The next step to modernize municipal parking in Bellefonte is nearing completion, and residents who park in the borough may be in for a pleasant surprise — even if it’s a temporary one.
Work on the West High Street municipal parking lot near CVS is set to finish Friday, and in the next one to two weeks, a company contracted by the borough will begin installing new parking kiosks that take both credit cards and coins. Until the kiosks are fully installed, parking in the lot will be free, said Assistant Borough Manager Don Holderman.
The long-term improvement project also includes repaving the lots, adding electric vehicle charging stations and eventually upgrading the coin-operated street meters to also accept credit cards.
“There’s a lot of problems with the current meters on the street ... mechanical problems, they’re stuck, they’re broke down,” Holderman said.
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In addition to repaving, crews updated the West High Street lot by making it ADA-accessible and adding conduits for future electric vehicle charging stations.
The West Howard Street lot, which had work completed in June, now has two parking kiosks that accept credit cards. Depending on where the borough ends up financially, Holderman said, it plans to do minor renovations and add kiosks to the lot on South Spring Street near the Waffle Shop.
To use the kiosks, drivers must enter their license plate number, choose a time limit and insert their credit card or coins. They also have the option of entering a cellphone number to receive a text alert when the time has expired.
As a result of installing kiosks, parking rates have gone up in West Howard Street lot and will go up in the West High Street lot, from 50 cents an hour to $1.25.
The parking lot updates are among several capital projects the borough has been involved with, including the safety updates to Talleyrand Park. Part of that project will include adding a guiding crosswalk that stretches along part of Meek Lane from the West High Street parking lot to the park, adding a guide rail on Potter Street around the railroad tracks and putting in fencing around the playground area in the park.
The pedestrian walkway the borough hopes to add to the railroad bridge in Talleyrand Park is at least a year away, said Holderman.
“This whole project is about enhancing the safety of the area,” he said.