It’s possible to find parking and avoid getting ticketed in State College and on Penn State’s campus, if you know where to look.
More than 420 metered parking spots are available on downtown streets, and you can use quarters, dimes, nickels or cash keys to pay the $1 an hour cost. Cash keys let you park by inserting the key, rather than cash, into the meter. Buy a key at the parking office, 243 S. Allen St.
Street meters are enforced from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. At meters in borough-owned parking lots, the rate is 75 cents per hour; those meters are enforced from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. All parking at borough street meters is free after 6 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays. Lot spaces are free after 6 p.m. on Thursdays. Watch the color of the meters. Gold means 90-minute to two-hour parking is allowed, red is for 30-minute parking, and silver is for five-hour parking.
A parking deck in the 100 block of McAllister Street has three- and five-hour meters. Its second level, though, is reserved for monthly renters from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays.
Newly installed electronic meters at borough-owned lots (West Beaver Avenue, South Allen Street, and the first floor of the McAllister deck) take credit cards, in addition to coins. People can also pay using a mobile app.
Three parking garages downtown, on the 100 blocks of South Pugh and South Fraser streets and the 200 block of West Beaver Avenue, are open 24 hours a day. The rate is 75 cents an hour; from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the rate is 50 cents an hour. Free parking is available Sundays in the garages and all municipal lots, except for weekends with football games or special events. Parking is also free after 6 p.m. Thursdays at the McAllister deck and all municipal lots. Drivers can use EZ Cards for garage parking. For information, see the Beaver Avenue garage parking attendant or call 278-4769.
Parking isn’t allowed on many borough streets from 2 to 6 a.m. Violators can be ticketed. The police department can grant temporary exceptions if a request is placed by calling the nonemergency number, 234-7150.
Fines range from $6 to $25 and are higher for parking illegally in handicapped spaces or in fire lanes. After 72 hours, the cost of an unpaid ticket increases. You can pay parking tickets online at www.statecollegepa.us or mail ticket payments or drop them off at the State College Municipal Building, 243 S. Allen St., State College, PA 16801.
For additional parking information, including details about renting spaces from the borough, call 234-7131.
The parking office also can provide information on permits, which are often necessary if you want to park on a residential street for more than two hours at a time. Keep in mind: Towing costs easily can run about $80 or more. In addition, the rates listed here are subject to change.
Parking on campus is divided into two categories: people affiliated with the university and everyone else. All parking on campus requires either a permit or the use of a parking meter with time showing on the clock face, or parking in an hourly facility such as the Nittany Deck, East or HUB Deck. Short-term parking is $1 per hour.
For all-day parking in certain lots, visitors can buy a special $6 daily permit at the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau (800 Park Ave., State College, from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.Monday-Friday) and in the Parking Office (Eisenhower Parking Deck, 7:30 a.m-5 p.m. Monday-Friday). Permits are sold at the information booths across campus from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and at any of the three gated parking garages until midnight Monday-Friday.
Metered spaces, which cost a quarter for each 15 minutes, are also open to visitors. The meters accept U.S. quarters only and have varied maximum time allowed. There are 30-minute maximum meters, one- and two-hour maximum meters and eight-hour maximum meters. Check the meter head for details. Additional visitor parking is available at the Nittany Deck, beside the Nittany Lion Inn and accessible from Park Avenue; the HUB Deck on Shortlidge Road; and the East Deck on Bigler Road. Parking in these facilities costs $1 per hour or any portion thereof.
Visitors traveling to campus by motorcycle can park at the Nittany, HUB or East parking decks for $1 per hour (cash only).
Parking without a permit — and other types of parking violations on campus — can result in a ticket with fines such as $20 for parking in the wrong lot or for an expired meter. Unauthorized parking in a handicapped space carries a $100 fine. Those who receive a ticket have 30 days to pay the fine.
Commuters can use Lot 44, beside the Bryce Jordan Center, the Stadium West Lot, beside Beaver Stadium, or the Porter North Lot, beside Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Parking is prohibited in all commuter lots from 2 to 4 a.m. daily.
More parking information: www.parking.psu.edu.
IF YOU LIVE ON CAMPUS
Sophomores, juniors and seniors living on campus are eligible to buy a campus parking permit. Prices range from $10 or $20 per week (two weeks maximum) to $280 or $640 for two semesters. Parking is limited and is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Any student who plans on parking a car on campus at any time, for any reason, must purchase the appropriate permit. Permit prices are subject to change.
IF YOU LIVE OFF CAMPUS
Spaces are available in the commuter lots. However, commuter permits are not valid for overnight parking. A limited number of special parking permits are available for those who live off campus. They allow students to park in their assigned campus lot 24/7. Rates for those permits range from $16 per week (two weeks maximum) to $320 for fall and spring semester. Prices for commuter permits are $55 per semester or $90 for fall and spring.