There are things you count on to happen in Portland every year. The leaves on the trees in Deering Oaks will fall, the Christmas decorations will appear in November and the price of parking on the street will go up. For the fourth year in a row, Portland has raised the hourly cost at parking meters.

According to WMTW 8, the Portland City Council approved the 25 cent per hour increase as part of the fiscal year 2021 city budget. That means it will now cost $2.00 per hour to park in metered spaces in Portland.

Warning. Rant incoming.

First, I understand that this has been a tough year for Portland with the money they make from parking meters. With the COVID-19 pandemic, more people have been staying home so less people are parking on the streets. The city even went a few months where they didn't charge at parking meters. I'm sure they need to make that up, but even without the pandemic, this would have happened anyway based on what's been done in the past.

While 25 cents may not sound like much, the increase has been an annual occurrence. The metered price was raised from $1.00 to $1.25 in 2017, raised to $1.50 in 2018, $1.75 in 2019 and as of October 1 it is now at $2.00. If you park in Portland daily, that adds up quickly.

Do you use the parking app to pay for your parking? Tack on a 25 cent convenience fee making your one hour of parking go to $2.25.

I know what some people will say,. "Quit your complaining. You should see the price in Boston." I get it that Boston is expensive, but this isn't Boston. 66,000 people live in Portland. 10 times that many live in Boston. It shouldn't cost this much here.

Parking costs in the city at paid lots, garages and on the streets are continuously increasing as well making it more and more difficult for people who work and live in Portland to afford to park their cars. The price of housing in Portland forces many people to live in nearby towns and make the commute in and there are no alternatives for transportation like in big metropolitan areas, with the exception of the Amtrak Downeaster with stops in Brunswick and Freeport that will bring passengers to Portland.

I'm marking my calendar right now for $2.25 per hour next year.

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