Background: Need for Parking

As early as 2006, the need for parking in Biddeford was well-established. As outlined in reports on the subject linked below, new parking in the downtown stimulates new development, allows continued redevelopment of vacant Mill space, supports existing downtown businesses, and creates new access to existing and future phases of the RiverWalk. 

The City Council held three public meetings in April 2018 to gather citizen input on parking. To account for work schedules of all citizens, two of these meetings were held in the evening in front of the City Council, and the third meeting was held during the day with City staff. For those that could not attend the meetings, an online form was also provided to collect additional comments. The proposed fee schedule and parking time limit changes were developed using this public feedback and staff recommendations. 

The most recent Parking Management document provides a complete overview of the history and research that has been conducted on the downtown parking issue. Additional reports and studies that have been conducted on downtown parking are provided below for your review.

Why is there paid parking in Biddeford's public parking lots?

As stated in the parking management plan, "By policy all publicly owned parking is free to the users and paid for by property taxpayers. This creates a situation where some businesses and/or apartment owners get the financial support of the City while others, who provide their own parking, do not. City policies should be fair and equitable in their application. The current parking model does not meet this criterion. The well-documented increase in parking demand, with continued growth projected, will only increase the impact of the situation." 

This policy has been put in place to address this inequity and establish a system where users of parking lots pay for the costs of parking instead of taxpayers. The 'FAQs' below were created when the downtown parking policies were established in 2018.