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Centre County leaders on College Ave. bike path, Bellefonte stage and expanded mental health care

 map showing where the bike and pedestrian path would run along East College Avenue in State College
College Township, November 2021
Commissioners approved grant applications to pay for the College Township Regional Bike and Pedestrian Path, a one-mile connection from Hastings Road on Penn State’s campus along East College Avenue to Puddintown Road. The red section will be done by developers as a part of building a new student housing complex.

Centre County commissioners heard updates this morning on an improved pedestrian/bike path, The Stage at Talleyrand Park and an early intervention mental health program.

The College Township Regional Bike and Pedestrian Path is a revived effort to create a one-mile connection to Penn State’s campus along East College Avenue. This path would connect Puddintown Road to Hastings Road on campus.

Commissioner Mark Higgins said the need for safe bike transportation is even more important in light of yesterday’s deadly crash in State College.

“I had a friend pass away yesterday who was a cyclist, and he was in a car bike collision on South Atherton yesterday,” Higgins said.

State College Police said the 70-year-old bicyclist, who hasn’t been named, was going north on the bike path and entered the road and hit a vehicle.

College Township has already committed about $800,000 to the bike path project. Downtown State College is providing consultant support. Penn State University sent a support letter and a commitment of land easements, which is a change from the last time this project was announced.

Commissioners also heard an update on The Stage at Talleyrand Park. Organizers expect to break ground on the project on Oct. 1.

Commissioners also approved a motion to accept a $187,113.52 grant to expand a mental health treatment program.

Right now, 14 people are in the First Episode Psychosis Program. Catherine Arbogast, a county drug & alcohol administrator, said this program provides treatment for people showing signs of losing touch with reality for the first time.

“The earlier we can get these individuals into treatment, the greater chances they are of having a successful recovery, and it will reduce the risk of further relapses,” Arbogast said.

Commissioners said they hope this funding will allow more people to get early intervention psychosis treatment.

Sydney Roach is a reporter and host for WPSU with a passion for radio and community stories.