Downtown & Mill District Parking
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.
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 include increasing the number of time-limited on-street parking spaces and charging for parking in municipal surface parking lots in the downtown. Information about parking changes can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions document to the right or in the sections below.
As you read about these changes, it is important to 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.
Shorter Time Limits for On-Street Parking Spaces
Parking time limits will be changing on several downtown streets from unlimited parking to four-hour parking, including portions of Adams, Center, Jefferson, Lincoln, and South Street, and two-hour parking on Bacon Street. This means that there will be more turnover in no-cost, on-street parking. These two-hour limits were put in place to increase the turnover of on-street parking spaces and help residents and visitors continue to find free parking for their short-term downtown errands. If you would like to learn more details about which portions of downtown streets will have shorter time limits, please click here to view the City Council order in its entirety.
In addition to the on-street parking changes, after listening to public input, six spaces in the Franklin Street Parking Lot will be designated as free 30-minute parking.
Permits Required in Downtown Municipal Lots
Beginning in November, paid parking permits will be required to park in municipal surface lots in the downtown. Long-term parking permits will be 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 will be offered to fit the needs of various types of downtown parking lot users.
- Monday-Friday parking permits were designed to fit the needs of downtown employees who park in City lots during the workday and will 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 will allow 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.
These changes will apply to 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) will be reserved for short-term parking only. A permit for the first hour of parking will be free, and additional hours of parking can be purchased at the hourly rate.
These lots can be viewed on the color-coded maps below.
Purchasing Short-Term Parking Permits
The yellow starbursts on the maps above indicate the approximate locations of new payment kiosks that can be used to easily purchase parking permits.
Once the kiosks are in operation, you may purchase short-term parking permits directly from the kiosks based on availability. To register your vehicle, you must enter your license plate number using the kiosk's alphanumeric 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.
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. Please note that online permit purchases are subject to a surcharge.
The costs of each type of parking permit are listed below.
Long-Term Parking Permits
Adjustment period (November 2018 - April 2019)
Monday-Friday permits: $30/month
Nights & Weekends permits: $20/month
24/7 permits: $40/month
Cost beginning May 2019
Monday-Friday permits: $50/month
Nights & Weekends permits: $35/month
24/7 permits: $65/month
Short-Term Parking Permits
Adjustment Period (November 2018 - April 2019): $1/hour
Cost beginning May 2019: $2/hour
Snow Emergency Parking Bans
The same parking lots that have been open for parking bans in the past will remain open during parking bans (Washington Street Lot, Foss Street Lot, Gas House Lot, and Wastewater Treatment Plant Lot). If you already have a Nights and Weekends Permit or a 24/7 Permit, there will be no additional cost to park in these lots. Permit holders have also received special Snow Emergency Parking Ban instructions from the City via email.
If you do not have one of these permits, you may purchase a Winter Parking Ban Permit for $2 per storm during the Adjustment Period (November 2018 - April 2019) and $5 per storm beginning May 2019. Please click here for more information about Snow Emergency Parking Bans.
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.