Stoney Creek Coun. Doug Conley wants fencing, signs at Devil’s Punch Bowl

News Aug 06, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Stoney Creek Coun. Doug Conley wants the city to install no trespassing signs, possibly a fence and other safety measures at the Devil’s Punch Bowl just like what was done at Albion Falls to improve safety for visitors.

“From a safety point of view we just have to make sure we are doing our diligence before someone gets hurt there,” said Conley.

There is a unique situation at the Devil’s Punch Bowl, located on upper Stoney Creek on Ridge Road along the escarpment, with the western portion of the property owned by the City of Hamilton, and the eastern half overseen by the Hamilton Conservation Authority.

Over the last few months, Hamilton officials, at the urging of local councillors, installed fencing and no trespassing signs around Albion Falls to deter visitors from getting too close to the water’s edge. The city recently increased its enforcement by authorizing bylaw officials and police officials to issue trespassing tickets to visitors who ignored the barriers. There have been a number of dramatic rope rescues by emergency personnel after people have fallen from the Albion Falls’ edge.  

Conley says there are similar issues at the Devil’s Punch Bowl and he has requested city staff to at least install signs warning visitors of the potential safety issues of getting to close to the edge. He said there are some concrete barriers near the falls the city has placed, but is concerned it is not enough of a deterrent to visitors.

“I think Albion Falls has shown us the reality of what’s going on,” he said. “All of the falls are our responsibility. A lot of it is enforcement. I don’t want someone to get hurt there.”

Gord Costie, director conservation areas services for the authority, said the organization recognized potential safety issues around the Devil’s Punch Bowl a few years ago and installed a low-level barrier around its side of the property to deter visitors from getting too close to the edge.

“It’s a reasonable (barrier) for people to stay back,” he said.

He acknowledges people can bypass the fencing, but it is very dangerous for them and for emergency personnel if they have to rescue individuals if they fall into the punch bowl.

“People will have to be accountable,” he said.

Earlier this year a woman was rescued from 30 metres down after falling into the punch bowl by the Hamilton Fire Department. In late 2016, a person suffered extensive injuries after falling off the side of the punch bowl. And in 2016, a 25-year-old Toronto man died after falling into the Devil’s Punch Bowl at the base of the gully, about 60 metres below the falls.

The Devil’s Punch Bowl, has a 5.5-metre classical waterfall, and the main 33.8 metre Upper Falls. Devil's Punch Bowl is the only area where the display of Ordovician and Silurian stratified rock is visible. The conservation area also connects with the Dofasco 2000 trail.

Costie said the authority acknowledges the potential safety issues surrounding Hamilton’s waterfalls. It’s one of the reasons why it is one of the stakeholders that have been meeting on a committee comprised of city, conservation authority and emergency officials devoted to improving safety at Albion Falls and the other natural landmarks.

He said unlike at Albion Falls, the authority doesn’t see a need to ramp up enforcement at the Devil’s Punch Bowl to deter visitors.

“At this point no,” he said, but added no idea has been removed from the table.

He said the authority and the city continue to work together toward improving safety at the punch bowl. And he suspects eventually the city will install signs or fencing on its side of the landmark.

“It’s all a matter of time,” he said. “We are working with the city.”

Meanwhile, the authority has a parking lot with an automatic paid parking machine and an information sign near the landmark. The parking lot closes at sunset. Costie said later this fall improvements will be made to the parking area with a new pay system, expanded parking spots nearby to accommodate overflow vehicles during peak periods and improved parking barriers. He said the upgrades will be made later this fall.

In addition, the authority does as much as possible to remove the graffiti that has marred at least the one bench by the falls and on the face of the punch bowl near the iconic waterfall.

 

Stoney Creek Coun. Doug Conley wants fencing, signs at Devil’s Punch Bowl

News Aug 06, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Stoney Creek Coun. Doug Conley wants the city to install no trespassing signs, possibly a fence and other safety measures at the Devil’s Punch Bowl just like what was done at Albion Falls to improve safety for visitors.

“From a safety point of view we just have to make sure we are doing our diligence before someone gets hurt there,” said Conley.

There is a unique situation at the Devil’s Punch Bowl, located on upper Stoney Creek on Ridge Road along the escarpment, with the western portion of the property owned by the City of Hamilton, and the eastern half overseen by the Hamilton Conservation Authority.

Over the last few months, Hamilton officials, at the urging of local councillors, installed fencing and no trespassing signs around Albion Falls to deter visitors from getting too close to the water’s edge. The city recently increased its enforcement by authorizing bylaw officials and police officials to issue trespassing tickets to visitors who ignored the barriers. There have been a number of dramatic rope rescues by emergency personnel after people have fallen from the Albion Falls’ edge.  

Conley says there are similar issues at the Devil’s Punch Bowl and he has requested city staff to at least install signs warning visitors of the potential safety issues of getting to close to the edge. He said there are some concrete barriers near the falls the city has placed, but is concerned it is not enough of a deterrent to visitors.

“I think Albion Falls has shown us the reality of what’s going on,” he said. “All of the falls are our responsibility. A lot of it is enforcement. I don’t want someone to get hurt there.”

Gord Costie, director conservation areas services for the authority, said the organization recognized potential safety issues around the Devil’s Punch Bowl a few years ago and installed a low-level barrier around its side of the property to deter visitors from getting too close to the edge.

“It’s a reasonable (barrier) for people to stay back,” he said.

He acknowledges people can bypass the fencing, but it is very dangerous for them and for emergency personnel if they have to rescue individuals if they fall into the punch bowl.

