Limited Parking Frustrates Downtown Apt. Residents

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COLUMBIA - Luxury living in downtown Columbia comes with a price - limited parking spaces for residents in the apartments, and residents in nearby homes.

Upscale apartment complexes such as the Lofts at 308 Ninth Street and both Brookside apartment buildings have limited parking spaces for their residents, which is leading to illegal parking.

Locust St. and Hamilton Way near the Brookside developments are two of the most congested roadways. Both are one-way.

One Hamilton Way resident said the parking was fine when they first moved in on August 9, but soon became congested once more people began moving in.

"Parking on Hamilton the first week we came down and moved in it was fine but when more kids moved into I guess, Paquin and Brookside, the spots aren't open and no one ever moves their car so you can't move your car," said Cody Branneky. "And if you're parked at a garage you can't get your car and move it on the street because no one's gonna move their car."

Branneky said his street isn't even the worst.

"If you're driving down Locust, you can't really just drive smoothly because someone's always trying to find a spot, get out of their spot, park in another small spot on the street and it's already a one-way street so it gets backed up."

Walking down Locust Street around 6 p.m., KOMU 8 News found no empty spots and a truck with a parking ticket for parking illegally.

The Sacred Heart Catholic Church is experiencing this issue first hand. While the church has parking spots for churchgoers, a pastor told KOMU 8 News off camera the parking was "a hassle" for people trying to attend Mass.

Another resident on Hitt Street added her experiences, saying her $400 parking space was often taken by others trying to stake out a spot. So they're getting the offending cars booted and towed away.

"For me and all my roommates, there's someone actually in my roommate's spot right now," said Amy Ross. "I've personally had two or three times and everyone else has had a couple issues with it too."

Ross also said while her real estate company helps out, it's not enough to solve the problem.

"Our real estate company is pretty good about coming and getting them towed kinda quickly, but just having to use a third party towing it's kinda bad," said Ross.

The Lofts opened on August 15 and actually replaced a parking lot, and Brookside now has two buildings downtown.