Free Holiday Parking to Return to Downtown State College –


Fraser Street Parking Garage in State College. Photo by Geoff Rushton |
Free parking will return to downtown State College this holiday season, albeit a few days later than last year, following approval by State College Borough Council on Monday night.
From Nov. 28 to Dec. 22, the grace period for free parking in garages will increase from 30 minutes to two hours and courtesy cards will be issued to forgive up to three meter violations at street meters and municipal surface lots. Street meter and lot parking will be free after 5 p.m. daily.
Parking at all municipal garages, street meters and lots then will be free from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2.
State College resident Josh Portney inquired if the Holiday Parking Program could begin on Nov. 26 in support of Small Business Saturday. The 2021 program began three days before Thanksgiving, but this year’s will start the Monday after.
Borough Manager Tom Fountaine said Penn State football’s final home game of the season makes it too difficult to implement free parking that day.
“That Saturday is a football weekend and so parking is scarce to begin with and free parking would make it totally unavailable,” Fountaine said.
The Holiday Parking Program is a partnership between the borough and the Downtown State College Improvement District.
“Our district’s businesses believe this is the most valuable service we provide each year,” DSCID Executive Director Lee Anne Jeffries wrote in the request for this year’s program.
The free parking will have a $74,000 impact on the borough budget, including $57,000.00 from the Parking fund and $17,000.00 from the general fund.
“It is not an inexpensive cost in terms of lost revenue, however in terms of the benefit to downtown State College it’s proven to be pretty valuable,” Fountaine said.
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