Portland's growth when it comes to retail, restaurants and job opportunities has been important to Maine's economy and attractiveness to younger people. What hasn't been attractive to anyone, is that the growth of business has left Portland with fewer, and increasingly more expensive, parking spots. According to the Forecaster, a new study reveals that yes, parking in Portland really is a challenge.

The report, commissioned by both the City of Portland and the Portland Downtown, found that weekday parking for people who work in the Old Port, Arts District and the eastern waterfront has grown more difficult to find, and afford. Public parking spaces have diminished, parking garages have gotten more expensive and all-day street parking is all but a distant memory. The study states that within the next decade, the demand for parking spaces will outgrow what the City of Portland has available.

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This week, the City of Portland unveiled their first change to help combat irritated residents and workers inside the city limits. A new mobile app allows people to pay for metered spots using their cell phones, albeit for a small additional charge. That may help some in the short term, but Portland will need to come up with more cost-efficient solution before it begins to price people out who simply want to work in the city, never mind live.

The City of Portland is aware that growth will force the city to react sooner rather than later. Will it be enough? Time will tell.