Greensville residents concerned about renewed traffic woes

News Jun 16, 2020 by Mac Christie Flamborough Review

The Hamilton Conservation Authority has instituted a reservation system for visitors to Webster’s Falls, Tews Falls and the Dundas Peak, but lack of a shuttle bus service due to COVID-19, means Greensville residents feel the HCA is ignoring their wishes.

At its June 4 meeting the HCA board of directors unanimously backed a staff plan to test a reservation system beginning Sept. 1 if the tourist hot spot gets a provincial OK to reopen.

The reservation system will operate seven days a week until Nov. 15, replacing the shuttle buses that have run from Christie Lake on weekends and holidays for the past two years. Vehicular entry will be limited to the 50 spots at each of the Webster and Tews falls gravel parking lots, allowing visitors to drive there and bring dogs not allowed on shuttle buses.

Michelle Stuck, a Greensville resident who is part of the Preserve and Protect Webster’s and Tews Falls Greensville (PPWTFG), said her biggest concern is the lack of community involvement in the decision.

“Again, they’re making a decision without any involvement and feedback from the community,” she said.

While Stuck said COVID-19 means the HCA can’t run a shuttle for the time being, she feels the conservation authority has “no intention” of going back to a shuttle system — and the move will return traffic to Greensville.

“We would have liked to see, if there is no possibility to do a shuttle, that they keep the park closed — if you are unable to manage it the way it should be managed,” she said. “Then come up for a plan for the next season.”

HCA chief administrative officer Lisa Burnside said the conservation authority is aware of concerns by residents, but said it is important to remember that the past few years when the shuttle was running, it only ran on weekends and public holidays.

“So essentially five days a week, visitors did have to drive directly to our parking lot and through the community to the parking lots,” she said. “With the reservation system seven days per week, we’re trying to find a fair and equitable safe way for people to come to visit the area — keeping in mind people were already coming driveway to driveway five days per week.”

In terms of resident claims that the HCA is not working with them on a solution, Burnside said they have had community meetings over the years, have a City of Hamilton working group, work closely with Ward 13 Coun. Arlene VanderBeek and have had numerous resident delegations at board meetings.

“Certainly, we are hearing what the community is saying.”

Burnside stressed the reservation system without the shuttle is just a pilot project with plans to report back to the board about how it worked in practice. Burnside added COVID may change the way people think about having to make a reservation.

“I think COVID has created some momentum and a mind shift for people that they now expect and are more comfortable they have to call ahead and make an appointment,” she said, “I think the education and awareness is probably at the greatest level for something like (a reservation system) to be successful.”

Burnside said they are looking at visitors booking a two-hour time slot — and plan to have the reservation allow them to access Christie Lake or any other conservation area for the remainder of the day. She said it is about a two-hour round trip if visitors start at Tews Falls, walk to the Dundas Peak and back and they don’t expect people overstaying to be an issue.

But Greensville resident and PPWTFG member Mark Osborne said residents are concerned that people spend hours and hours in the park — and aren’t going to be back to their vehicle in two hours.

“The HCA is not going to be tramping through the trails saying, ‘OK you have to leave now.’” he said. “What’s going to happen is people are going to be waiting on the roads, waiting to get in.

“We’re pretty sure that traffic is going to back up on our streets.”

Stuck, who lives on Short Road, said they continue to request a single point of entry to Webster’s and Tews falls — through the shuttle at Christie Lake.

“Have a reservation system — we absolutely support that,” she said. “But putting more cars back into this community is not what we wanted … we want the vehicles, the traffic, the congestion out of Greensville.”

Stuck said she doesn’t think the reservation system can work without a shuttle.

“We’re going to have the same situation with the congestion in Greensville,” she said. “I can’t see it being managed and we can’t have 50 cars every two hours on Short and Fallsview.”

For her part, VanderBeek said she thinks the HCA decision to adopt a reservation system is a “big win for Greensville,” but said there are things that still need to be addressed about the process.

