Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday September 17, 2016
Conservation authority kills Webster’s Falls shuttle
Fierce opposition has prompted the Hamilton Conservation Authority to park a planned shuttle service to Webster’s Falls on weekends and holidays, at least for this year.
Chief administrative officer Chris Firth-Eagland said although the bus service can be activated with a month’s notice, it’s thus far had a hostile reaction, fuelling a “Scuttle This Shuttle” petition campaign.
That’s given the service’s private partners cold feet on what staff hoped could be a solution to the traffic congestion that has plagued the popular Greensville park in recent years, he said.
“They’re quite concerned that the minute it doesn’t work, they become then laughing stocks,” Firth-Eagland told the conservation advisory board during a staff presentation on efforts to keep the park from being overrun by visitors.
“We don’t sense that the community wants us to do this at all,” he said.
“‘War’ has been used, that there will be war in response, and all those kinds of things. It’s been very difficult for us.”
Advisory board member Kristen Brittain, who lives in the area, said she’s disappointed the shuttle won’t get a trial run this year to see if it’s viable or if people find ways to park in the area to avoid paying the $10 fee.
“Those are outspoken people,” she said of the more incendiary responses to the service, which was to run from Mizener’s Antiques and Flea Market on Highway 5.
“There are the quiet people that live there, too. I’m not a friend or foe (of the shuttle), but I’d be happy to at least give it a try.”
Authority chair Robert Pasuta, councillor for the area, said he’s hopeful new parking restrictions on weekends and holidays that were set to go before council for approval this week will help ease traffic tensions. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)