While Moscow's Identity apartment complex meets the city's parking requirements, it is not up to snuff for many of its tenants who are compelled to find parking - sometimes illegally - in surrounding neighborhoods and business lots.
The recently constructed complex on South Main Street between Troy Road and Sweet Avenue consists of 132 apartment units with 397 beds. It provides 214 vehicle spaces and room for 262 bicycles for its residents.
Since there are not nearly enough spaces, tenants without permits say they park wherever they can to find parking, including north of the complex off Troy Road and south of Identity in other apartment complex parking lots, Pizza Hut and at the A&W and 76 gas station.
Jenna Mayer, a University of Idaho junior from Ridgefield, Wash., is one of those Identity residents who has no other choice but to find parking off the complex's premises.
Mayer does not have a permit to park at Identity so she said she often leaves her vehicle on a residential street off Troy Road.
Her car will sit for days at a time in the neighborhood and she said she even left it there for winter break, crossing her fingers that it did not get ticketed or towed.
"I don't know where the hell they expected everyone to park," Mayer said.
She said it takes 5 to 10 minutes to walk to Identity depending on the traffic signals at the intersection of South Main Street and Troy Road.
Mayer said she walks to school every day and typically only uses her car to get groceries and then parks in a different location when she returns so the vehicle is not seen in the same spot for months.
If she has several grocery bags to carry to her apartment, she admitted she will either find a vacant Identity parking space or park in a fire lane briefly with her hazard lights on, unload her groceries and rush back down to park her car off the site.
Mayer said she tried to purchase an Identity parking permit around the beginning of August before she moved in, but they were all gone so she was placed on a waiting list.
She said the waiting list, which was comprised of names on a sticky note, does not exist now.
Before the fall semester, a couple Identity residents even reached out to Gritman Medical Center asking to purchase a parking permit in the hospital's lot.
Peter Mundt, Gritman's director of community relations and marketing, said the hospital staff had to decline their requests because its parking priority is patients and employees.
The lack of parking availability has even caused hardships for those with parking permits.
Roommates Taylor Leavey, Jon Morrow and Jacob Weber, have experienced parking hardships, but those are mostly in the rearview mirror now, they said.
Leavey said he purchased parking stall "145," but the space does not exist. He said the number stops at 144, then there is a blank paved area before resuming at space 150.
Weber said there was a pile of dirt in the empty space during construction and workers replaced the dirt with a curb which took up one of the spots. Morrow said four cars can technically fit in the space when five spaces were reserved.
Since tenants park in the unlabeled spot, Leavey said an Identity employee will let him know when the space is open so he can park there. He said he does not use his car during the week so it generally sits in his stall.
Leavey described the parking fiasco as "pretty hectic" at the start of Identity's opening.
Morrow said the first couple months, tenants parked in his and his two roommates' stalls, several times because those drivers' permitted spots were taken. Morrow called it a "domino effect."
Weber said he puts a construction cone in his space to prevent others from parking in it.
He even said other tenants with permits borrow his cone for the same practice.
"The first three months, parking was just terrible," Weber said.
He said now cars parked in a wrong spot or that do not have a permit are towed, or Leavey said the driver is warned with a text or call.
While all three roommates were fortunate to acquire a parking spot before moving in, Leavey said there is simply not enough parking for the tenants living there, which forces them to park in nearby neighborhoods.
Morrow said there is "not even close to enough" spaces.
"There's not enough parking for all the residents, let alone guests," Weber said.
Moscow City Councilor Brandy Sullivan said she received one email from a resident who wrote cars - which possibly belong to Identity residents - are parked in front of her house which forces her to park elsewhere.
Moscow Community Development Director Bill Belknap said he has heard concerns of overflow parking perceived to be from Identity residents on Henley Street just south of the property and Jefferson Street, which runs into Troy Road from the north.
He said Identity and other regions close to downtown have a lower off-street parking requirement to promote walking, biking and public transit, which are more viable given the areas' central location in the community.
Representatives from Identity Moscow could not be reached for comment.
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.