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March 17th 2021

The challenge of parking

The pandemic has brought many changes to our lives, and the outdoors has undeniably been a great source of solace in these difficult times. In fact, so many people have been coming to our Reserve that we have needed to turn to online reservations to ensure a smooth flow of visitor traffic. The new reservation system that debuted in August 2020 has allowed us to better distribute visits throughout the day and cut down on waiting time at the entrance. But one issue remains: the limited capacity of our parking lots.

We are currently reconsidering how to manage post pandemic visitor traffic. We have come a long way in terms of the technology we use, and now we are turning our attention to our parking lots. Our collective dependence on cars is an unfortunate reality, especially in areas far from public transportation. And, in over 25 years, the Reserve’s entrance infrastructure has not changed, although traffic has nearly tripled!

Studies show that over 80% of users come to the Reserve by car, and the data indicates an average of 1.7 people per car at the Reserve (an average of 1.63 in Quebec). We are evaluating various strategies for increasing the number of visitors per car during peak times. Although carpooling is not recommended during COVID 19, we will eventually need to set up mechanisms to encourage it. Fortunately, there are various options and technologies available.

The current context calls for innovative strategies to balance the need to take care of the environment with the importance of providing our visitors with a positive experience. We will keep you informed of our ongoing reflections and involve you in the process. Thank you to all our visitors who have adjusted to the changes of the past year.

Happy hiking!

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