State College Borough Discussing Social Distancing, for when Students come back


Now that we know Penn State classes will held on campus in the Fall, thousands of students are expected to descend upon Happy Valley.

The State College Borough is now looking for ways to promote social distancing downtown.

Monday night, Ed LeClear, planning director for the State College Borough presented council with ideas for social distancing in the downtown area, for the start of Penn State’s Fall semester.

They’re exploring eliminating parking lanes on the 100 block of South Allen Street, and some stretches of Beaver Avenue and College Avenue.

When it comes to College Avenue, they’re looking at what the options would be from a design standpoint.

Residents say they see the good and bad to getting rid of street parking lanes.

“Obviously we need to social distance, that’s just a new standard int he world, but we do have a parking problem in State College, so all these cars that you’re seein’ here, they’re going to have to park somewhere,” Jim Gonder from Toftrees, said.

Leclear says, by turning the parking lanes into expanded sidewalks, students and residents would have more space to social distance when walking.

“There’s not a whole lot we can specifically do on the public side to encourage different behavior, this is one of the things that is a lever we can pull, in terms of trying to create more physical space,” LeClear, said.

Right now, they’re looking at using concrete barriers to block off traffic.
LeClear says borough council has to decide if this project is worth the costs.
The borough would get some state money from Centre County Government, but would have to pay for realigning lanes and lights, and would also lose parking meter revenues.

LeClear says, he’ll talk with the borough council again about social distancing strategies, the first week of July.

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February 07 2021 06:30 pm

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