Grenville-sur-la-Rouge residents and the municipality are concerned again this year about people parking their cars along Chemin de la Rivière Rouge in order to access the Rouge River via private property. The danger of parking on the narrow roadway, as well as litter being left behind on the river’s edge has been a problem which has plagued the municipality for the past several years.

“There are still people who are camping illegally on the banks of the river, which in our case is private land,” said Marc Beaulieu, Director General of the Municipality of Grenville-Sur-La-Rouge, noting that virtually all of the land along the banks of the Rouge River belongs to the properties on the other side of the road. “These people are basically squatters.”

Another issue with the private set ups along the riverbank is the trash often left behind by people who do not clean up after themselves.

“They leave all kinds of garbage behind, from their poop and toilet paper to plastic bags and cases of empty beer bottles,” Beaulieu commented. “That is a problem; especially because it is on private land.”

Perhaps the municipality’s biggest concern is the danger presented by vehicles being illegally parked along the narrow roadway along the Rouge River, which has numerous twisty curves, hills and blind spots. It is for that reason in the first place that parking is banned on all parts of Chemin de la Rivière Rouge within the boundaries of Grenville-Sur-La-Rouge.

“(The road) is narrow; lots of blind hills; lots of sharp curves,” Beaulieu observed. “As soon as you park one car in one of those places if two cars drive in – even at 50 kilometres an hour – there’s no room for them to avoid that parked car. Either it’s a bumper-to-bumper crash, or one car takes the river.”

Over the past three years the municipality has hired a private agency to supervise, advise people to not park along the roadway, and to issue tickets if necessary. Beaulieu says while the enforcement has acted as a deterrent and there has been some improvement in the situation, there are still many people who have not received the message: “Some are not aware yet, and some (people) take a chance and still go up there.”

The municipality is also taking steps to improve access to the Rouge River to allow people who wish to use the waterway on a recreational basis. Plans are underway to create a public parking area with access to the river along Chemin de la Rivière Rouge just north of Kilmar Road. While the plan is in the very early stages, negotiations are underway to acquire the property required for the development.