Downtown & Mill District Parking

To purchase parking permits online, pay parking tickets, and more, please click here.

Downtown and Mill District Parking

Downtowns are important in many ways. They are the heart of a community, and serve as centers for services, employment, and civic interaction. They create a community's identity, to its residents and to people throughout the region.

A 3D rendering of the future downtown area with parking.

Here in Biddeford, the Mill District is viewed as an integral part of Biddeford's downtown, not as a distinct and separate area. Together, they make up a single vibrant neighborhood. Biddeford is diligently revitalizing itself with energy and imagination. Continuing the positive trends that downtown Biddeford has recently experienced depends, in part, on addressing a documented shortage of parking in the City's downtown district. 

As the first step towards managing downtown parking, the City Council approved several changes at their September 18, 2018 meeting that went into effect at the end of 2018. These changes included increasing the number of time-limited on-street parking spaces and charging for parking in municipal surface parking lots in the downtown. Parking on all streets in Biddeford is free. The City of Biddeford's complete parking policy can be found in the sections below.

On-Street Parking is Free

Please remember that on-street parking in all areas of Biddeford remains free of charge. You can park on Main Street and any downtown side street without purchasing a parking permit.

In order to increase the turnover of free on-street parking spaces, many streets in the downtown have parking time limits. There is four-hour parking on portions of Adams, Center, Jefferson, Lincoln, and South Street, and two-hour parking on Main Street and Bacon Street. These limits were put in place to help residents and visitors continue to find free parking for their short-term downtown errands. Please take note of posted time limits before parking.

The perpendicular parking spaces along Franklin Street are also considered on-street parking spaces. There are several free two-hour parking spaces in this area, as well as eight free 30-minute parking spaces. There are also two free 30-minute parking spaces in the Blue Lot for Police business only. You do not have to use a parking kiosk to park in any of these free spaces.

Permits Required in Downtown Municipal Lots

Parking permits are required to park in municipal surface lots in the downtown. Long-term parking permits are available for purchase on a monthly basis, and short-term parking permits can be purchased on an hourly basis. These permits are not needed for on-street parking.

Three types of long-term parking permits are offered to fit the needs of various types of downtown parking lot users. All monthly parking permits are valid from the first day of the calendar month until the last day of the calendar month.

  • Monday-Friday parking permits were designed to fit the needs of downtown employees who park in City lots during the workday and allow users to park in municipal lots from 7AM to 6PM on weekdays.
  • Nights & Weekends parking permits were designed for downtown residents who work outside of the city and park in municipal lots after work. This permit option allows users to park in City lots between 6PM and 7AM on weeknights and all day on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • 24/7 parking permits will also be available.

Permits are required in the following lots:

  • Red Lot (Washington Street Lot)
  • Green Lot (Federal/Franklin Street Lot)
  • Purple Lot (Foss Street Lot)
  • Blue Lot (Alfred Street Lot)
  • Maroon Lot (Gas House Lot)
  • Brown Lot (Wastewater Treatment Plant Lot)

The Yellow Lot (Downtown Lot) is reserved for short-term parking only. A permit for the first two hours of parking will be free, and additional hours of parking can be purchased at the hourly rate. Please note that anyone parking in the Yellow Lot, no matter how long, must enter their license plate number in the kiosk.   

These lots can be viewed on the color-coded maps below.

Downtown Parking Map
Color-Coded Parking Lot Map 2

Purchasing Short-Term Parking Permits

The starbursts on the maps above indicate the locations of payment kiosks that can be used to easily purchase parking permits.

Short-term parking permits may be purchased directly from the kiosks based on availability. To register your vehicle, you must enter your license plate number using the kiosk's keypad and use a credit or debit card to pay for the transaction. The information will be digitally transmitted to parking enforcement officers to prove that you have paid to park – no need to return to your car to display a ticket or receipt.

In addition, there is a mobile app available to manage your parking permit called WayToPark. You can download the app for free for iPhone in the App Store or for Android in the Google Play store. The app is a convenient option to help you buy and extend your parking permit while on-the-go. Once you set up an account and store a payment method, you will simply need to find your location on the map, enter the hours you plan to park, and confirm your purchase.

parking kiosk
mobile app

If you would like to purchase a permit with cash, you may do so at the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall. Be sure to know your license plate number! You may want to take a photo of your license plate to bring with you or have your vehicle registration in hand to ensure that you have provided the clerks with the correct plate number.

Purchasing Long-Term Parking Permits

Long-term parking permits can be purchased in person at the City Clerk's Office, or on this website. Long-term parking permits cannot be purchased at the parking kiosks. Please note that online permit purchases are subject to a surcharge.

A limited number of permits are issued each month on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like to be guaranteed a permit for the same lot each month, you must sign up for automatic payment.

Permits are registered by license plate number, and you will not receive a physical permit to display in your vehicle. You must bring your vehicle registration with you each time you visit the City Clerk's Office to purchase a monthly parking permit. This will ensure that your license plate number was registered correctly.

The costs of each type of parking permit are listed below.

Long-Term Parking Permits

Monday-Friday permits: $50/month

Nights & Weekends permits: $35/month

24/7 permits: $65/month

Short-Term Parking Permits

$2/hour

Snow Emergency Parking Bans

The general public, without long-term parking permits, may purchase a Winter Parking Ban Permit for $5 per storm for the following parking lots:

  • Red Lot (Washington Street Lot)
  • Purple Lot (Foss Street Lot)
  • Maroon Lot (Gas House Lot)
  • Brown Lot (Wastewater Treatment Plant Lot)

Winter Parking Ban Permits will be available directly from the parking kiosks several hours before the parking ban begins.

The following parking lots are also open during Snow Emergency Parking Bans at no charge:

  • Community Center (Myrtle Street side only)
  • Clifford Park
  • East Biddeford Little League (Hill Street)
  • Public Access (Pool Street, 15 Columbus Way)
  • 39 Sullivan Street

The Blue Lot (Alfred Street Lot) and Green Lot (Franklin Street Lot) WILL NOT be open to the general public during snow emergency parking bans.

24/7 and Nights & Weekends permit holders will receive special Snow Emergency Parking Ban instructions from the City via email. Please keep these emails for your records and refer to the directions during Snow Emergency Parking Bans.

Please click here for more information about Snow Emergency Parking Bans, or contact the Public Works Department at 207-282-1579.

No Parking on Main Street

Parking on Main Street will be prohibited from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.

Failure to Purchase Parking Permits

A $35 fine will be issued if you do not purchase a parking permit for permit-required municipal lots.

Background: Need for Parking

As early as 2006, the need for parking was well established. As outlined in the reports on the subject, new parking in downtown will stimulate new development, allow continued absorption of vacant Mill space, support existing downtown businesses, and create 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 on the right for your review.

Why are these changes occuring?

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." 

These policy changes have been put in place to address this inequity and shift to a system where users of parking lots pay for the costs of parking instead of taxpayers.