Portland Downtown ends 'Park & Shop'

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PORTLAND — The long-standing “Park & Shop” program, providing peninsula shoppers with free garage and lot parking, will end Friday, July 1, Portland Downtown Executive Director Casey Gilbert said Tuesday.

Gilbert said the program has become less popular with business owners, who bought booklets of stickers from Portland Downtown and gave the stickers to shoppers to be applied to the cost of garage parking.

Gilbert said the program was started more than 50 years ago as downtown merchants sought to lure shoppers to the area.

Public and private garages and parking lots have participated in the program, but at least six have dropped out this year, Gilbert said, because garage and lot owners no longer face the high vacancy rates that led to the creation of the program.