If you have tried to park in downtown Portland, Maine, recently, you've probably discovered that it's not as easy or affordable as it once was.

During the pandemic, the City of Portland decided to close off several side streets in order to allow for restaurants to provide outdoor dining, which tourists and locals took full advantage of. Several of those outdoor dining areas have been left in place, further depleting parking options downtown. In the ol' case of supply and demand, instead of more parking becoming available, it's unfortunately only made parking more expensive.

While many would likely not be surprised to see parking become more of an economic headache, the City of Portland has not announced any changes at this time.

That said, there are fliers that are circulating downtown stating otherwise. These fliers are stating substantial increases in parking fees, more restrictions, and higher fines. According to News Center Maine, the city has confirmed that these fliers are fake and most likely an April Fools' joke.

Who the prankster is remains to be seen, and News Center Maine also reported that the City of Portland does not have any plans on investigating. Local parking enforcement have been removing any fliers that they come across.

Will any price increases, restrictions, or higher fines be initiated in the near future? No one knows for sure, but as of right now, it's business as usual as we head into Maine's biggest tourist season.

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