The Municipality of La Pêche, Que., is enacting a series of measures to clam down on illegal parking and speeding in the village of Alcove, a small community by the Gatineau River, about five kilometres north of Wakefield.
Officials say an influx of visitors have flooded the area during the pandemic.
Speed bumps have been installed on River Road, at the Route 105 exit, as well as near the Chemin des Erables intersection.
Drivers are also now prohibited from parking their vehicles along River Road.
"We still have limited capacity in the city centre, and we're observing a lot more people and cars than usual," said La Pêche Mayor Guillaume Lamoureux said.
The new road rules were introduced in cooperation with the Collines-de-l'Outaouais MRC Police Department.
Lamoureux said the municipality — which encompasses Wakefield, a quaint Outaouais region tourist destination — has seen an increase in vehicle and foot traffic over the past few weeks, saying there are "clearly people who have no regard for parking signs."
Rather than parking along River Road, Lamoureux is encouraging visitors to park in one of the municipality's two park-and-ride lots, including at the Wakefield Community Centre.
New parking rules worry some business-owners
In addition to the new parking rules, Lamoureux is asking visitors who plan on staying for extended periods of time to avoid leaving their vehicles in business lots.
But local merchants fear what the new restrictions could mean for business.
"If our customers do not have access to parking when they want to shop, we lose opportunities," said Michel-André Vallières, who co-owns the health food store La Forêt in Wakefield.
Vallières added that the community doesn't want to discourage visitors from coming to La Pêche.
"It's just important that people respect the parking lots that are normally used for businesses," he said.
Local resident Lessia Harvey says she's concerned by the influx of visitors because businesses are struggling to accommodate them all, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's devastating for businesses, in my opinion, because their reserved parking lots are being taken by people who don't want to walk five more minutes," Harvey said, adding she's also worried about people's safety, including her four teenagers.
"It's is a residential village," she said. "It's not just a tourist attraction."
Concerns about parking at Lac Philippe
While La Pêche officials have introduced rules to curb illegal parking in Alcove, Lamoureux said there are similar concerns for Sainte-Cécile-de-Masham, due to parking problems at Lac Philippe.
He hopes the National Capital Commission will restrict access to the sight for public health reasons.
"Rather than restricting the number of people, they restrict the number of cars," he said.
"People park right at the entrance to Lac Philippe on residential streets. It causes the same kind of issue in the Masham area."
Lamoureux recommends that Lac Philippe visitors bring bicycles and leave their cars at the Sainte-Cécile-de-Masham arena.