“It’s going to take some work to get it right," she said, adding “What this registration system tells me is that they have realized the importance of managing the volume.”

VanderBeek said she believes the reservation system to visit Spencer Gorge can work without a shuttle — but it is going to take some rethinking from the HCA staff recommendation.

“The way I’m looking at it is nothing is cast in stone until it’s cast in stone,” she said, adding it was important for the board to approve the reservation system so staff can begin building it.

She added while some community concerns weren’t addressed, she feels that the conservation authority is hearing them.

“I have some serious concerns about some things that the approval looks like it’s headed for, but I also have confidence that the conservation authority listened,” she said.

VanderBeek said she understands that Greensville residents are tired of the issues surrounding the waterfalls, including the masses of people and corresponding traffic woes.

“They’re tired of people trying things that aren't working, they’re tired of the volumes, they’re tired of not being able to live their life,” she said. “I get it and, quite frankly, my heart goes out to them.

“I see their frustration — this is not a one-weekend event and it’s overflowed to the weekdays, in many cases nine months of the year.”

STORY BEHIND THE STORY: After the Hamilton Conservation Authority announced it would be parking its shuttle service due to COVID-19 and moving to institute a reservation system to visit Webster’s and Tews falls and the Dundas Peak, the Review reached out to local residents to get their feedback.

'Traffic is going to back up': Greensville residents concerned about renewed traffic woes

HCA to implement waterfall reservations without shuttle

News Jun 16, 2020 by Mac Christie Flamborough Review

The Hamilton Conservation Authority has instituted a reservation system for visitors to Webster’s Falls, Tews Falls and the Dundas Peak, but lack of a shuttle bus service due to COVID-19, means Greensville residents feel the HCA is ignoring their wishes.

At its June 4 meeting the HCA board of directors unanimously backed a staff plan to test a reservation system beginning Sept. 1 if the tourist hot spot gets a provincial OK to reopen.

The reservation system will operate seven days a week until Nov. 15, replacing the shuttle buses that have run from Christie Lake on weekends and holidays for the past two years. Vehicular entry will be limited to the 50 spots at each of the Webster and Tews falls gravel parking lots, allowing visitors to drive there and bring dogs not allowed on shuttle buses.

Michelle Stuck, a Greensville resident who is part of the Preserve and Protect Webster’s and Tews Falls Greensville (PPWTFG), said her biggest concern is the lack of community involvement in the decision.

Related Content

“Again, they’re making a decision without any involvement and feedback from the community,” she said.

While Stuck said COVID-19 means the HCA can’t run a shuttle for the time being, she feels the conservation authority has “no intention” of going back to a shuttle system — and the move will return traffic to Greensville.

“We would have liked to see, if there is no possibility to do a shuttle, that they keep the park closed — if you are unable to manage it the way it should be managed,” she said. “Then come up for a plan for the next season.”

HCA chief administrative officer Lisa Burnside said the conservation authority is aware of concerns by residents, but said it is important to remember that the past few years when the shuttle was running, it only ran on weekends and public holidays.

“So essentially five days a week, visitors did have to drive directly to our parking lot and through the community to the parking lots,” she said. “With the reservation system seven days per week, we’re trying to find a fair and equitable safe way for people to come to visit the area — keeping in mind people were already coming driveway to driveway five days per week.”

In terms of resident claims that the HCA is not working with them on a solution, Burnside said they have had community meetings over the years, have a City of Hamilton working group, work closely with Ward 13 Coun. Arlene VanderBeek and have had numerous resident delegations at board meetings.

“Certainly, we are hearing what the community is saying.”

Burnside stressed the reservation system without the shuttle is just a pilot project with plans to report back to the board about how it worked in practice. Burnside added COVID may change the way people think about having to make a reservation.

“I think COVID has created some momentum and a mind shift for people that they now expect and are more comfortable they have to call ahead and make an appointment,” she said, “I think the education and awareness is probably at the greatest level for something like (a reservation system) to be successful.”

