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Downtown Bangor Extends Parking To 90 Minutes 

Starting November 15th folks shopping in downtown Bangor will have more time to browse the shops and dine in the restaurants. The city council voted 6-3 last night to change parking policy for some parts of downtown. Time limits on more than 100 parking spaces in downtown Bangor will be increased from 60 minutes to 90 minutes. This represents 27% of the one hour spaces that are in the downtown area. “These spaces are really in the area that have the most number of shops where patrons and customers visit a lot,” says Bangor Chief of Police Ron Gastia, “where there are a lot of restaurants, lot of retail stores, that being Main St., Hammond St., Union St areas.” Business owners downtown hope the extra half hour will will help give their shops a boost in sales. Nancy Peers is the manager of The Grasshopper Shop is optimistic. “People sometimes choose between lunch and shopping and this will give them an opportunity to do both we hope,” says Peers, “we’d like to see more but we’ll take 90 minutes.” “I hope it helps because it will give people time to have lunch and then maybe visit a few shops with one trip downtown,” says Heather Vanfrankenhuyzen, owner of Bella Luna, “instead of having to go to their cars, an hour is not that long.”Some of the shopkeepers, like Jean Stoneton Assistant Manager at Antique Market Place and Cafe, told me parking situation is something that is always lingering on the minds of shoppers. “They were always asking how strict are they on parking should I go move my car,” says Stoneton, “what do I have to do.” Meanwhile Terri Anderson, a shopper from Ellsworth was excited about the news. “I just found out about it today,” Anderson says, “I actually was just rushing out of the store that I was in because I was afraid I was gonna get ticketed which I’ve gotten on a couple of occasions.”There is one part of the new time limit that could pose a problem according to Chief Gastia. “When we change to 90 minutes, we will allow current violators, people who violate intentionally, to have a longer stay in those parking spaces,” says Gastia, “in other words they can violate for longer periods of time.”Some folks down here are willing to take that chance. “I think that was a very small percentage of people who would go move their car around and around and around to avoid a ticket,” says Stoneton, “as compared to the 100% of the shoppers who would benefit from this.”