City and DMPS Extend Pedestrian Safety Efforts to SW 9th Street

School zone sign

Des Moines Public Schools and the City of Des Moines are working to improve pedestrian and traffic safety along SW 9th Street.

The City of Des Moines in partnership with Des Moines Public Schools are furthering strides in improving pedestrian safety in the SW 9th Street Corridor. City and school district leaders met recently to begin implementing steps to create a safer environment for pedestrians, motorists and students. 

 “Together, the City and School District are taking appropriate actions and conducting traffic assessments, looking at the various measures that can work immediately as-well-as long term in the SW 9th Street Corridor,” said Des Moines City Manager Scott Sanders. “We’re working to provide a safe environment for both vehicular and pedestrian travel.”

 “The safety and well-being of our students and staff is always a top priority, and the collaboration between the school district and the city plays an important role in making that a reality,” added Bill Good, chief operations officer for Des Moines Public Schools. “We hope everyone, including our parents and community members, will continue to be aware of how important traffic safety is, especially in the vicinity of a school.

Women comforting girl at memorial

Lincoln High sophomore Antonio Sanchez-Peck was tragically killed earlier this month when when he was hit by a vehicle while crossing SW 9th Street.

Among the steps being taken are:

  • Lincoln High School (LHS) will have staff positioned around the school at dismissal;
  • LHS staff will direct students to north or south doors away from busy streets;
  • DMPS will evaluate camera additions to east side of school;
  • DMPS will review landscaping options to assist in directing students to intersections;
  • City will review signage and school zone flashing light potential on SW 9th  Street; 
  • City will work with the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) to review stops in the area;
  • City Council approved an additional Traffic Engineer position allowing increased efforts on school issues;
  • DMPS will review ways to enhance outreach with parents and students on the importance of traffic safety.

These efforts are in addition to the routine meetings that occur between the District and City to discuss school traffic-related issues and specific projects underway such as the “Step It Up DSM” collaboration with the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Des Moines Public Schools and Polk County Public Health focusing on the goals of improving walkability around local schools.