MILFORD - Store owners are blaming a recent parking shortage in downtown Milford on the increase in commuters claiming the spaces early each morning.

According to Steven Spector, the owner of a local realty business, the increase in gas prices has forced many residents to commute by train, and thus park their cars in the lot behind the former Harrison?s Hardware Store.

?The businesses, shops [and] restaurants who depend on parking in downtown Milford are going to be at risk of losing customers, because ? there is nowhere to park,? Spector says.

Despite the lot?s two-hour parking limit, News 12 Connecticut discovered that cars remain in the lot all day. Milford officials say this is an ongoing issue that must be solved by consistent enforcement of the limit.

?Although we have a commuter parking lot, there is a waiting list with several hundred people on that list,? says Robert Gregory, director of Economic and Community Development.

The city claims to be developing plans to build a new parking lot behind the court house on River Street, though an immediate fix for the parking drought has not been determined.