Free parking in State College’s three downtown garages is coming to an end on Monday.
The Beaver Avenue, Fraser Street and Pugh Street garages will resume charging their hourly fees ($1 for 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 75 cents for 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.), according to an update from the borough parking department. Sundays remain free.
Free parking with a two-hour time limit will continue for street meter parking. Parking in the Allen Street Lot, Beaver Avenue Lot and McAllister Parking Deck also remains free with a three-hour limit.
All parking restrictions in borough neighborhoods will be enforced.
The free street meter and lot parking with a time limit is meant to assist local businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure turnover so that more spaces are available for patrons. It also is designed to ensure vehicles are not being stored overnight and for borough staff to complete routine street sweeping and maintenance.
State College began offering free on- and off-street parking at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 to help limit the spread of the virus and help local businesses adapt operations for pickup and takeout
In October, the borough signed a memorandum of understanding with the Downtown State College Improvement District that, in part, also provides discounts to employees of downtown businesses for monthly parking permits.
The State College Parking Department’s revenues from meters, permits and daily fees in 2020 declined substantially because of the pandemic and free parking. Those revenues were about $1.34 million, a drop of $2.7 million from 2019 and $2.4 million less than was budgeted, according to the borough’s 2021 budget.