The Business Record’s 2018 Leaders Survey asked readers their opinions on a number of topics, including choose walkability or parkability in Greater Des Moines. You can find results from the Nov. 30 issue here. We’re sharing other results and comments in our enewsletters this week.

Question: Choose between the two: Walkability or parkability.


Readers' comments:

Joseph Benesh, president and CEO, Ingenuity Co.
Walkability, in downtown Des Moines. Parkability is an outdated way of looking at a healthy downtown ecosystem. Des Moines is a city and should be modeled on pedestrian access, not modeled on the more rural idea of front-door car access to each destination. These ideas seem to be in tension in our community, and I think it is time to fully embrace walkability as our standard model.

Jim Plagge, president and CEO, Bank Iowa
Neither. My top choice – bikeability!

Brad Blackman, vice president, Henriksen Group
Parkability. Walking in Des Moines is easy.

Alan Feirer, owner, Group Dynamic
Parkability. That keeps it from being insular, so more people take advantage of its offerings all times of the day and days of the week.

Mike Ralston, president, Iowa Association of Business and Industry
Neither. Both are important - and the city seems to be doing a fair job of balancing the two.

Cory Sharp, architect, FEH Design
Walkability. If we invest in well-designed and forward-thinking transportation initiatives, we can have both -- but our downtown space needs to be people-focused, not vehicle-focused.

Bill Sullivan, market president - Central Iowa/senior loan officer, Two Rivers Bank & Trust
Neither. That's a tough one because in some cases walkability is preferred and in some case parkability is the right answer.

Jessica Dunker, president/CEO, Iowa Restaurant Association
Parkability. Weren't the skywalks intended to provide walkability?

Keith Gredys, CEO and president, Kidder Benefits Consultants
Parkability, in downtown Des Moines. I come from the suburbs and would come to downtown if it was easier to park.

Jim Green, principal, Mercer
Walkability. We have a great downtown, and it can and should be accessed by anyone of any age, regardless of health status or access to a motor vehicle.

Kim Butler Hegedus, senior vice president - chief lending officer, Community State Bank
Parkability. With all of the development in the downtown core, those of us wanting to visit downtown for business purposes or entertainment have a difficult time finding parking. I believe we are already very walkable.

Mark Imerman, senior consultant, Regional Strategic
Why do we have to choose? Isn't it possible to plan a downtown area where you can conveniently and safely park a car and then conveniently and safely walk about downtown?

Beth Shelton, CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa
Parkability. With executive attire (often heels as a woman) and inclement weather, parkability becomes a much higher priority for me in deciding the venues I frequent.

Mark Core, educator, East High School
Neither. These are not mutually exclusive! Both can be achieved.

Philip Hodgin, principal and corporate CEO, RDG Planning & Design
Neither. Seek balance. We need to attract as many people to our downtown as we can.

Pat Steele, director, Central Iowa Works
Walkability. Need to encourage more walking and more utilization of public transportation.

Chris Sackett, managing partner, BrownWinick Law Firm
Parkability. While walkability is very important/valuable and adds character to our downtown -- at least for the time being, parking is not a luxury, but a necessity. It cannot be a tradeoff for walkability.

Susan Hatten, senior manager of corporate and community engagement, Holmes Murphy
Walkability, in downtown Des Moines. Some of the greatest metropolitan areas in the country are known for their walkability layouts, and have woven in arts and culture as a part of this structural feature. Walkability creates experiences and certainly a wellness component, which is needed in the state of Iowa.

Brendan Comito, COO, Capital City Fruit Co.
Walkability. Cars will be automated in 20 years so people will not need parking.

Kevin Pokorny, owner and consultant, Pokorny Consulting
Walkability. Make Walnut Street a pedestrian mall area with art, trees, etc. More green space is needed.

Bryan Keller, director of Business Development Modern Companies Inc.
Parkability, in downtown Des Moines. Most of us have to park in order to enjoy the walkability of downtown.

Drew Kamp, director of public policy and business development, Ames Chamber of Commerce
Walkability, in downtown Des Moines. If an area is walkable, people are much more likely to congregate and invest their time and money there. Businesses also benefit, as it improves accessibility and brings more people to the area in which they operate.