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Rexburg scrambles for more parking spaces

Rexburg city leaders are worried their city will soon become a battleground for parking.

When spaces are scarce, parking your car can escalate into a full-on fight.

Good thing Rexburg is a family community, so we doubt a parking dispute will turn as ugly as the scenes from A&E’s aptly-named “Parking Wars.”

Still, BYU-Idaho students say finding a place to park is a growing problem.

“It’s not that great,” said one student about the parking situation.

“The parking isn’t my favorite,” said another student.

A third student said it usually takes him up to 10 minutes to find a parking spot before class.

The issue has been noted by developers and city leaders alike.

“We’ve got a lot of growth going on here in Rexburg, especially here near the university campus,” said City Council member Jerry Merrill. “Parking has always been an issue, and we think it will be an issue for years to come.”

Merrill pointed out the North Point apartment complex. It’s under construction, but when it’s finished in 2014, the complex and its five-story parking garage will be the tallest buildings in Rexburg, except the Mormon temple.

“We’re trying to put as many people in as small an area as possible,” Merrill said.

BYU-Idaho and city leaders expect admissions to surge in the coming years, so they want to have everything built before that happens.

“The university is on a little bit of a lull right now,” Merrill said, citing the lowered missionary age as the cause. “In the next couple of years, we expect to start growing again.”

Merrill said the goal is to create space for as many students as they can within blocks of the university to reduce the number of students who drive to campus.

Several other developments and parking structures are being developed in Rexburg. Most of those parking structures will be underground.

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