In an effort to prevent jaywalking on Atherton Street between College Avenue and Beaver Avenue, the State College Borough Council will vote on the Atherton Street Corridor Project at its meeting tonight.
Mayor Elizabeth Goreham said she thinks council will vote for the project to go ahead.
“Jaywalking is really a part of State College culture that has resisted much litigation,” she said.
Council member Peter Morris said when the project was first announced several years ago, the original plan was to just put fences along Atherton Street to stop jaywalkers.
However, he said several changes have been made, including planting trees and other plants, improving the appearance of the sidewalk and adding benches.
“If you’re not careful about it, it could be pretty ugly,” Morris said. “But the planters have done a pretty good job of designing something that looks good to me, something that could actually improve the street.”
Morris said this project is important because there have been bad accidents involving jaywalkers in the past along Atherton Street, and said the fences will discourage people from crossing where there are no crosswalks.
Don Hahn, president of the borough council, said council would determine whether to go forward with the project at the meeting based on the scope and cost of the project.
Morris said the council will discuss the price and budget of the project on Monday as well.
“There are expenses that are unknown; it’s the cost that’s gone up dramatically,” Goreham said. “How much do we need, what are the benefits, will the property owners tolerate having a little bit of fence on their property? We need to ask stuff like that.”
She said the council had not received any input from the residents that lived in the area, but she said it would be interesting to know their opinions.
Goreham said the university had installed a fence along College Avenue that seemed to have discouraged jaywalkers.
“I think that the general idea of it will be improved,” Morris said. “If all we’re asked is whether to go forward with it or not, I think it will pass without a problem.”
Hahn said other issues at the meeting could include regional issues, such as looking at the Park Maintenance Facility.
He said the council would discuss the site location, cost elements regarding the parks and recreation facility building and the parameters for drafting a plan for the construction of the facility.