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Free Parking at Penn State’s Arboretum to End Soon

With the start of construction for the new Palmer Museum of Art, visitors to the Arboretum at Penn State will see some changes — including an end to free parking.

Beginning Monday, July 19, the Arboretum’s parking lot will be removed and visitors will need to park across Bigler Road in the Lewis Katz Building lot. Two ADA-accessible spaces will remain available next to the Arboretum’s Overlook Pavilion.

Parking in the Katz Building lot requires a Penn State permit valid for Orange lots or a $1 per hour fee, all day every day.

Visitors will be able to purchase parking for a maximum of two hours on weekdays when classes are in session during Penn State’s fall and spring semesters. On weekdays during summer and winter breaks, visitors can park for more than two hours.

All day parking on Saturdays and Sundays will be available for $8.

Visitors must use the pay station in the Katz Building lot to pay for parking by credit card or use the ParkMobile App.

Temporary ADA-accessible walkways will be installed around the perimeter of the construction site to provide access to the gardens. New stop signs also will be installed on Bigler Road near the Katz Building lot to improve traffic control for pedestrians crossing the road.

Penn State trustees in May approved plans for the new $85 million 71,000-square-foot Palmer Museum of Art to be constructed adjacent to the Arboretum as part of a vision for a cultural district at University Park. Construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2023.

No new parking is incorporated in the museum plans.

University planner Neil Sullivan said in March that parking consultant was hired and determined the 339-space Katz Building lot would accommodate the law school building and current and future needs of the Arboretum and the museum.

At peak times, 103 spaces would be used for faculty and staff, 86 for Arboretum staff and visitors and 89 for the museum, Sullivan said. Student parking passes, which Sullivan said increases the current usage, will no longer be sold for the Katz Building lot.

“When [classes are] in session, we don’t anticipate the highest need for parking for the museum or the Arboretum. So there is this natural synergy that occurs,” Sullivan said. “Toward the afternoon and the end of the day as faculty and staff and students do go home, that’s when people start coming to these facilities during the weekday. During the weekend, of course, we do expect higher numbers and thats when this parking lot we think will be mostly available for visitors to the Arboretum and museum.”