I've read a lot of posts from people who are worried about traffic, parking, and crowds here in Maine in the summer. I grew up in NY and have lived in Baltimore and Chicago, so I know something about traffic and crowds! For folks who are worried, I hope I can calm your anxiety a little bit. As many have said, for those coming from more congested parts of the US, you will probably laugh at what we call a traffic jam.
Sure, things get busier in the summer and there are lots more people and cars around. But it's all relative. I drive Commercial Street in Portland every single day to get to work. In the winter it takes me about 5 minutes to get from one end to the other. In the summer, this drive triples to 15 minutes. But really, I don't mind. I enjoy seeing the people and the cruise ships when they are in the harbor. The hustle and bustle of a hopping Old Port is fun.
The other day I went out to lunch with my sister. I found a place at a meter about 3 blocks from the restaurant. In any other month except July and August I would've been able to park just steps away. But walking 3 blocks (which took all of 5 minutes) gave us a chance to window shop on our way to lunch.
What really drives people "wicked up the wall" is construction related traffic jams. But the "powers that be" (ie, the DOT) knows this and does everything possible to minimize problems, such as doing construction at night and putting up signs in advance, warning people of upcoming projects and suggesting taking an alternate route. From where I sit, their efforts are working. So far this summer (knock on wood) I have not gotten stuck in any horrendous traffic tie-ups due to construction.
So for those who are worried, all I can say is--don't waste too much energy on this. We have good roads, it is easy to get around, and parking is plentiful. We are happy to have you here, whether you have arrived by car, train, bus, plane, or cruise ship. Enjoy our beautiful state!