Mar 27, 2024 - News

East Village alley parking rules could hurt local Jimmy John's, owner says

A  photo of an alley in Des Moines.

East Village residents and businesses use this east-/west-running alley between the 400 and 500 block of East Grand Avenue and East Locust Street. Screenshot: Google maps

Parking restrictions in an alley in the East Village would have serious effects on Jimmy John's business, franchise owner Shahbaz Ahmed Merchant warned DSM City Council.

Why it matters: The sandwich shop's business is heavily dependent on delivery, and a proposed 10-minute limit is not enough time for its drivers waiting to pick up orders from the shop, Merchant said.

The other side: Multiple businesses depend on the alley in the 400 block of East Grand Avenue and East Locust Street for operations like trash or snow removal and access to other parking spots.

  • There's currently a 40-minute limit on loading there, and some owners have for years complained that it impedes access for too long.

Driving the news: City Council last week approved the first of three readings of an ordinance that would reduce that to 10 minutes.

What they're saying: Merchant said he'd be happy to lease dedicated street parking if the city could make that available.

  • He also said the proposed alley limit is not long enough for unloading delivery trucks.

Between the lines: DSM wouldn't reduce the limit if Jimmy John's officials had stepped up earlier and resolved the problem, Councilperson Joe Gatto said.

  • Councilperson Carl Voss, who lives in the East Village, said he believes the proposal is the best alternative and suggested some possible nearby parking solutions for food delivery drivers.

What's next: Further council consideration is expected during its April 1 meeting.

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