Free park­ing, new lots, kiosks and more are set for bor­ough

Centre Daily Times (Sunday) - - Front Page - BY SARAH PAEZ spaez@cen­tredaily.com

The next step to mod­ern­ize mu­nic­i­pal park­ing in Belle­fonte is near­ing com­ple­tion, and res­i­dents who park in the bor­ough may be in for a pleas­ant sur­prise — even if it’s a tem­po­rary one.

Work on the West High Street mu­nic­i­pal park­ing lot near CVS was set to fin­ish Fri­day, and in the

‘‘ THIS WHOLE PROJECT IS ABOUT EN­HANC­ING THE SAFETY OF THE AREA.

As­sis­tant Bor­ough Man­ager Don Hol­d­er­man

next one to two weeks, a com­pany con­tracted by the bor­ough will be­gin in­stalling new park­ing kiosks that take both credit cards and coins. Un­til the kiosks are fully in­stalled, park­ing in the lot will be free, said As­sis­tant Bor­ough Man­ager Don Hol­d­er­man.

The long-term im­prove­ment project also in­cludes repaving the lots, adding elec­tric ve­hi­cle charg­ing sta­tions and even­tu­ally up­grad­ing the coin­op­er­ated street me­ters to also ac­cept credit cards.

“There’s a lot of prob­lems with the cur­rent me­ters on the street ... me­chan­i­cal prob­lems, they’re stuck, they’re broke down,” Hol­d­er­man said.

In ad­di­tion to repaving, crews up­dated the West High Street lot by mak­ing it ADA-ac­ces­si­ble and adding con­duits for fu­ture elec­tric ve­hi­cle charg­ing sta­tions.

The West Howard Street lot, which had work com­pleted in June, now has two park­ing kiosks that ac­cept credit cards. De­pend­ing on where the bor­ough ends up fi­nan­cially, Hol­d­er­man said, it plans to do mi­nor ren­o­va­tions and add kiosks to the lot on South Spring Street near the Waf­fle Shop.

To use the kiosks, driv­ers must en­ter their li­cense plate num­ber, choose a time limit and in­sert their credit card or coins. They also have the op­tion of en­ter­ing a cell­phone num­ber to re­ceive a text alert when the time has ex­pired.

As a re­sult of in­stalling kiosks, park­ing rates have gone up in West Howard Street lot and will go up in the West High Street lot, from 50 cents an hour to $1.25.

The park­ing lot up­dates are among sev­eral cap­i­tal projects the bor­ough has been in­volved with, in­clud­ing the safety up­dates to Tal­leyrand Park. Part of that project will in­clude adding a guid­ing cross­walk that stretches along part of Meek Lane from the West High Street park­ing lot to the park, adding a guide rail on Pot­ter Street around the rail­road tracks and putting in fenc­ing around the playground area in the park.

The pedes­trian walk­way the bor­ough hopes to add to the rail­road bridge in Tal­leyrand Park is at least a year away, said Hol­d­er­man.

“This whole project is about en­hanc­ing the safety of the area,” he said.

ABBY DREY adrey@cen­tredaily.com

Be­fore kiosks are fully in­stalled in the mu­nic­i­pal park­ing lot on West High Street across from Tal­leyrand Park in Belle­fonte, park­ing will be free in the repaved lot. Once the kiosks are in, park­ing rates will in­crease to $1.25 an hour.

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