2017-08-25 / Front Page

Bayview parking fees in place

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer


The town council has officially put in place a $1 per hour parking fee for a dozen parking spaces on Bayview Avenue from May 1 to Sept. 15. The spaces will be regulated through a parking meter system and be free for residents who have beach passes. (Michael Kelley file photo) The town council has officially put in place a $1 per hour parking fee for a dozen parking spaces on Bayview Avenue from May 1 to Sept. 15. The spaces will be regulated through a parking meter system and be free for residents who have beach passes. (Michael Kelley file photo) Beginning next week, beach-goers will be required to pay in order to use a dozen one-hour parking spaces along Bayview Avenue. For the past several years, parking has been free.

The council, back in May, decided to begin charging $1 an hour for the spaces and tasked Town Manager Tom Hall with finding a way to implement the fee.

Last week, by a 4-3 vote (with councilors Katy Foley, Peter Hayes and Kate St.Clair opposed), the council backed the idea. The new parking system, which goes into effect Friday, Sept. 1, will operate much the same way the free meter system has been for the last year in that between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., individuals will have to input their license plate number, but unlike before they will have to put $1 via coins or credit card before the parking slip is printed out. The parking slip, which is time-stamped, must be displayed on the vehicle’s dashboard.


Visitors to Higgins Beach next summer who wish to park beachside will be required to pay for parking for the first time ever. While the town has charged for parking in its municipal lot for years, the town council decided to start charging for the spots between the end of the drop off zone and Morning Street to raise extra revenue to help balance the fiscal 2018 municipal budget. (Michael Kelley file photo) Visitors to Higgins Beach next summer who wish to park beachside will be required to pay for parking for the first time ever. While the town has charged for parking in its municipal lot for years, the town council decided to start charging for the spots between the end of the drop off zone and Morning Street to raise extra revenue to help balance the fiscal 2018 municipal budget. (Michael Kelley file photo) The fee will be charged between May 1 and Sept. 15. Parking is not allowed in that area between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., regardless of time of year.

Scarborough residents with beach passes or senior citizen beach passes will not be required to pay. Beach pass holders will be required to input their license plate number and beach pass number to get a parking slip and those with senior citizen beach passes will have to input their license plate number, beach pass number and display their pass on their dashboard.

“If you purchase a beach pass, that would enable you to park for free during that time,” Hall said.

St. Clair voted against Hall’s recommendation because she felt the parking was too drastically going from free to charged.

“My concern is we are getting greedy,” she said, before making a motion to only charge for the spaces between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., an idea that was supported by Foley and Hayes.

Foley said she supported the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. time frame because even in Portland meters are free in the evening hours, calling charging between 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. “over the top.” Parking at in the municipal lot on Ocean Avenue, a short walk away away from the beach, is only charged between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m, even though the lot is open from dawn to dusk.

Hayes called just charging between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. a compromise that “bridges the gap.”

Bill Donovan said he supports charging for entirety of the 16-hour time frame and by doing so it will mean out-of-towners, to which 90 percent of the parking tickets were issued, will pay for some of the beach improvement and maintenance residents do through taxes.

Jane Wagner, a resident of Spurwink Road and a frequent visitor to Higgins Beach was confused about why the council was imposing a fee and that by doing so a free asset “was being taken away” for financial gain.

“Our beaches in Scarborough make us the type of community people remember,” she said.

The topic of charging for parking along Bayview Avenue, Hayes told her, came up during the budget deliberations back in May when the council was trying to refine expenditures and revenue streams.

Staff Writer Michael Kelley can be reached at news@scarboroughleader.com.

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