The Fort Fairfield Town Council voted unanimously to amend the town’s parking ordinance at their June Council Meeting. The changes to the ordinance clarify parking restrictions with an eye toward having better control of long-term parking and space-saving along Main Street and Presque Isle Street in advance of the Maine Potato Blossom Festival Parade.
Business leaders and residents along the parade route say these changes will help everyone get more enjoyment out of the parade, which is one of the largest in northern New England.
“These new parking restrictions will not keep anyone from coming and enjoying the Festival or the parade,“ said Tim Goff, Director of the Maine Potato Blossom Festival. “We want every one of the thousands of spectators who line our parade route to settle in and have fun, but we also want folks to be able to conduct business downtown and to be able to pull in and out of their driveways safely, too.”
The amendments to the town parking ordinance do not actually change the laws that were already on the books – it has been against the law to park overnight on any public way in Fort Fairfield for years -- but the amendments put in place language that is more enforceable and allows the police department to better control the situation.
“This is an issue of public safety,” stated Police Chief, Bill Campbell. “When there are cars lining the streets, and chairs and other space holders in the roadway it is more difficult to see pedestrians.”
“It has always been against the law to park overnight in the town, but we have tried to be reasonable and work with folks, but this practice of space-saving days in advance of the Festival parade has become an issue,” added Chief Campbell. “We’d prefer to work with folks, and we will, but this new ordinance gives us more leverage to address the problem if folks don’t comply. We will ticket and tow if need be, but it is really not something we want to do.”
While most of Main Street and parts of Presque Isle Street are designated as two-hour parking zones, spectators will be allowed to begin parking vehicles and reserving viewing areas at 6am Saturday morning prior to the Maine Potato Blossom Festival Parade which starts at 1pm.
Click here for a map of available parking areas.