State College Borough Council considered doing away with a longstanding practice of not enforcing overnight street and lawn parking restrictions during home Penn State football game weekends.
But at its meeting Monday, council voted to move forward with a pilot program in the Highlands neighborhood that would incorporate the full enforcement of the overnight parking restrictions from 2-6 a.m. at all times, while providing a program to provide a permit system that would allow residents to obtain permits for overnight parking. The permits would have fees associated.
The request for a pilot program to eliminate the parking waiver on football weekends came from the Highlands Civic Association.
Borough Council President Evan Myers said that since the Highlands is the only neighborhood that wants this change, it should only apply there.
Monday's motion, which passed 5-2, with dissenting votes cast by Myers and Councilman Dan Murphy, also moved forward a codification of the waiver practice in the rest of the borough for special events like football games and Arts Fest, with the exception of the downtown area.
The Transportation Commission made a recommendation to enforce the ordinance as it's written and not grant permission to park between 2-6 a.m. for any special events or at any other time.
Next, an ordinance on the pilot program and codification of the waiver will be prepared and brought back to council for a vote.
Brent Rice, former University Park Undergraduate Association speaker of assembly, had started a petition on change.org to save overnight parking during football weekends. By early afternoon Monday, it had garnered 721 signatures, with a goal of 1,000.
"This move will end a more than 40-year tradition of opening our streets to returning alumni, family and friends to take part in the magic of downtown State College. Many residents and students alike have called this move anti-community and have pleaded with council to reconsider ending this welcoming tradition," the petition says.