PORTLAND, Maine — Last Friday, March 13, Portland’s City Manager directed the Parking Division to no longer issue parking tickets for time zones and expired meters for the foreseeable future. Enforcement will continue for illegal parking, which includes blocking the roadway, parking in handicap spaces, blocking fire hydrants, parking in no parking zones, blocking driveways or sidewalks/crosswalks, and double parking.
“We’re all working under a new normal right now,” said City Manager Jon Jennings. “Our message to the public at the time was parking enforcement is a low priority. We said things in this way because at the time we did not want to encourage an excess of people to come downtown given we were hoping people would abide by social distancing in order to lessen the spread of COVID-19.”
Jennings continued, “Now that Governor Mills has issued the executive order to close restaurants/bars to dine-in and only allow carry out/take out, we feel it is appropriate to be more explicit with the public that we are not ticketing and have not been ticketing unless for unsafe/illegal parking.”
The City would like to remind the public to remember to be respectful of parking spaces in front of businesses so that spaces are available for take-out and delivery services.
The City’s parking staff is working at half capacity right now in light of this. They are being redeployed to other more essential city operations due to staffing shortages. Those who remain in parking are handling customer service issues, watching out for safety issues, and performing other maintenance related tasks.
The City has many constituencies who rely on its services and policies around the clock and is doing its best to adapt as quickly as possible given these uncertain times where things are changing every hour.