On Centre: Centre Region | State College Borough considers more residential zones to help control street parking

September 13, 2013 

A proposal to add residential parking zones to the borough would help control the problem of people parking in neighborhoods and leaving their vehicles for weeks or longer, said Parking Manager Charles DeBow.

DeBow proposed to the borough Transportation Commission this week the creation of six residential parking zones, limiting those with residential parking permits to their assigned area.

However, that doesn’t mean every street would allow residential parking.

Similar to posting borough streets as not allowing parking from 2 to 6 a.m., the borough would consider on-street parking based on resident requests. When DeBow receives one, he mails a letter to all residents on that street, and 66 percent have to favor the change to allow it.

“Just because we’re making these zones doesn’t mean we’ll give the opportunity to buy a parking pass,” he said.

But creating zones would make it easier to address incoming requests, instead of requiring the Borough Council to approve ordinance changes every time.

The new zones also would help address complaints of long-term parking on neighborhood streets by students, business people or those parking near a Centre Area Transportation Authority stop to ride the bus, by limiting permit holders to their respective zones.

Commissioner Paul Rito said he supports the concept.

“I live on a street with an apartment building of students,” he said, adding that students will come move their cars if a policy merely required vehicle owners to park on alternate sides of the street on certain days.

DeBow emphasized that, should the council approve the creation of permit zones, nothing else changes until the borough approves parking on individual streets.

CATA to appear on PCN Tours

A crew from PCN Tours was in town last week and stopped by the CATA offices to film with CATA General Manager Hugh Mose.

Mose gave the crew a tour of CATA’s facilities.

The footage will appear on the episode set for 8 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29, as part of a tour of natural gas producer WPX Energy’s Pennsylvania operations.

Coming borough projects

At this week’s Transportation Commission meeting, State College engineer Amy Kerner updated the group that she attended scope-planning meetings for The Metropolitan and for a traffic impact study for the Fraser Centre, two upcoming projects.

She didn’t have any specific information to share, but said she would keep the committee posted as she learns more.

The Metropolitan is a 12-story building planned for the corner of Atherton Street and West College Avenue, proposed to include mixed uses such as student and other apartments, retail and office space.

The Fraser Centre is another tall, mixed-use building, proposed for the corner of Beaver Avenue and Fraser Street. The long-delayed project is expected to reach the construction phase this fall, and will include a hotel, restaurant, retail and condominiums.

Jessica VanderKolk writes this weekly column featuring news from the Centre Region. Contact her at 235-3910. Follow her on Twitter @jVanReporter.

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