State College

Arts Fest Weekend Outlook: Sunny with a side of traffic, construction

Allen Street full or fun for Arts Fest

Take a walk down Allen Street on Children and Youth Day at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.
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Take a walk down Allen Street on Children and Youth Day at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.

While the weekend forecast for Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and People’s Choice Festival in Boalsburg looks dry and sunny, festival-goers should plan for some construction traffic and parking obstacles.

Heading west into State College on U.S. Route 322 through the Seven Mountains, motorists may encounter delays stemming from the Potters Mills Gap project. Though there are no lane restrictions between Decker Valley Road and Route 144 this weekend, according to the state Department of Transportation, drivers should still keep watch for construction vehicles making stops or turns.

East of Potters Mills near the Seven Mountains Campgrounds, the crossover remains in place with one lane open in each direction, according to PennDOT. A westbound detour using Route 144 north and Route 45 west will resume Monday between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., with flaggers in the roadway to perform traffic control at both the Route 322/Route 144 intersection and the Route 144/Route 45 intersection in Old Fort. Eastbound traffic will remain on Route 322, PennDOT said in a release.

Throughout the weekend, several construction projects in State College may cause traffic or route issues for festival-goers.

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Megan Horan works on a piece of jewelry at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts on Thursday, July 11, 2019. Megan’s Jewelry Box uses Japanese seed beads to create her woven and bead embroidered pieces. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

On Friday, Hiester Street between East Calder Way and Wilson Alley in State College will be closed between 3 a.m. and noon for concrete pouring, according to the borough.

At the intersection of the 300 block of West College Avenue and Atherton Street, there is a lane restriction for a turning lane that sometimes causes congestion, due to construction of The Standard high-rise.

However, drivers will get a reprieve from the worst of the PennDOT Atherton Street construction project. No additional lane closures will be in place through Sunday due to Arts Fest and two lanes will remain open in both directions for the weekend, PennDOT said.

Parts of the sidewalk have been removed on both sides of Atherton Street between Cherry Lane and Hillcrest Avenue, and signing directs pedestrian traffic to use side streets, according to PennDOT. Between Hillcrest Avenue and Park Avenue, the long-term lane closure on the far-right side of Atherton Street heading toward Penn State will remain in place, and the center turning lane will also remain closed at all times, PennDOT said.

Though Thursday brought rain, sunny, clear skies are in the forecast for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, according to the National Weather Service in State College.

On Friday, patchy fog is expected in the morning, giving way to sun with a high near 80 degrees. Friday night is expected to be mostly clear with a low near 59. Heading into Saturday morning, more fog is expected in the morning, with sun and a high of 84 degrees predicted later in the day. Saturday night is predicted to be clear with a low of 65, and Sunday should be sunny all day with a high near 83. Temperatures will dip again Sunday night with a low around 59 degrees.

With parking changes in effect for both Penn State and the Borough of State College, festival-goers can park in the Jordan East or Stadium West lots near the Bryce Jordan Center for $5 and take the CATA Blue Loop downtown to Arts Fest. On Friday, service begins at 4:45 a.m. with the last departure to Jordan East at midnight. On Saturday, CATA service begins at 8:30 a.m. and the last departure to Jordan East is at midnight. On Sunday, service begins at 10:30 a.m. with the last departure to Jordan East at 6:00 p.m.

Downtown, congestion due to pedestrian traffic is expected, so motorists might sit in traffic looking for parking. Parking garages are located on the 100 block of South Fraser Street, the 100 block of South Pugh Street, and the 200 block of West Beaver Avenue. For Arts Fest weekend, the rate to park in any garage is $2.25 per hour. On campus, drivers can park at the Nittany, East or HUB parking decks for $1 an hour.

Parking is also available in municipal lots at the 200 block of S. Allen Street, the 100 block of McAllister Street and in the 100 block of West Beaver Avenue, for $2.25 an hour.

Street parking is available but limited due to pedestrian traffic and reserved street vendor parking. Rates are $1.25 an hour from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Merchant-validated parking is available through participating vendors and restaurants for the Beaver Avenue, Fraser Street or Pugh Street parking garages. For more information, visit the Downtown State College Improvement District website at www.downtownstatecollege.com.

For more information on Arts Fest, including maps, parking, vendors and lodging, visit https://arts-festival.com/plan-your-visit/.

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Sarah Paez covers Centre County communities, government and town and gown relations for the Centre Daily Times. She studied English and Spanish at Cornell University and grew up outside of Washington, D.C.
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