“People will have to be accountable,” he said.

Earlier this year a woman was rescued from 30 metres down after falling into the punch bowl by the Hamilton Fire Department. In late 2016, a person suffered extensive injuries after falling off the side of the punch bowl. And in 2016, a 25-year-old Toronto man died after falling into the Devil’s Punch Bowl at the base of the gully, about 60 metres below the falls.

The Devil’s Punch Bowl, has a 5.5-metre classical waterfall, and the main 33.8 metre Upper Falls. Devil's Punch Bowl is the only area where the display of Ordovician and Silurian stratified rock is visible. The conservation area also connects with the Dofasco 2000 trail.

Costie said the authority acknowledges the potential safety issues surrounding Hamilton’s waterfalls. It’s one of the reasons why it is one of the stakeholders that have been meeting on a committee comprised of city, conservation authority and emergency officials devoted to improving safety at Albion Falls and the other natural landmarks.

He said unlike at Albion Falls, the authority doesn’t see a need to ramp up enforcement at the Devil’s Punch Bowl to deter visitors.

“At this point no,” he said, but added no idea has been removed from the table.

He said the authority and the city continue to work together toward improving safety at the punch bowl. And he suspects eventually the city will install signs or fencing on its side of the landmark.

“It’s all a matter of time,” he said. “We are working with the city.”

Meanwhile, the authority has a parking lot with an automatic paid parking machine and an information sign near the landmark. The parking lot closes at sunset. Costie said later this fall improvements will be made to the parking area with a new pay system, expanded parking spots nearby to accommodate overflow vehicles during peak periods and improved parking barriers. He said the upgrades will be made later this fall.

In addition, the authority does as much as possible to remove the graffiti that has marred at least the one bench by the falls and on the face of the punch bowl near the iconic waterfall.

 

Stoney Creek Coun. Doug Conley wants fencing, signs at Devil’s Punch Bowl

News Aug 06, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Stoney Creek Coun. Doug Conley wants the city to install no trespassing signs, possibly a fence and other safety measures at the Devil’s Punch Bowl just like what was done at Albion Falls to improve safety for visitors.

“From a safety point of view we just have to make sure we are doing our diligence before someone gets hurt there,” said Conley.

There is a unique situation at the Devil’s Punch Bowl, located on upper Stoney Creek on Ridge Road along the escarpment, with the western portion of the property owned by the City of Hamilton, and the eastern half overseen by the Hamilton Conservation Authority.

Over the last few months, Hamilton officials, at the urging of local councillors, installed fencing and no trespassing signs around Albion Falls to deter visitors from getting too close to the water’s edge. The city recently increased its enforcement by authorizing bylaw officials and police officials to issue trespassing tickets to visitors who ignored the barriers. There have been a number of dramatic rope rescues by emergency personnel after people have fallen from the Albion Falls’ edge.  

Conley says there are similar issues at the Devil’s Punch Bowl and he has requested city staff to at least install signs warning visitors of the potential safety issues of getting to close to the edge. He said there are some concrete barriers near the falls the city has placed, but is concerned it is not enough of a deterrent to visitors.

“I think Albion Falls has shown us the reality of what’s going on,” he said. “All of the falls are our responsibility. A lot of it is enforcement. I don’t want someone to get hurt there.”

Gord Costie, director conservation areas services for the authority, said the organization recognized potential safety issues around the Devil’s Punch Bowl a few years ago and installed a low-level barrier around its side of the property to deter visitors from getting too close to the edge.

“It’s a reasonable (barrier) for people to stay back,” he said.

He acknowledges people can bypass the fencing, but it is very dangerous for them and for emergency personnel if they have to rescue individuals if they fall into the punch bowl.

“People will have to be accountable,” he said.

Earlier this year a woman was rescued from 30 metres down after falling into the punch bowl by the Hamilton Fire Department. In late 2016, a person suffered extensive injuries after falling off the side of the punch bowl. And in 2016, a 25-year-old Toronto man died after falling into the Devil’s Punch Bowl at the base of the gully, about 60 metres below the falls.

The Devil’s Punch Bowl, has a 5.5-metre classical waterfall, and the main 33.8 metre Upper Falls. Devil's Punch Bowl is the only area where the display of Ordovician and Silurian stratified rock is visible. The conservation area also connects with the Dofasco 2000 trail.

Costie said the authority acknowledges the potential safety issues surrounding Hamilton’s waterfalls. It’s one of the reasons why it is one of the stakeholders that have been meeting on a committee comprised of city, conservation authority and emergency officials devoted to improving safety at Albion Falls and the other natural landmarks.

He said unlike at Albion Falls, the authority doesn’t see a need to ramp up enforcement at the Devil’s Punch Bowl to deter visitors.

“At this point no,” he said, but added no idea has been removed from the table.

He said the authority and the city continue to work together toward improving safety at the punch bowl. And he suspects eventually the city will install signs or fencing on its side of the landmark.

“It’s all a matter of time,” he said. “We are working with the city.”

Meanwhile, the authority has a parking lot with an automatic paid parking machine and an information sign near the landmark. The parking lot closes at sunset. Costie said later this fall improvements will be made to the parking area with a new pay system, expanded parking spots nearby to accommodate overflow vehicles during peak periods and improved parking barriers. He said the upgrades will be made later this fall.

In addition, the authority does as much as possible to remove the graffiti that has marred at least the one bench by the falls and on the face of the punch bowl near the iconic waterfall.