Construction has begun on a reconfiguration of the downtown parking lots in the Federal and Franklin Street area. The new design is intended to make the parking lots easier to navigate and will result in a net gain of hourly parking spaces.
The main purpose for the reconfiguration is to reduce the number of entry and exit points to the “Green” and “Yellow” parking lots to control traffic and simplify parking signage. To achieve this, Federal Street will be eliminated completely and the entrance to the parking lot from Washington Street will be removed. Franklin Street will be converted to accommodate two-way traffic flow between the two remaining entrances from Main Street and Jefferson Street. Drivers may still exit the lot onto Alfred Street next to Louis Pizza and onto Washington Street using the roadway next to the Palace Diner.
“By limiting the number of entrances and converting the one-way street, we will be able to provide clearer directional signage that will make it easier for visitors to Biddeford to understand where they can park,” Public Works Director Jeff Demers said. “The closure of Federal Street also allows us to create additional parking spaces in the Green Lot.”
The new design will use physical barriers to clearly separate the Green Lot from the Yellow Lot, and each lot will be given a distinct use. The Yellow Lot will remain hourly parking only and will continue to offer two hours of free parking per 24-hour period. The Green Lot will be converted to long-term permit parking only.
“With the current parking layout, we’ve noticed that many visitors get confused about the difference between the Yellow and Green Lot because there is no clear division between them. They may pull into a space in the Green Lot without realizing that there is free hourly parking available just steps away,” said Mayor Alan Casavant. “Splitting up the lots for their two separate purposes will eliminate this confusion.”
The layout changes will result in an overall increase in the number of hourly parking spaces. The Yellow Lot is expected to gain 27 new spaces along Franklin Street that can be used for two hours of free parking. Users will still be required to enter their license plate number at the kiosk in order to park for free for two hours in these spaces, but the use of a credit card is not required. The amount of free 30-minute parking spaces near Louis Pizza will also increase from 12 to 14, and kiosk use is not required to park in these spaces.
Work on the project is expected to be completed in about two weeks with as minimal disruption to available parking supply as possible. Please adhere to any No Parking signage in the Green Lot during this time. For more information about the project, please contact Public Works Director Jeff Demers at 207-282-1579.