Burnside said they are looking at visitors booking a two-hour time slot — and plan to have the reservation allow them to access Christie Lake or any other conservation area for the remainder of the day. She said it is about a two-hour round trip if visitors start at Tews Falls, walk to the Dundas Peak and back and they don’t expect people overstaying to be an issue.

But Greensville resident and PPWTFG member Mark Osborne said residents are concerned that people spend hours and hours in the park — and aren’t going to be back to their vehicle in two hours.

“The HCA is not going to be tramping through the trails saying, ‘OK you have to leave now.’” he said. “What’s going to happen is people are going to be waiting on the roads, waiting to get in.

“We’re pretty sure that traffic is going to back up on our streets.”

Stuck, who lives on Short Road, said they continue to request a single point of entry to Webster’s and Tews falls — through the shuttle at Christie Lake.

“Have a reservation system — we absolutely support that,” she said. “But putting more cars back into this community is not what we wanted … we want the vehicles, the traffic, the congestion out of Greensville.”

Stuck said she doesn’t think the reservation system can work without a shuttle.

“We’re going to have the same situation with the congestion in Greensville,” she said. “I can’t see it being managed and we can’t have 50 cars every two hours on Short and Fallsview.”

For her part, VanderBeek said she thinks the HCA decision to adopt a reservation system is a “big win for Greensville,” but said there are things that still need to be addressed about the process.

“It’s going to take some work to get it right," she said, adding “What this registration system tells me is that they have realized the importance of managing the volume.”

VanderBeek said she believes the reservation system to visit Spencer Gorge can work without a shuttle — but it is going to take some rethinking from the HCA staff recommendation.

“The way I’m looking at it is nothing is cast in stone until it’s cast in stone,” she said, adding it was important for the board to approve the reservation system so staff can begin building it.

She added while some community concerns weren’t addressed, she feels that the conservation authority is hearing them.

“I have some serious concerns about some things that the approval looks like it’s headed for, but I also have confidence that the conservation authority listened,” she said.

VanderBeek said she understands that Greensville residents are tired of the issues surrounding the waterfalls, including the masses of people and corresponding traffic woes.

“They’re tired of people trying things that aren't working, they’re tired of the volumes, they’re tired of not being able to live their life,” she said. “I get it and, quite frankly, my heart goes out to them.

“I see their frustration — this is not a one-weekend event and it’s overflowed to the weekdays, in many cases nine months of the year.”

STORY BEHIND THE STORY: After the Hamilton Conservation Authority announced it would be parking its shuttle service due to COVID-19 and moving to institute a reservation system to visit Webster’s and Tews falls and the Dundas Peak, the Review reached out to local residents to get their feedback.

'Traffic is going to back up': Greensville residents concerned about renewed traffic woes

HCA to implement waterfall reservations without shuttle

News Jun 16, 2020 by Mac Christie Flamborough Review

The Hamilton Conservation Authority has instituted a reservation system for visitors to Webster’s Falls, Tews Falls and the Dundas Peak, but lack of a shuttle bus service due to COVID-19, means Greensville residents feel the HCA is ignoring their wishes.

At its June 4 meeting the HCA board of directors unanimously backed a staff plan to test a reservation system beginning Sept. 1 if the tourist hot spot gets a provincial OK to reopen.

The reservation system will operate seven days a week until Nov. 15, replacing the shuttle buses that have run from Christie Lake on weekends and holidays for the past two years. Vehicular entry will be limited to the 50 spots at each of the Webster and Tews falls gravel parking lots, allowing visitors to drive there and bring dogs not allowed on shuttle buses.

Michelle Stuck, a Greensville resident who is part of the Preserve and Protect Webster’s and Tews Falls Greensville (PPWTFG), said her biggest concern is the lack of community involvement in the decision.

Related Content

“Again, they’re making a decision without any involvement and feedback from the community,” she said.

While Stuck said COVID-19 means the HCA can’t run a shuttle for the time being, she feels the conservation authority has “no intention” of going back to a shuttle system — and the move will return traffic to Greensville.

