Beaver, College Avenues Could Become Two-Way Streets
Downtown’s two main roads could be undergoing some serious changes over the next few years if the State College Borough Council moves forward with a suggestion to convert Beaver and College Avenues into two-way streets.
The idea of making the now one-way streets into two-ways was brought up at last Monday’s Borough Council meeting by council member Pete Morris.
Morris said the idea came to him after attending a talk on promoting “walkability” in cities at the Pennsylvania Municipal League Convention in June. Two-way streets slow traffic, Morris said, making walking in congested areas easier and enhancing pedestrian safety.
According to Borough Manager Tom Fountaine, both streets are considered state highways, so PennDOT would need to approve any plans and conduct a traffic study before any changes could be made. If Borough Council decides to move forward with this idea and submit a request for its own traffic study, it may consider asking PennDOT to identify Beaver and College as local streets and turn over maintenance responsibilities to the Borough.
When the Borough considered requesting the jurisdiction of the roads from PennDOT a few years ago to expand sidewalks and pedestrian areas, the cost of maintaining the roads was prohibitive. Fountaine said that if the Borough Council decides to pursue making the streets two-way, the maintenance of these roads will need to be reevaluated.
At this point, Morris says the idea is “in the air,” but no formal plans are in place. He hopes to start more formal discussions moving forward.