City also contemplating long-term improvements to east Mountain site
Improved signage including a “use at your own risk” post will be going up at AlbionFalls in the next couple of months.
“We’re looking at doing some much more directional, visible signage,” said east Mountain councillor Tom Jackson, who walked around the site with some city and fire officials last week.
The move comes after fire crews were called to pull two people out of the gorge in the past month.
One of them was a 10-year-old boy who fell about 10 metres onto the rocks and remains in hospital.
“Access to these natural gorgeous areas for me is paramount with the obvious caveat that we can provide it as safely as possible,”Jackson said.
The councillor noted it appears most people access the area from the parking lot off Arbour Road across Mountain Brow Boulevard near the top of the falls.
Jackson said signs will be going up near the top of the concrete stairs that lead part way down the escarpment directing hikers to the parking lot to the north where there are two viewing platforms for the falls along with trails, the nearby pedestrian bridge and the Red Hill Valley trails.
A sign will be installed on or near the rocky plateau not far from the foot of the stairs indicating any use of the trails past that point is at the user’s risk and the city assumes no liability.
Jackson noted the way down to the base of the falls beyond the plateau is steep and rocky and can be very slippery after a rain fall.
It also can be particularly dangerous for residents and out of town visitors who are not familiar with the trails.
In addition, Jackson said a couple of large flashing yellow signs will be installed on Mountain Brow Boulevard near each end of the sharp bend at the top of the falls to alert drivers about pedestrians crossing the road.
Jackson said the high grass running along side the parking area to the north of the falls will be cut so motorists can see it from the road and signs will be installed on either side of the entrance.
Meanwhile, city officials are reviewing the site with the possibility of long-term improvements.
“Do we rebuild those concrete steps, do we extend them down, do we do proper pathway improvements?” said Jackson, who expects to see a report on the matter by the end of this year or in early 2014.