Islanders in Crisis over Portland's Resident-Parking Shortage
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Over the past 10 years, free resident parking for islanders, parking nearby to the ferry terminal which, until recently, was readily available, has evaporated down to a mere 25 spots. There are close to 1000 year-round residents on Peaks Island and more on the other islands who pay taxes to Portland. The few existing island-resident spaces are open to the entire City and incoming tourists.
Today, Island residents must resort to circling at length to find the rare parking space on the streets, while waiting 2-5 years for the opportunity (if they can afford it) to buy a monthly pass in one of the nearby garages (current FULL to monthly parking) and then must pay upwards of $140/month for this "privilege".
Island families with children, the elderly, anyone with physical ailments and disabilities are all expected to walk extreme distances to and from the ferry--on a daily basis-- to wherever parking can be found, through snow and sleet and blinding hail ... and parking bans!
This situation has become untenable. This is a now a CRISIS, about to come MUCH WORSE with Memorial Day, and the arrival of thousands of summer tourists who descend annually on the waterfront.
Islanders, just like all City residents, have a reasonable expectation that the City will provide affordable residential parking. Such parking spaces must be close to the ferry terminal, free or very low cost, and readily available. Current offerings do not meet these criteria.
As tax-paying members to the City community, we undersigned island residents ask that the City honor its commitment to the island residents and provide IMMEDIATE RELIEF in the form of expanding available parking for Islanders.
The City can do this in the following manner:
== Immediately open the entire India Street neighborhood to island resident parking (island resident tags required)--including allowing free extended parking at all meters in that zone (but not loading zones or 15 min spaces).
== Immediately open the dirt lot at the far end of Thames Street to free island-resident parking. This lot is currently used under-capacity for police overflow parking. Police overflow parking could viably and easily be shifted to the Homeland Security Lot on the water, which is empty most of the time.
These measures would cost the City nothing, require no new signage, no additional infrastructure, and could be implemented right away, while islanders and City officials work together to devise long-term strategies to meet islander's ongoing parking needs. We are asking our elected City officials to lift this burden and PLEASE ACT NOW to expand island-resident parking.
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