Des Moines ICM

What is Ramp Metering?

A ramp meter, ramp signal, or metering light is a device, usually a basic traffic light or a two-section signal light together with a signal controller, that regulates the flow of traffic entering freeways according to current traffic conditions.

Benefits of Ramp Metering

  • Controls traffic entering the freeway
  • Creates larger gaps in traffic to allow for safer merging
  • Flexible to traffic flow

If implemented, ramp meters will be first added along the I-235 corridor. Ramp meters are recommended for westbound travel from 2nd Avenue to 63rd Street within the City of Des Moines. Ramp meters are recommended for eastbound travel from 50th Street in West Des Moines to 63rd Street in the City of Des Moines.

Funding for construction has been added to the 2022-2026 Iowa Transportation Improvement Program for fiscal year 2024. However, due to the pandemic, additional public outreach and data analysis will be conducted prior to a final decision being made on whether to proceed to implementation. If the project proceeds to construction on this schedule, Des Moines commuters can expect to see ramp meters in 2024 or 2025. Early education will make sure you’re prepared when the ramp meters arrive!

How do Ramp Meters work?

Merging with an active ramp meter
  • When the meter is active, stop at the red light. Wait your turn. Proceed when green.
  • Only one vehicle can proceed through the green light when metering is in use.

Merging when ramp meter is inactive
  • When the meter is inactive, proceed through the green light. Do not stop. Safely merge. Always check the light
  • Ramp meters adjust to traffic. Always check the light before merging!

Always check the light
  • Ramp meters adjust to traffic. Always check the light before merging!