One way the city has dealt with the challenge in Federal Hill is residential permit parking.
The council voted recently to eliminate permit parking in Canton's Area 43, and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has signed a five-year moratorium on permit parking throughout the neighborhood.
It's an option that divides Canton neighbors.
In the two years that first-year Johns Hopkins doctoral student Julie Lade lived on Essex Street, she said, she would circle the packed streets of the neighborhood for as much as an hour some evenings looking for a parking spot.
That stopped when Lade, 25, moved just a few blocks away to the 800 block of S. Port St., within Area 43, and secured a parking permit.
"I've saved like an hour a night," Lade said.
But after the council vote early this month, she said, permit signs were removed. That night, she looked for parking for 40 minutes before settling for a spot on Boston Street — where the sign said she had to be out by 7 a.m.
"I'm not so sure if this was a good vote on behalf of the City Council," Lade wrote in an email.
She had paid the city $60 for her permit and a pass for visitors, she said. If the system was going to be only temporary, she wrote, it was "a complete waste of everyone's time."
Adam Spain, who lives on South Bouldin Street but works near Lade's home at the tech company Millennial Media, said permit parking makes it more difficult for his friends to find spaces when they visit.
"That's why going to Fed Hill is such a pain, because of all the different permit spots," he said.
Spain said he approves instead of the city's efforts to replace parallel parking with angled parking.
James said the city is "actively installing" angled spots in Canton "wherever possible," which she said will add hundreds of new spaces.
Officials also are working with the car-sharing company ZipCar to expand the neighborhood's current two-car fleet, seeking to expand Circulator bus routes and considering adding parking meters in commercial areas, James said. Officials are beginning to talk with residents, business owners and the transportation department about adding "bicycle parking."
Hiroyuki Iseki, a research faculty member at the National Center for Smart Growth Research & Education at the University of Maryland, College Park, said public transit options, such as Baltimore's proposed east-west light rail Red Line, will be critical in the process.
Iseki said neighborhoods should work with the city to establish rapid bus services and install more bike lanes, and urge local employers to give employees incentives to choose those options.
"Providing the good public transportation certainly substitutes the car trips," he said.
All efforts to address the parking problem are appreciated, said Jurkiewicz, of the Canton Community Association. But what residents really want is not in the works: a garage.
"We've been asking, pleading, begging the city for a parking garage somewhere between O'Donnell Street and the Can Co., but there are two problems," Jurkiewicz said. "There's no money and no real property to build it on."
One site residents have suggested as a potential garage site is the Safeway parking lot on Boston Street.
A Safeway spokesman said the company is looking at redeveloping the site — the entire site, not just the parking lot — now that the economy has rebounded a bit. But nothing has been decided.
"We've been very happy to see the community grow over the years, but now it presents these types of issues," spokesman Greg TenEyck said. "In recent months, I know it's been something that we've been taking a look at actively."