River Access Parking System and Mitigation Plan 2021

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The County of Brant’s stunning physical geographical features have become a significant attraction for visitors. The County’s river access points are experiencing visitor loads which exceed parking and overall capacities to the detriment of local residents. At Council’s direction, staff have developed a short-term strategy for the 2021 season by introducing Municipal Permit Only Parking Areas at each of the three public river access points including Eric Thomlinson in Glen Morris, and Penman’s Dam and Bean Park in Paris.

Following unprecedented increases in activity at the three County public river access points over the summer of 2020, Council approved various

The County of Brant’s stunning physical geographical features have become a significant attraction for visitors. The County’s river access points are experiencing visitor loads which exceed parking and overall capacities to the detriment of local residents. At Council’s direction, staff have developed a short-term strategy for the 2021 season by introducing Municipal Permit Only Parking Areas at each of the three public river access points including Eric Thomlinson in Glen Morris, and Penman’s Dam and Bean Park in Paris.

Following unprecedented increases in activity at the three County public river access points over the summer of 2020, Council approved various short-term initiatives at the November 24 2020 meeting, as part of a short-term river access mitigation strategy.

This includes:

· Consultation and collaboration with municipal partners, the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) and regional outfitters to develop plans and tactics to improve peak demands, physical infrastructure, site maintenance and patron safety

· Parking lot improvements at the Forbes Street Trail Head

· Installation of river access kilometer markers at key landmarks, structures and access points and launching of a communication plan to advise the public of these safety enhancement tools

· Installation of signage, where required, to direct people to appropriate parking areas and to improve wayfinding of amenities near access points

· Brant Tourism to institute RSVP Brant program

· Consultation with RTO3 to minimize marketing targets for the Grand River

· Planning and construction of a new river access point in Newport which will include consultation with Six Nations of the Grand and Mississauga’s of New Credit

In addition to this, at the September 15, 2020 meeting, Council approved parking restrictions near the Eric Thomlinson launch to one side of Forbes Street, Kirk Street, Princess Street and Pine Street. The signs related to these restrictions were installed in the field prior to the end of the 2020 summer season in anticipation for the start of the 2021 summer launch.

In March of 2021, staff were directed to develop a more appropriate parking system, including potential for both a Seasonal Residential Parking Permit System and drop off / pick up facilities combined with remote parking, for the Glen Morris, Bean Park and Penman’s Dam areas, to introduce the system for the 2021 season. The recommendations contained in RPT-21-94– River Access Parking System and Mitigation Plan, 2021 are the result of this direction.

Staff were also directed to develop a more appropriate parking system, including potential for the 2022 budget consideration and implementation of an e-booking system for the 2022 season, enabling the public to research in advance the availability of parking or be directed to other available locations for river access.

In April of 2021, RT-21-94 River Access Parking System and Mitigation Plan 2021 was deferred and further direction provided to staff to undergo a public engagement exercise with respect to the recommendations contained in the report.

Please see below for more information on River Access Points.

Eric Thomlinson River Access on Forbes Drive, Glen Morris is designated as a commercial permit location. The parking lot for the launch is owned by the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA). There are 40 parking spaces available at this site, 9 of which are new parking spots created in partnership between the County and the GRCA, following the 2020 season.
Penman's Dam Park River Access in Paris is designated as a commercial permit location. There are 29 parking spaces available within the park. Visitors may also be directed to park at the Syl Apps Community Centre, where 60 parking spaces are available, noting that these spots are shared with activities that may be booked within the Community Centre.
Bean Park River Access in Paris is designated as a non-commercial permit location. There are 28 parking spaces available within the park.

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  • Media Release: County of Brant introduces Seasonal Residential Parking Permit System for River Access Zones

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    County of Brant introduces Seasonal Residential Parking Permit System for River Access Zones

    County of Brant, ON – Starting July 1, 2021 the County of Brant will implement a new Seasonal Parking Permit System in three (3) river access zones to help reduce the high traffic and user volume experienced in the zones last summer.


    “We are confident that the new system and measures in place for the 2021 season will help us reduce the traffic and concerns felt by our local residents living in these areas,” said Cindy Stevenson, General Manager of Community and Protective Services for the County of Brant. “We want to thank our residents for their level of engagement in this project. Community input was instrumental in the development of this strategy.”


    The Seasonal Residential Parking Permit system will allow residents living within the Glen Morris, Bean Park and Penman’s Dam permit area zones to have the opportunity to register for one (1) free parking permit per address. Each permit will allow up to four (4) license plates for vehicles registered at the permit address and will receive a tag for each vehicle to display. The residents in these affected areas will be contacted directly by the County.


    “In addition to the new residential parking permit system, we will also introduce additional signage for parking restrictions in these areas, increased enforcement of seasonal parking restrictions, increased parking violation fees and will not grant permits to commercial operators for use of the public access points,” said Stevenson. “The strategy will be monitored throughout the 2021 season and staff will report back to Council in the fall.”


    As part of the strategy, Council also approved that any households affected by the new restrictions, which currently do not have a driveway, have minor variance application fees waived for applications related to the installation of a new driveway.


    The Brant River Access, 2021 User Mitigation Strategy was requested by Council following a delegation from concerned residents. The report was presented and approved at the County of Brant Council on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.


    For more information regarding the Brant River Access, 2021 User Mitigation Strategy, please visit EngageBrant.ca/RiverAccess.


    Media Contact:
    Cindy Stevenson General Manager of Community and Protective Services
    County of Brant
    T. 519.44BRANT
    Cindy.Stevenson@brant.ca

  • Approval: RPT-21-141 – Brant River Access, 2021 User Mitigation Strategy

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    County of Brant Council as approved RPT-21-141 – Brant River Access, 2021 User Mitigation Strategy, with the following amendment;

    “That the recommendation regarding parking restrictions in the vicinity of river access points be amended to include a provision that any households affected by the restrictions, which currently do not have a driveway, have minor variance application fees waived for applications related to the installation of a new driveway.”

Page last updated: 03 May 2021, 15:05