Parking changes coming to downtown Brunswick

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BRUNSWICK — Say goodbye to $5 and $10 parking fines and hopping between spaces in the same block after new parking rules were unanimously passed by the Town Council Tuesday night.

Beginning in late February, overtime parking fines will increase to $15, parking in a prohibited space will cost $25, and long-term parkers won’t be allowed to switch spaces within a block. Some two-hour parking spaces will also become 30-minute spaces.

The parking ordinance amendments were the result of a collaboration between councilors and business owners, who were distressed by the decreasing number of available parking spaces on Maine Street, especially when they learned last October that two proposed raised crosswalks for the street would have removed seven spaces.

After voicing their concerns with the council’s Master Plan Implementation Committee, the business owners worked with the group between November and December to form a parking subcommittee charged with ways to address the parking issue.

Newell Augur, a former councilor who serves on the MPIC and worked on the parking subcommittee, Tuesday thanked Alisa Coffin, owner of The Great Impasta, and Toby Tarpinian, owner of Morning Glory Natural Foods, for their initial work in surveying Maine Street businesses about parking changes they would like to see.

“I think what you have in front of you is hopefully the start of something big as we really start to think about how to make Maine Street a lot cozier for everybody,” Auger said.

MPIC member Kathy Wilson also spoke up.

“As this has gone along I think this has a great example on how to get things done,” Wilson said. “It’s been open to the public, the public has been there, there’s been controversy, there’s been walls to come up against and somehow or rather, and in a very nice and orderly manner, the problems have been solved.”

Dylan Martin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or Follow him on Twitter: @DylanLJMartin.