Save Overnight Parking in State College during Football Weekends

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The State College Borough Council is expected to vote Monday, April 16 on an ordinance to ban overnight street parking in the borough during football and other event weekends. This move will end a more than 40-year tradition of opening our streets to returning alumni, family, and friends to take part in the magic of downtown State College. Many residents and students alike have called this move anti-community and have pleaded with Council to reconsider ending this welcoming tradition.

The idea for this ban originated as a proposal from the Highlands Civic Association (HCA), a local neighborhood association representing the self-proclaimed “Best Neighborhood in State College, PA,” according to its website. The HCA, whose membership is restricted to resident homeowners, has a history rooted in anti-student, anti-visitor policy and discrimination, as evident by the aforementioned membership policy.

The Highlands Civic Association, whose territory contains a large number of student and young professional residents, claims its proposal represents the interests of the entire Highlands Neighborhood, yet Councilman Dan Murphy begged to differ during a Borough Council work session April 9, explaining the majority of Highlands Residents he had spoken to were against the ban. Former State College Borough Councilman Thomas Daubert also criticized the proposed move, arguing that the ordinance would discourage visitors from coming to State College. On March 21, the University Park Undergraduate Association unanimously passed Resolution 38-12 in opposition to this change on behalf of the more than 46,000 undergraduate students at Penn State.

It appears the voices and concerns of these groups have fallen among deaf ears, in comparison to a vocal few members of the HCA. A straw poll conducted among Council in advance of the April 16 vote revealed that five of the seven council members were in favor of a pilot program banning overnight parking in State College. Only Councilmen Dan Murphy and Evan Myers raised their hand in support of continuing this important tradition.

But all hope is not yet lost. I encourage you to join me in defending overnight parking in our community so that all who wish to be a part of the State College community may do so. Please sign this petition, email the Borough, and come out to the Borough Council meeting at 7 p.m. in the State College Municipal Building to have your voice heard. This town, as special as it is, belongs to all of us: past, present, and future.

-Brent Rice