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  • After a series of public forums held from November 2022 through February 2023, and the completion of a Downtown Parking Study (which you may see below,) the City issued new parking regulations in 2024 that include Resident, Business, and Employee permits, as well as new paid parking for non-permit holders in three of the City’s parking lots: the Winter Street, the Thorndike, and the Customs House lots.


    Downtown Parking FAQs

    Will downtown residents be able to purchase a parking permit?

    Yes. Downtown residents may purchase parking permits that allow for 24-hour parking in the

    • Thorndike Parking lot for $25/calendar year
    • Winter Street Parking lot for $20/calendar year


    Will downtown employees and business owners be able to purchase a parking permit?

    Yes. Employees and Business owners may purchase a permit for daytime parking only—not overnight.

    • A Thorndike Parking lot permit is $30/calendar year
    • A Winter Street Parking lot permit is $20/calendar year
    • A Custom House lot permit is $40/Month or $440/calendar year. Please note that there are only 30 spaces available at the Custom House lot


    Can any Rockland resident purchase a parking permit for the Thorndike or the Winter Street parking lots?

    No. Residents must reside within the designated downtown zone

    What period is a permit good for?

    Permits are for a calendar year of January to December. You may purchase a permit at any point during the calendar year

    Will metered parking in the Thorndike, Winter, and Custom House lots be year-round?

    No. metered parking will only be from May through October. For the rest of the year, parking will remain 2-hour free parking

    How will non-permit-holders pay for parking?

    Non-permit-holders can pay for parking through the IPS Pay Stations, which accept multiple payment options including credit/debit cards, coins, and contactless payments with Apple Pay® and Google Pay™. The fee is $2/hour

    Will Rockland residents who are non-permit holders get a special rate?

    Yes. Rockland residents will get a code to enter at the IPS Stations which will allow them up to five hours of free parking each month

    Will there be a long-term parking option?

    Yes. Visitors who wish to park long-term may do so at Macdougal Park:

    • Maximum stay is 15 days
    • No Overnight Camping
    • Only the 9 westerly spaces
    • Available from May 1 through October 31 only
    • Fee of $5/day
    • Passenger Vehicles Only – no campers or trailers
    Will there be metered parking along Main Street?

    No. Parking along Main Street will remain 2-hour free parking from 9 am – 6 pm

    How many spots can I purchase for myself or my business?

    An individual or business may not hold more than 7 spots at any time at the Custom House Lot. There are no limits at the Thorndike or Winter Street lots

    What if no spaces are available in the Custom House Lot and I am a permit owner?

    If the lot is full, permitted vehicles may park on the Southerly side of Limerock Street between Main and Union Streets (the side closest to the lot), the Westerly side of Court House Place (the side opposite to the lot), and the Southerly side of School Street, between (the side opposite to the lot). The permitted vehicles would be exempt from parking time limits on those streets. Vehicles may not park on those streets during the City’s Winter Parking Ban

    Downtown Parking Study

    The purpose of the study was to evaluate downtown parking operations, including parking supply and demand, and to recommend changes to parking regulations, policies, and management strategies – that could include expanded paid parking strategies – for the purpose of improving overall downtown parking conditions.

    The City contracted with John Burke, a parking and transit consultant, to conduct the study. Mr. Burke is a registered professional engineer (PE) in the State of Maine, and Certified Administrator of Public Parking (CAPP) through the International Parking & Mobility Institute (IPMI). He has served as a Parking & Transportation Director for multiple cities and has prepared parking management plans for several coastal communities in New England including Bar Harbor & Camden, Maine, Newburyport & Plymouth, MA, Portsmouth, NH, and others.

    On February 15, 2023, Mr. Burke offered this presentation at a public parking forum, a recording of which is available for viewing here.