April showers bring more than May flowers; they also bring the CAA’s annual Worst Roads competition.
It was a long, cold winter. We suffered, and our streets have as well.
Caroline Grech, a government relations specialist with CAA, said our harsh winter has been merciless on Ontario roads.
“It was the coldest February on record,” she said. “And changes in temperature can cause significant damage to roads.”
At this time of year, good luck finding a street without a pothole problem.
The CAA encourages the public to take part in its annual survey of beat-up roads in the province by visiting CAAworstroads.com, following the instructions and voting for the worst road in your community.
Ontario municipalities are responsible for about 140,000 km of roads. Here in Chatham-Kent, there are nearly 3,500 km of roads – the equivalent of driving from here to Edmonton.
Chatham-Kent has a number of roads in the top 100 currently, including Forhan Street and Dufferin Avenue in Wallaceburg, as well as King, Lacroix and Richmond streets and Grand and Victoria avenues in Chatham.
At the end of the month-long campaign, CAA will announce the top 10 worst roads in the province, Grech said. New this year will be a top five list of crappy roads in seven regions of Ontario.
Grech said the CAA will use the information to lobby local government to make improvements.
“We also meet with the politicians and cities and towns where those streets pop up on the list. So if your street gets on the list, we will actively come and meet, find out the plan and communicate that plan to the public,” she said.
Grech said getting into the top 10 can force municipalities to take notice of infrastructure issues.
“The significance of getting on the list is awareness,” she said. “It raises awareness with municipalities and the public about prioritizing that particular street (for repairs). Often, municipalities might have that street as a priority, but this gives them further incentive to get that road fixed.”
Potholes are a safety issue, she said
“It’s not safe for anyone to have pothole-ridden roads – for cyclists, pedestrians, transit riders or drivers. It does significant damage to your car as well,” Grech said. “People swerve and can cause accidents. It’s important to have proper infrastructure across the province.”