cycle of two or more years
  • An adopted complete streets policy is not required, but will factor into project evaluation

Project Evaluation

Each project will be evaluated based on the following questions:

  • Does the project promote and implement complete streets principles? Projects that significantly improve the safety, comfort and access of walking, biking and transit are more desirable.
  • Does the project add transportation options to an underserved area or address gaps in the transportation network? Projects that offer new transportation options to a community are more desirable.
  • Does the project improve public health? Projects that improve public health outcomes for the community and region are more desirable.
  • Does the project address vulnerable populations such as children, elderly, low-income, etc..? Projects that improve the safety, comfort and health of vulnerable or environmental justice populations are more desirable.
  • Is the project replicable? Projects that can be used as a model for future implementation throughout the region are more desirable.

Considerations will also be given for:

  • The level of local match
  • The adoption of a complete streets policy
  • The overall variety of selected projects
  • The regional distribution of selected projects
  • Connections to other projects


Applications are due by October 15, 2015 and can be completed below. Projects selected for Tactical Starts will be notified by November 30. Projects must be completed by August 1, 2016.

For further information or clarification, please contact Mike Armstrong at

Looking for ideas?

The MPO created an Infrastructure Guide that covers some successful options.

Application form

The application period is now closed.