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A semi-trailer parked along Easton Boulevard in Des Moines recently. Photo courtesy of Linda Westergaard

Semi-trucks are illegally parking in neighborhoods across Des Moines, and City Council members have had enough.

Driving the news: Councilperson Bill Gray directed city staffers this week to propose a penalty that "puts a little teeth into it," suggesting the Des Moines' $15 fine is too inconsequential.

Why it matters: It's a safety issue. Pedestrians and other motorists can't easily be seen when big rigs are parked on narrow residential streets.

  • But it's also an annoyance for people who have limited street parking.

State of play: Gray said he has gotten complaints from residents in the Merle Hay and Beaverdale areas for about two years.

  • Two or three semi-trailers are sometimes parked in a row along the streets, he said.
  • The final straw occurred when Gray found a semi parked near his home along Franklin Avenue over Labor Day.

Be smart: Under city ordinance, semi-trailers are generally prohibited from parking on residential streets.

  • Yes, but: Gray contends the fine is so tiny that it's cheaper or more convenient than parking at nearby truck stops.

What they're saying: Councilperson Linda Westergaard said it's an ongoing problem on the city's east side, too.

  • Des Moines resident Melva Jones told Axios she's considered moving from her home of 27 years near Washington Avenue and Easton Boulevard because of the problem.

What's next: The council is expected to review changes to the ordinance next month.

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Go deeper

Linh Ta, author of Des Moines
Updated May 14, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Axios' favorite places to eat in Des Moines

A fried chicken sandwich from Angry Goldfish in Des Moines. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

Whether you're a lifelong Des Moines resident or a traveler stopping by, there are culinary treasures to discover across the metro's local restaurants.

The state of play: It's easy to poke fun at the "meat and mashed potatoes" of the Midwest (which, honestly, can be quite tasty) — but, don't discount our town's James Beard award-winning chefs, diverse array of immigrant-owned restaurants and just plain creative creations.

DOJ sues American Airlines, JetBlue to block "unprecedented" alliance

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Justice Department on Tuesday sued American Airlines and JetBlue to block an "unprecedented series of agreements" that will consolidate the two airlines' operations in Boston and New York City.

Why it matters: The civil antitrust complaint alleges that the planned Northeast Alliance (NEA) "will cause hundreds of millions of dollars in harm to air passengers across the country through higher fares and reduced choice," the DOJ said in a release.

FBI: Body identified as Gabby Petito, death ruled a homicide

A memorial dedicated to Gabby Petito near City Hall in North Port, Fla. Photo: Octavio Jones/Getty Images

A body found in Teton County, Wyoming, on Sunday was confirmed to be the remains of missing 22-year-old blogger Gabby Petito, the FBI announced Tuesday.

Driving the news: The death was ruled a homicide by the Teton County coroner's office, the FBI said. The cause of death has not been determined.