State College

Mount Nittany parking an issue for College Township Council

A few of residents expressed their concerns about the parking along Mount Nittany Road at the Township Council meeting Thursday.

Township engineer Kent Baker indicated that, during different points in the year, Mount Nittany Road is choked with parking along the side of the road leading to the Mount Nittany trailhead.

“Mount Nittany Conservancy has been making improvements for many years out there,” he said, “and it’s obviously become increasingly popular. There are a lot of people using that trail, especially this last weekend.”

Ruth Bell, who lives along the congested area, said she’s lived there 20 years and the fall is the worst time of year for parking.

“The weather drives what happens up there a lot,” she said. “Is it annoying to have 60 cars up there? Yeah. Is it a safety hazard? Yeah. But we learn to adjust.”

As a way of easing parking congestion, Baker suggested that a township-owned lot off West Mount Nittany Road, a private drive, could be used for parking during the weekends.

The suggestion was not received well by some other Mount Nittany residents.

Herb Williams, who lives adjacent to the township property, said a previous council had suggested the same solution, and “It got to be terrible.”

“People would be in there doing doughnuts in that parking area late at night,” he said. “It got to be a lot of late-night stuff going on.”

He would also go out on Sundays to clean trash out of the lot, he said, often coming out with a half-full bag.

“I’m against any overflow parking in that area,” he said.

Baker said, however, that parking will remain an issue until something is done. Township Manager Adam Brumbaugh suggested restricting parking where the road curves to the north, which could help alleviate some issues.

The board took no action on the issue Thursday, but the council agreed creating signage that would restrict parking in the lot to weekends from dawn until dusk only would be a good idea. Baker also suggested a trial run of parking in the township lot for six months to a year then revisiting the issue.

Council will address the issue again within the next two meetings to create a resolution.