Dennis Bracale addresses the Parking Solutions Task Force at its open house at the Jesup Memorial Library on Tuesday. The task force took public comment on its draft proposal to alleviate congestion in downtown Bar Harbor. ISLANDER PHOTO BY SAMUEL SHEPHERD

New plan for paid parking unveiled

BAR HARBOR — A new proposal for parking meters and kiosks in the downtown area is headed to the Town Council in the next few weeks, Parking Solutions Task Force members said at an open house Tuesday at the Jesup Memorial Library.

This proposal is similar to one shot down by four votes at town meeting in June of this year.

Key differences in this new proposal, according to the task force, are more employee parking areas, investing in campaigns to encourage biking and walking, and the inclusion of satellite parking.

“It’s not an option to create more spaces downtown,” said Martha Searchfield, task force member and director of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce. “We’re trying to discourage [people] from taking their car [downtown] and using the Island Explorer,” she said.

The money generated would be allocated to a parking fund that would pay for the purchase and maintenance of equipment and enforcement of new rules.

Residents voiced their concerns with unsightly signs and meters, having to pay to park in their own town, worries about elderly residents not being able to walk enough to do their errands and safety for pedestrians.

“It’s not too many people, it’s too many cars,” resident Dennis Bracale said.

According to the proposal, residents would be given permits that allow them to park on side streets at no charge but could be given a 50 percent discount on meter payments if they wanted to park closer to town. Employees and students also could receive permits.


Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd is a University of Maine graduate and a former Bar Harbor reporter for the Mount Desert Islander.
Samuel Shepherd

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