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March 20, 2020

Portland won't ticket for expired parking

Don’t worry about feeding the meter these days in Portland — the city isn’t ticketing drivers for overtime parking.

Portland City Manager Jon Jennings has ordered the Parking Division to stop issuing tickets for violations of time zones and meter limits, according to a news release Thursday. The new policy will continue for the foreseeable future.

However, enforcement continues for more serious offenses, such as blocking a roadway, driveway or crosswalk; parking in a handicap space; blocking a fire hydrant; or parking in a designated no-parking zone.

The Parking Division is working with half of its usual staff, and the relaxation of some parking rules allows the city to deploy employees more effectively, the release said.

The city began the new policy a week ago, but initially downplayed the leniency in order to avoid attracting additional traffic and potential crowds.

“We’re all working under a new normal right now,” Jennings said in the release. “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.” 

“Now that Gov. [Janet] 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 new policy comes as the public health crisis prompts some other municipalities to also modify their enforcement of driving regulations. In Cumberland and Falmouth, police are no longer citing motorists for driving with expired temporary registrations.

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March 20, 2020

Yeah, road trip to Portland.

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