West Island parks and roads see uptick in foot traffic possibly linked to COVID-cabin fever

POINTE CLAIRE VILLAGE

Many West Island municipalities have noticed more foot traffic than usual, especially in parks and by the water - they suspect one of the factors is more people flocking to the suburbs seeking greenery and wide open spaces during the pandemic.

Over the weekend, police were called several times to Wild Willy's Ice Cream in Pointe Claire Village because of large gatherings and people not obeying physical distancing.

Pointe Claire Mayor John Belvedere said he's aware of the problem and that he's working with businesses to make sure rules are implemented before the summer.

"I've had meetings with them and we've discussed possible solutions," Belvedere told CJAD 800. "I don't want this to be a regular occurrence this summer." 

Belvedere noted the extra foot traffic could be because the city of Montreal closed the parking lots to many of its large parks and now many people are driving into the West Island. 

"It is hard to control that. If we close our parking lots, people will just go park on side streets," added Belvedere.

Others have suggested closing Lakeshore Blvd. to traffic but Belvedere said that's probably not the best idea either.

"If we close the street then it will encourage even more people to come and it will become even busier," said Belvedere.

Belvedere said that ultimately,  the municipalities can only do so much and that it's up to residents to use logic and practice physical distancing. 

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