“We would have liked to see, if there is no possibility to do a shuttle, that they keep the park closed — if you are unable to manage it the way it should be managed,” she said. “Then come up for a plan for the next season.”

HCA chief administrative officer Lisa Burnside said the conservation authority is aware of concerns by residents, but said it is important to remember that the past few years when the shuttle was running, it only ran on weekends and public holidays.

“So essentially five days a week, visitors did have to drive directly to our parking lot and through the community to the parking lots,” she said. “With the reservation system seven days per week, we’re trying to find a fair and equitable safe way for people to come to visit the area — keeping in mind people were already coming driveway to driveway five days per week.”

In terms of resident claims that the HCA is not working with them on a solution, Burnside said they have had community meetings over the years, have a City of Hamilton working group, work closely with Ward 13 Coun. Arlene VanderBeek and have had numerous resident delegations at board meetings.

“Certainly, we are hearing what the community is saying.”

Burnside stressed the reservation system without the shuttle is just a pilot project with plans to report back to the board about how it worked in practice. Burnside added COVID may change the way people think about having to make a reservation.

“I think COVID has created some momentum and a mind shift for people that they now expect and are more comfortable they have to call ahead and make an appointment,” she said, “I think the education and awareness is probably at the greatest level for something like (a reservation system) to be successful.”

Burnside said they are looking at visitors booking a two-hour time slot — and plan to have the reservation allow them to access Christie Lake or any other conservation area for the remainder of the day. She said it is about a two-hour round trip if visitors start at Tews Falls, walk to the Dundas Peak and back and they don’t expect people overstaying to be an issue.

But Greensville resident and PPWTFG member Mark Osborne said residents are concerned that people spend hours and hours in the park — and aren’t going to be back to their vehicle in two hours.

“The HCA is not going to be tramping through the trails saying, ‘OK you have to leave now.’” he said. “What’s going to happen is people are going to be waiting on the roads, waiting to get in.

“We’re pretty sure that traffic is going to back up on our streets.”

Stuck, who lives on Short Road, said they continue to request a single point of entry to Webster’s and Tews falls — through the shuttle at Christie Lake.

“Have a reservation system — we absolutely support that,” she said. “But putting more cars back into this community is not what we wanted … we want the vehicles, the traffic, the congestion out of Greensville.”

Stuck said she doesn’t think the reservation system can work without a shuttle.

“We’re going to have the same situation with the congestion in Greensville,” she said. “I can’t see it being managed and we can’t have 50 cars every two hours on Short and Fallsview.”

For her part, VanderBeek said she thinks the HCA decision to adopt a reservation system is a “big win for Greensville,” but said there are things that still need to be addressed about the process.

“It’s going to take some work to get it right," she said, adding “What this registration system tells me is that they have realized the importance of managing the volume.”

VanderBeek said she believes the reservation system to visit Spencer Gorge can work without a shuttle — but it is going to take some rethinking from the HCA staff recommendation.

“The way I’m looking at it is nothing is cast in stone until it’s cast in stone,” she said, adding it was important for the board to approve the reservation system so staff can begin building it.

She added while some community concerns weren’t addressed, she feels that the conservation authority is hearing them.

“I have some serious concerns about some things that the approval looks like it’s headed for, but I also have confidence that the conservation authority listened,” she said.

VanderBeek said she understands that Greensville residents are tired of the issues surrounding the waterfalls, including the masses of people and corresponding traffic woes.

“They’re tired of people trying things that aren't working, they’re tired of the volumes, they’re tired of not being able to live their life,” she said. “I get it and, quite frankly, my heart goes out to them.

“I see their frustration — this is not a one-weekend event and it’s overflowed to the weekdays, in many cases nine months of the year.”

STORY BEHIND THE STORY: After the Hamilton Conservation Authority announced it would be parking its shuttle service due to COVID-19 and moving to institute a reservation system to visit Webster’s and Tews falls and the Dundas Peak, the Review reached out to local residents to get their feedback.