Portland may change restrictions on peninsula parking

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PORTLAND — The Transportation Committee last week gave preliminary approval to a plan to halve the number of peninsula parking bans for city services.

Peninsula residents are now restricted year-round on a weekly basis from parking on one side of the street to make way for street sweepers and snow plows.

But last week, the committee voted 3-0 to direct city staff to develop a plan that would reduce the frequency to only twice a month.

Committee Chairman and City Councilor Kevin Donoghue said the proposed changes are designed to address constituent complaints and to better reflect the reality of the situation.

“Residents in every part of the peninsula remark that while they move their cars weekly, street sweeping occurs only monthly at best,” Donoghue said in an e-mail. “We are working to address this disconnect.”

The weekly parking bans for snow removal are not needed, Donoghue said, because the city can simply declare an emergency parking ban.

The proposal, which would return to the committee for its endorsement before being sent to the full City Council, would likely have to be phased in, Donoghue said.

“The highest priority will be given to the West End,” he said.

Councilor David Marshall, who represents the West End, said a combination of dense housing and nearby hospitals and schools makes parking difficult for residents, Marshall said.

Similar changes were made several years ago in Parkside, Marshall said.

“It was a change that was made a few years ago and it’s been successful,” he said.

In addition to only sweeping every other week, Marshall said the parking signs were changed to show a picture of a vehicle being towed, which has helped residents who do not speak or read English, he said.

Marshall said changing the parking schedule will probably cost the city thousands of dollars to change street signs.

“It’s going to cost a little money,” Marshall said. “But it’s all stuff we can do within the budget,” he said.

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or rbillings@theforecaster.net

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