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.
- Why is the City dealing with parking changes anyways?
- Where is the parking demand coming from?
- Now that I have an understanding of the reasons why the City is dealing with the parking issue, can you explain to me what goals are driving these changes?
- Please explain how the parking program achieves these goals?
- How are changes in the downtown impacting the general property taxes in the community?
- How is the increased demand for parking impacting the downtown?
- I am a property taxpayer in the community that seldom comes into the downtown. Why should I care about this issue at all?
- How will these parking changes affect my taxes?
- Parking Management Program
- Architect Presentation to City Council Mill District Feasability Study - December 2012 (PDF)
- Biddeford Garage Site Study Presentation - December 2017 (PDF)
- Biddeford Public Parking An Analysis of the Real Costs of Free Parking and Implications on Downtown Design - May 2016 (PDF)
- Consultant Presentation Mill District Parking Feasability Study - December 2012 (PDF)
- Excerpt from Mill District Master Plan - 2009 (PDF)
- Final Report Downtown Biddeford Parking and Traffic Study - November 2006 (PDF)
- Press Release - Subcommittee Issues Third Report to Mayor and Council - January 2017
- Final Report Downtown Parking Study - October 2012 (PDF)
- Garage Location Study Maps - January 2017 (PDF)
- Presentation of Parking Structure Strategy to Keep Residents from Paying Costs - November 2016 (PDF)
- Structured Parking In Downtown Biddeford A Consideration of Sites - January 2017 (PDF)
- April 2, 2019 Council Meeting Presentation