© 2024 Maine Public
1450 Lisbon St.
Lewiston, ME 04240

Maine Public Membership Department
63 Texas Ave.
Bangor, ME 04401

Portland Office
323 Marginal Way
Portland, ME 04101

Registered 501(c)(3) EIN: 22-3171529
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Scroll down to see all available streams.

Portland jetport pitches new plan to expand surface parking

A map shows where a new surface parking lot would be paved behind an existing parking garage, and where an expanded cell phone lot would go.
Courtesy of Portland International Jetport
A map shows where a new surface parking lot would be paved behind an existing parking garage, and where an expanded cell phone lot would go.

The Portland International Jetport is proposing an expansion of parking to meet growing demand.

The new plan would add a net total of 282 new surface parking spaces.

Airport officials said travelers are taking longer trips and parking their cars for longer since the pandemic. Paul Bradbury said that adding parking that's walkable to the jetport would be more environmentally friendly than running shuttle buses to and from the airport and an offsite lot.

"Our position is that a multi-modal entity... is the one place that you really want to provide the needed parking, because that eliminates all the pickup and drop-offs that tend to be twice as many driven miles," he said Tuesday evening during a workshop about the proposal before the Portland planning board.

The project has been scaled back slightly since jetport officials presented an initial proposal to nearby residents late last year.

Aerial image showing public parking areas for the Jetport. Off-site parking includes a 483-space long-term parking lot in South Portland (shown in pink). On-site parking includes 300 long-term valet parking spaces (shown in orange), structured parking with 1,993 long-term and 141 short-term parking spaces (shown in blue), 345 long-term surface parking spaces (shown in green), and 102 short-term surface parking spaces (shown in yellow).
Courtesy Of Portland International Jetport
Aerial image showing public parking areas for the Jetport. Off-site parking includes a 483-space long-term parking lot in South Portland (shown in pink). On-site parking includes 300 long-term valet parking spaces (shown in orange), structured parking with 1,993 long-term and 141 short-term parking spaces (shown in blue), 345 long-term surface parking spaces (shown in green), and 102 short-term surface parking spaces (shown in yellow).

But many of their concerns, which include possible impacts on nearby wetlands and trees that provide a buffer between the airport and their neighborhood, remain and were echoed by members of the Portland planning board.

Member Justin Baker acknowledged the airport needs more parking but is urging planners to strike a better balance preserving the natural environment.

"I'm not convinced that you need this much or in this configuration of the parking," he said. "I feel like there are more creative or alternative ways to explore how to expand the parking here that doesn't necessitate doing what seems to be just the easiest solution, which is paving this all out, so that you have more options for redevelopment later on."

Bradbury said the new surface lots would set the stage for the construction of a larger parking garage in the future. The project would also include the installation of an on-site 1.9 megawatt
battery storage system.

The jetport has submitted an application to update its permits with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It will be up to the Portland planning board to eventually approve the project.