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North Bay's worst road: Voting opens soon in annual CAA poll

Premier Road: new sidewalks and asphalt resurfacing 2024-25. Third Avenue West: repaired and resurfaced in 2021-22. Both were identified over the past few years as North Bay's worst by voters in the CAA poll

CAA officially launches its Worst Roads 2023 campaign on Tuesday, March 28, and this is your chance to identify any deteriorating and unnavigable roads in our community.

Worst Roads is CAA’s annual survey of Ontario’s most damaged and unsafe roads. This public campaign invites members of the public to vote on the worst roads in their area. The results are collated, assessed by a team of experts at the Ontario Road Builders Association (ORBA) and shared with municipal and provincial leaders.

CAA says the health of our roads and byways affects everyone, no matter how they move. Whether you walk, drive, cycle, motorbike or scoot down the road, reporting on crumbling infrastructure, potholes, poor sidewalks and dangerous walkways is everyone's responsibility. Vote daily from March 28–April 21 and you could win free gas for a year.

Voting opens March 28: Where are the worst roads in northern Ontario? CAA wants to know 

According to CAA, poor infrastructure doesn’t just impact motorists, but pedestrians, e-scooter riders, cyclists and motorbike enthusiasts. Although there are 13 million registered cars in Ontario, at least 1.7 million cyclists and millions more pedestrians, motorbike riders, and e-scooter riders experience poor roads.

Worst Roads encompasses potholes, cracks, uneven pavement, crumbling shoulders and uneven sidewalks, as well as unsafe intersections.

In a recent CAA Member survey, the most common complaint from Ontarians was about potholes, followed by a lack of pedestrian access. Car repairs for pothole damage range from $300 to $6,000. The most dominant complaint with roads is cracked pavement. More than half of respondents said there was a lack of cycling infrastructure in their region.

After Third Avenue West topped the list in 2021, no North Bay road even made the top-10 list of Ontario's combined North and East regions in this year's CAA Worst Roads campaign. North Bay's Premier Road finished 12th among the worst North and East roads in 2022. 

The City of North Bay has been proactive in addressing potholes this spring by providing contact information for Public Works. "As spring continues its freeze and thaw cycle, potholes will begin to develop on streets across the city at a quicker rate than normal," says the news release. "This creates driving challenges and can become an irritant and eyesore for motorists."

See related: It's pothole season. Here's how to report 'the big one'

Although Third West was already slated for repairs and was repaired and resurfaced in 2021-22, the last two worst North Bay roads have seen significant work in subsequent years. Premier Road will receive new sidewalks and asphalt resurfacing in 2024-25. Both were identified as North Bay's worst by voters in the CAA poll.

See: Premier Road voted North Bay's worst in CAA poll

And: North Bay's worst road to undergo upgrades, repairs in 2024

In 2022, North Bay's sole entry on the list is joined by five Ottawa roads — including the top three — and this year's top vote-getter Carling Avenue. Greater Sudbury also placed five roads in the top-15, with Lansing Avenue receiving the most votes. Timmins and Thunder Bay each had two roads included.

The top-15 CAA worst roads in the North and East region for 2022:

  1. Carling Avenue, Ottawa
  2. Bronson Avenue, Ottawa
  3. Hunt Club Road, Ottawa
  4. Algonquin Boulevard East, Timmins
  5. Lansing Avenue, Greater Sudbury
  6. Arthur Street West, Thunder Bay
  7. Paris Street, Greater Sudbury
  8. Fielding Road, Greater Sudbury
  9. Algonquin Boulevard West, Timmins
  10. Baseline Road, Ottawa
  11. Bancroft Drive, Greater Sudbury
  12. Premier Road, North Bay
  13. Memorial Avenue, Thunder Bay
  14. Innes Road, Ottawa 
  15. Barry Downe Road, Greater Sudbury 

See: Ontario's top-10 worst roads

CAA says last year's vote count was surpassed this year and the team is seeing a few new roads named to the list. CAA also had a record number of voters submit photos of crumbling, unsafe, and potholed roads. "Poor roads affect us all. They make us late, cause delivery delays, contribute to congestion and, most importantly, can endanger those who use them."

Since 2003, CAA says its annual Worst Roads campaign has influenced change. Repaving and repair work has been done on many of the roads on Ontario's Worst Roads list, with more to come. According to CAA, its findings last year show the state of Canada’s roads cost road users an additional $3 billion a year in repairs and fuel. 

Stu Campaigne

About the Author: Stu Campaigne

Stu Campaigne is a full-time news reporter for, focusing on local politics and sharing our community's compelling human interest stories.
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