August 2019

In this briefing we offer up the MPO’s FY 2019 Annual Report, share a draft model bicycle ordinance, introduce new staff, and let you catch up on a recent speaker.

ANNUAL REPORT: Planning for a stronger Central Iowa  

The MPO published a map, above, of all grants awarded to MPO member governments over the past five years, totaling $69.4 million, as part of its FY 2019 Annual Report.

Click here for the full FY 2019 MPO Annual Report.

The report offers several highlights from the past fiscal year, including progress on the long-range transportation plan update, the transload facility, a hazard mitigation plan, the MPO’s strategic plan, and water trails.

DRAFT: Model Bicycle Ordinance

A new Model Bicycle Ordinance is in the making, though it has not been finalized.

The Model Bicycle Ordinance was drafted by the Des Moines Street Collective with input from the MPO Bike / Ped Roundtable, local law enforcement, and other stakeholders. The proposed model ordinance is a version of Des Moines’ existing ordinance, with several updates intended to enhance the safety and usability of city streets.

Here’s the redline version of the Model Bicycle Ordinance.

After a review period, the MPO Policy Committee will consider adopting it as a model, in effort to create uniform rules for cyclists that cross jurisdictional lines. Local jurisdictions will then have the option to adopt the model ordinance, in whole or part or not at all, as they see fit.

Johnston Mayor Paula Dierenfeld accepts a paddle of appreciation from Dan Houston, Chairman, President and CEO of Principal, on behalf of the Central Iowa Water Trails Incubator, of which Houston is the Chair.

WATER TRAILS: Johnston opens first project

The City of Johnston this month opened the first water trails project, a carry-down access on Beaver Creek, located on NW 70th Street, just east of NW 86th Street, in Johnston.

It is the first of the 86 sites of improvement throughout the region aimed at encouraging engagement with the waterways. An Inaugural Launch and Riverbank Reception took place Tuesday, August 20, and included remarks from project stakeholders, a ceremonial “paddle dipping” at the access point and a float down the creek in kayaks.

The project was made possible due to a generous land donation by Corteva Agriscience, serving as an example of the public-private partnerships driving the implementation of the water trails plan. The milestone received significant media coverage:  

In related news: The City of West Des Moines is launching the first element of its Five Water Project, the Raccoon River Boathouse. The event starts at 5:30 p.m., with brief remarks at 6 p.m., on Monday, September 9, at the Raccoon River Park Fishing Pier, 2500 Grand Avenue, West Des Moines. Click here for more information about the event and the project.

MPO Intern Tanvi Halde

The Des Moines Area MPO recently welcomed Tanvi Halde as an intern. Halde is a graduate from Iowa State University where she pursued a dual-degree in the community and regional planning and urban design. As an intern in MPO, she assists in data collection, analysis, creating GIS maps, graphics and visuals. She can be reached at or 515-334-0075.

Speaker Katharine Burgess of the Urban Land Institute

NEXT SPEAKER: Katharine Burgess: Harvesting the Value of Water

In case you missed it: Here’s the video and slide deck of the most recent speaker in the Tomorrow Plan Speaker Series, Katharine Burgess of the Urban Land Institute. As the Vice President of Urban Resilience, she leads research and advisory services related to urban resilience. She was the primary author of Harvesting the Value of Water: Stormwater, Green Infrastructure and Real Estate.

That’s it for this briefing. If you have comments or questions about the Briefing, please feel free to reach out. Thank you.


Gunnar Olson | Communications and Strategy Manager
Des Moines Area MPO | 420 Watson Powell, Jr. Parkway, Suite 200 | Des Moines, Iowa 50309 515-334-0075 | |