Alexander Grgurich is a 24-year-old entrepreneur who lives and works in downtown Des Moines. A year ago, he sold his car and relies on his bike and the bus to get around town.
Grgurich might seem a brave pioneer, or even daft, to some, but he is actually a living example of just how much attitudes about transportation are changing.
Des Moines has largely been auto dependent for much of the past century, but there are signs of an important cultural shift: More people are choosing public transportation, bicycles and walking while leaving the car in the garage. The challenge for developers, city planners and employers will be to keep up with this trend - and to encourage it - as a way to make Greater Des Moines more vibrant, healthful and environmentally conscious.
Des Moines may never entirely give up its preference for the automobile, but it should offer more transportation options for residents who want them. As those options expand, and more people use them, Des Moines could become a very different city.
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