Preserve and Protect Websters and Tews Falls STOP THE HCA PILOT!

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Dear Neighbours and residents of Greensville/Dundas Ontario:

The Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) has announced plans to launch a “pilot” reservation system at Websters and Tews Falls starting as early as September 1st, 2020 during our busiest season.  The plan will eliminate the shuttle service and implement a parking lot reservation system at Websters/Tews falls.

We believe this plan is extremely REGRESSIVE. 

Why Are We Opposed?:

TRAFFIC CONGESTION The HCA's plan puts 50 cars every 2 hours in each lot 7 days a week from open to close through our residential community. Who enforces the 2 hour limit? What happens when the lots are full and visitors don’t leave? Where do vehicles wait?

SAFETY The HCA plans to use Short/Fallsview road which is a narrow posted 40km road with no sidewalks. There are already safety issues with existing visitor traffic and excessive speeds which will only increase!

ILLEGAL PARKING The HCA plan is not addressing the walk-in visitor population who are parking illegally throughout Greensville

POST COVID-19 EXPANSION We have concerns the HCA will expand parking to the grass once social distancing eases up. This will further increase traffic in/out of Greensville.

Furthermore, a plan designed without community support and engagement is not acceptable. We live here!

You may recall a petition was launched in our community in 2016 when the HCA started drilling wells at Webster’s Falls to add public washrooms and a potential snack bar.  At that time the HCA had also increased the capacity of cars on the grassed areas at Webster’s Falls thus increasing the traffic volume and number of people significantly.  The community experienced chaos, garbage and serious traffic congestion and fought back! Through our petition our voice was heard and the HCA Decommissioned the Wells and Promised No More Grass Parking.  A promise broken last year when the HCA expanded Grass Parking at Websters during the Fall Season.

On June 4, 2020 members of the community presented at the HCA board meeting our key “ASKs” to the board as follows:

·        Implement a reservation system for the Shuttle with single point of entry access through Christie Lake on weekends.

·        Transparent CAP on the number of visitors to control the volumes and better manage shuttle logistics (eliminate so many empty shuttles, speed, noise etc.)

·        No Shuttle, No Access Policy. Eliminate Walk-In visitor access on weekends which is contributing to illegal parking throughout Greensville and lost revenue for the HCA as these visitors are not paying to get in.

·        Involve the Community members on decisions that impact the community. We live here!

·        If the shuttle is not possible this season due to Covid-19, keep the parks closed and use the time to formulate a cohesive and more strategic plan that works for the HCA, the community and the visitors.

Following our presentation, the board unanimously voted for a plan put forward by HCA Director Gord Costie to launch a “pilot” parking lot reservation system once again disregarding the community.

We therefore need your help to sign the petition to STOP the HCA's PILOT PLAN.  This is an important decision that will impact our homes and our future generation. The Hamilton Conservation Authority continues to put tourism and revenue growth ahead of conservation and community.

For those who are not residents of the immediate area please consider our precious environment.  In 1990 the United Nations designated Webster’s/Tew’s and the Niagara Escarpment part of the world biosphere reserve to be protected. This means we have an internationally recognized ecosystem with important plants, birds and mammals we are supposed to preserve and protect, right in our own backyard!  How very fortunate we are.

We are not looking to eliminate visitors to the parks.  However, visitation should be a peaceful experience for the residents, wildlife and visitors.