Portland may get designated, free parking for mopeds, motorcycles

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PORTLAND — The city may add 31 free parking spaces for motorcycles or mopeds on the peninsula. The change is aimed at encouraging two-wheeled transportation, and to open up regular parking spots for cars.

The City Council Transportation Committee was scheduled to review the new parking plan at its meeting Tuesday, along with a few proposed changes to taxi operations.

The 31 proposed motorcycle spaces are scattered throughout the peninsula, and a majority are recommended for spots where parking of any kind is currently not allowed, including close to intersections where parked cars and trucks would block sight lines.

If approved by the City Council later this month, the spots will be designated by striping and new “Motorcycle/Moped Parking” signs. The parking spaces will be free of charge with a 10-hour maximum parking limit.

The spaces are proposed for Bramhall Square, Commercial Street at Union Wharf, and at the intersections of Congress and Myrtle streets, Silver and Fore streets, State and Deering streets and Temple and Free streets. There would also be spots on High Street, next to the Portland Museum of Art.

The Transportation Committee was also expected to review some changes to taxi fees and operating regulations.

One change would require taxis to be less than 12 years old. Taxi drivers could also not charge fees for waiting caused by traffic.

The city is also considering increasing the fee for a livery license to $75 annually, so it is equal to the cost of a taxi license. Currently, a livery license is $20.

Finally, the council is expected to consider at its April 27 meeting changing a metered parking spot in front of RiRa on Commercial Street to a taxi stand. Removal of the metered space will cost the city about $1,500.

The Transportation Committee was scheduled to meet Tuesday, April 21, at 5 p.m.

Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or kbucklin@theforecaster.net