World’s End is one of The Trustees’ most unique and beloved special places among the 123 properties we oversee across the Commonwealth. The changes we are recommending for the Town of Hingham’s approval are to keep all visitors to our property safe, improve efficiency and access, minimize disruption to our neighbors, and allow The Trustees to generate additional funds that will be used to better maintain World’s End.
We understand many of you have questions. To that end, we’ve developed this list of frequently asked questions which can serve as a helpful resource. If you have further questions, please contact Anne Smith-White, South Shore Portfolio Director, email@example.com.
Q: What is the point of the parking and traffic management plan?
A: The goals are to: ensure the safety of visitors to the Property, event attendees, neighbors, and the safety of the public traveling to and into the site; create an efficient flow of traffic and minimize impacts on the surrounding neighborhood; and formalize the management of traffic and parking at the Property for all events. Having an approved plan is also a requirement of the Town of Hingham.
Q: What’s wrong the old plan from 2019?
A: As with everything pre-2020, the world is a different place now thanks to COVID. The Trustees implemented a new online advanced ticketing system to ensure social distancing during the pandemic, when visitation of World’s End rose by 140%. We’ve kept that system in place because it proved effective at ending vehicle backups on Martin’s Lane, with neighbor complaints regarding cars queuing on that road being all but eliminated. Because of the effectiveness of these new procedures and protocols, they must be officially reflected and included in a new Traffic and Parking Management Plan.
Q: What strategies are The Trustees proposing in this new plan?
A: The Trustees will:
- Leverage online technology (such as timed ticketing) and other systems to manage traffic flow and parking availability
- Schedule program offerings off-peak hours whenever possible
- Use online POS (point of sale) systems to accelerate the check-in process
- For peak visitation days (weekends and holidays) post a Ranger at the interior end of the driveway for check-in, allowing vehicles to safely queue within the property limits.
- Use the internal loop driveway for safe and efficient vehicle turn-around when the lot is full
- Require pedestrians to use the pedestrian path to reach the Ranger Station and enter the property
- Coordinate with Hingham Police and Fire on a parking strategy in advance of events and to enforce no standing on Martin’s Lane
- Instruct Rangers to communicate that parking in the neighborhood is forbidden
Q: What are the biggest proposed changes in the new plan compared to 2019?
A: In addition to a change of our protocols such as online ticketing, The Trustees is also requesting modifications to the restrictions placed on our tiered public programming system. We break our program sizes into tiers: Tier 1 (up to 350 vehicles); Tier 2 (up to 100 vehicles); Tier 3 (up to 30 vehicles). The Trustees is currently allowed up to two Tier 1 programs per year and two Tier 2 programs, and we are seeking an additional three Tier 2 programs annually. The last two years of programming have proven that our current parking and ticketing protocols are adequate to accommodate these levels of circulation with no backup into Martin’s Lane, and these programs will be scheduled outside of peak visitation times and require pre-registration. Tier 3 programs require no special accommodation. This will remain unchanged from the previous Plan, as will the limit on two Tier 1 programs annually.
Q: For Tier 1 and Tier 2 programs, where do you park vehicles and what precautions will you take to ensure the safety of the neighborhood?
A: Parking may be accommodated within the Property on specific sections of the fields on Planter’s Hill following the guidance and recommendations of The Trustees’ ecology staff. A staff member shall control and regulate the one-way flow of traffic over the bridge at Damde Meadows. Two-way radios shall be used to manage the flow of traffic within the Property. The Trustees will place a sign at the exit of the Property reminding visitors to drive slowly through the neighborhood as they leave.
If off-site parking with shuttle bus service is utilized, event related traffic arriving at the property shall be kept to a minimum. Handicapped accessible parking within the designated parking area shall be offered when necessary. The Trustees shall assume all associated costs and liabilities associated with the off-site parking and shuttle service operation.
All plans for Tier 1 programs will be approved by the Hingham Police and Fire Departments, and a police detail (paid for by The Trustees) will be present at the end of the event as people exit.
Q: What size are most of your events?
A: More than 90 percent of public programs at World’s End fall into the Tier 3 category: small, expert-guided walks, designed to educate the public about the property’s history and ecological resources.
Q: Why do you need increased capacity for events and what’s the benefit to Hingham?
- They provide Hingham residents with an opportunity to gather with friends and neighbors, enjoying an unparalleled, 360-degree view of the harbor, the Crow Point Flats and the Weir River Estuary
- They satisfy the proven demand for outdoor experiences for thousands of visitors each year.
- They provide access to one of the most vibrant ecological learning platforms in the area, and active, in-depth learning opportunities from content experts in geology, coastal ecology, ornithology, and mycology.
- They build stewards of the future by opening the minds of event attendees who may not identify an interest in hiking or conservation and inspiring them to return for a bird walk or volunteer their time for a stewardship day.
- They support local businesses by attracting visitors from outside Hingham who then stay in town to enjoy shopping/meals at establishments downtown.
Q: What is The Trustees and how long have they been overseeing World’s End?
A: The Trustees of reservations is the nation’s first, and state’s largest, land conservation and preservation nonprofit. For the last 55 years, The Trustees has welcomed the public to enjoy the beauty and respite of World’s End. It has stewarded the land, maintaining the Fredrick Law Olmsted-designed landscape, planting trees, and removing the invasive species that once dominated the grassland and forest ecosystems, and provided thoughtful programming that engages and educates thousands of visitors every year. World’s End exists as a Trustees reservation, open to all, thanks to the efforts of more than 1,800 residents in 1967 who raised money and support. World’s End stands as a testament to conservation, preservation, and the will of a community to keep and hold land for the use and enjoyment of the public, forever.
Q: I have questions/concerns about this plan, will I have a chance to be heard?
A: Yes. You’ll have a chance to virtually attend the Oct. 17th meeting of the Hingham Planning and Zoning Board where this will be discussed, and public comments taken before both boards vote on the matter. Also, in the meantime, we’re always happy to answer any questions. You can contact South Shore Portfolio Director Anne Smith-White, firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will get back to you ASAP.