North Bay's Premier Road finished 12th among North and East roads. It is a lengthy (mostly) residential dead-end that is in need of extensive pothole repair and asphalt resurfacing. Premier Road is highly populated, is exposed to Lake Nipissing weather events and, depending on the season, heavy vehicle use by visitors to Champlain Park and the municipal dog park and boat launch located therein. Ask residents and they'll tell you sidewalks on the latter section of the road would be appreciated but that's another story.
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:
- Carling Avenue, Ottawa
- Bronson Avenue, Ottawa
- Hunt Club Road, Ottawa
- Algonquin Boulevard East, Timmins
- Lansing Avenue, Greater Sudbury
- Arthur Street West, Thunder Bay
- Paris Street, Greater Sudbury
- Fielding Road, Greater Sudbury
- Algonquin Boulevard West, Timmins
- Baseline Road, Ottawa
- Bancroft Drive, Greater Sudbury
- Premier Road, North Bay
- Memorial Avenue, Thunder Bay
- Innes Road, Ottawa
- Barry Downe Road, Greater Sudbury
Premier Road did not make the City of North Bay's 2022 asphalt resurfacing program list so relief for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians is likely at least another year off. North Bay City Council awarded a $3.36 million contract to Pioneer Construction Ltd. for this year's asphalt resurfacing program. This year's program will cover approximately 17 kilometres of roadways.
City Engineer John Severino advises a "quantitative and objective" list of candidates for road rehabilitation is developed through an established Road Matrix Program that is updated on a 4- or 5-year cycle by a third party for the City. Premier Road has been tentatively scheduled for some work in the next one to two years, subject to the will of the council and capital considerations.
In 2021, North Bay's Third Avenue West topped the list of CAA's worst roads in the combined North and East regions.
That same stretch of Third Avenue West between Cassells and Front has undergone a major reconstruction by Public Works that began last summer and continues with the final restorative work. According to the City of North Bay's budget, the Third West reconstruction was already on the books prior to the release of the CAA results.
Each year, CAA invites Ontario drivers, cyclists, transit riders and pedestrians to vote in the CAA Worst Roads campaign to identify which roads need improvement. Over the years, CAA has heard about potholes, congestion, poor road signs and other safety concerns. CAA says voting for Ontario's Worst Roads helps shine the spotlight on where more work is needed. The public feedback helps CAA start a dialogue with the government to help pave the way for safer roads across Ontario.
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.