COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Albion Falls Focus Team making area safer

Opinion Jul 25, 2017 by Tom Jackson Hamilton Mountain News

A location of majestic beauty that longtime Hamiltonians treasured, but never had to worry about, is drawing an unprecedented number of visitors in a time of increased popularity.

A new era of explorer desires to get as close to nature as possible. Sadly, regrettably and on the rare occasion tragically, a number of misadventures are occurring more often. I'm talking about Albion Falls.

Since I've gathered a highly skilled, talented, multi-departmental and multi-agency group that I've called the Albion Falls Focus Team (AFFT), we're collectively determined that the "adversity at Albion" can become a tremendous opportunity!

I wish to express my gratitude for hundreds of citizens contacting my office offering suggestions/creative ideas, ranging from one extreme to the other, to resolve the issues at hand. Preferred solutions include: immediate crackdown of careless behaviour, erecting barriers, increasing signage, improved layouts, impactful messaging, greater education via mainstream/social media, maintaining unencumbered access regardless of increasing numbers of rope rescues, plans for more physical structures (like current lookout platforms in the north parking lot), and simple suggestions for a heavy dose of fines to get the message out to anyone putting themselves into a dangerous, avoidable position.

Keeping this in mind, with city council's unanimous support, the AFFT is carrying out the following initiatives:

Fencing: Installation of six-foot-high chain-link fence in four strategic areas along the falls perimeter. Primarily. you'll witness this new fencing in the north parking lot, then extending along Mountain Brow Boulevard, continuing in front of the concrete steps then further extending up along Mud Street, abutting the marked Bruce Trail, finishing all the way over to the Lover's Leap location.

Signage: In consultation with the Hamilton Conservation Authority, a similar form of pictorial signage explaining the dos and don'ts of trail exploration.

Trail Markings: Main Trail will be reinforced in consultation with the Bruce Trail.

Fines: No Trespassing signs erected, indicating fines up to $10,000 for violators.

Enforcement: regular presence of bylaw/police officers.

Shock signs: description of the number of rope rescues and deaths at Albion Falls.

Safe viewing: a commitment to construct, if feasibly possible, more lookout platforms on the south side, and/or properly designed pathway/staircase with handrails, allowing visitors to safely view/be closer to the falls.

Pedestrian safety: Traffic staff are aware of my strong support for installing a pedestrian signal for Arbour Road at Mountain Brow.

To the overwhelming number of tourists visiting Albion Falls responsibly, thank you!

Tom Jackson is Hamilton city councillor for Ward 6 (east Mountain).

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Albion Falls Focus Team making area safer

Turning adversity into opportunity

Opinion Jul 25, 2017 by Tom Jackson Hamilton Mountain News

A location of majestic beauty that longtime Hamiltonians treasured, but never had to worry about, is drawing an unprecedented number of visitors in a time of increased popularity.

A new era of explorer desires to get as close to nature as possible. Sadly, regrettably and on the rare occasion tragically, a number of misadventures are occurring more often. I'm talking about Albion Falls.

Since I've gathered a highly skilled, talented, multi-departmental and multi-agency group that I've called the Albion Falls Focus Team (AFFT), we're collectively determined that the "adversity at Albion" can become a tremendous opportunity!

I wish to express my gratitude for hundreds of citizens contacting my office offering suggestions/creative ideas, ranging from one extreme to the other, to resolve the issues at hand. Preferred solutions include: immediate crackdown of careless behaviour, erecting barriers, increasing signage, improved layouts, impactful messaging, greater education via mainstream/social media, maintaining unencumbered access regardless of increasing numbers of rope rescues, plans for more physical structures (like current lookout platforms in the north parking lot), and simple suggestions for a heavy dose of fines to get the message out to anyone putting themselves into a dangerous, avoidable position.

Related Content

Keeping this in mind, with city council's unanimous support, the AFFT is carrying out the following initiatives:

Fencing: Installation of six-foot-high chain-link fence in four strategic areas along the falls perimeter. Primarily. you'll witness this new fencing in the north parking lot, then extending along Mountain Brow Boulevard, continuing in front of the concrete steps then further extending up along Mud Street, abutting the marked Bruce Trail, finishing all the way over to the Lover's Leap location.

Signage: In consultation with the Hamilton Conservation Authority, a similar form of pictorial signage explaining the dos and don'ts of trail exploration.

Trail Markings: Main Trail will be reinforced in consultation with the Bruce Trail.

Fines: No Trespassing signs erected, indicating fines up to $10,000 for violators.

Enforcement: regular presence of bylaw/police officers.

Shock signs: description of the number of rope rescues and deaths at Albion Falls.

Safe viewing: a commitment to construct, if feasibly possible, more lookout platforms on the south side, and/or properly designed pathway/staircase with handrails, allowing visitors to safely view/be closer to the falls.

Pedestrian safety: Traffic staff are aware of my strong support for installing a pedestrian signal for Arbour Road at Mountain Brow.

To the overwhelming number of tourists visiting Albion Falls responsibly, thank you!

Tom Jackson is Hamilton city councillor for Ward 6 (east Mountain).

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Albion Falls Focus Team making area safer

Turning adversity into opportunity

Opinion Jul 25, 2017 by Tom Jackson Hamilton Mountain News

A location of majestic beauty that longtime Hamiltonians treasured, but never had to worry about, is drawing an unprecedented number of visitors in a time of increased popularity.

A new era of explorer desires to get as close to nature as possible. Sadly, regrettably and on the rare occasion tragically, a number of misadventures are occurring more often. I'm talking about Albion Falls.

Since I've gathered a highly skilled, talented, multi-departmental and multi-agency group that I've called the Albion Falls Focus Team (AFFT), we're collectively determined that the "adversity at Albion" can become a tremendous opportunity!

I wish to express my gratitude for hundreds of citizens contacting my office offering suggestions/creative ideas, ranging from one extreme to the other, to resolve the issues at hand. Preferred solutions include: immediate crackdown of careless behaviour, erecting barriers, increasing signage, improved layouts, impactful messaging, greater education via mainstream/social media, maintaining unencumbered access regardless of increasing numbers of rope rescues, plans for more physical structures (like current lookout platforms in the north parking lot), and simple suggestions for a heavy dose of fines to get the message out to anyone putting themselves into a dangerous, avoidable position.

Related Content

Keeping this in mind, with city council's unanimous support, the AFFT is carrying out the following initiatives:

Fencing: Installation of six-foot-high chain-link fence in four strategic areas along the falls perimeter. Primarily. you'll witness this new fencing in the north parking lot, then extending along Mountain Brow Boulevard, continuing in front of the concrete steps then further extending up along Mud Street, abutting the marked Bruce Trail, finishing all the way over to the Lover's Leap location.

Signage: In consultation with the Hamilton Conservation Authority, a similar form of pictorial signage explaining the dos and don'ts of trail exploration.

Trail Markings: Main Trail will be reinforced in consultation with the Bruce Trail.

Fines: No Trespassing signs erected, indicating fines up to $10,000 for violators.

Enforcement: regular presence of bylaw/police officers.

Shock signs: description of the number of rope rescues and deaths at Albion Falls.

Safe viewing: a commitment to construct, if feasibly possible, more lookout platforms on the south side, and/or properly designed pathway/staircase with handrails, allowing visitors to safely view/be closer to the falls.

Pedestrian safety: Traffic staff are aware of my strong support for installing a pedestrian signal for Arbour Road at Mountain Brow.

To the overwhelming number of tourists visiting Albion Falls responsibly, thank you!

Tom Jackson is Hamilton city councillor for Ward 6 (east Mountain).