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2023 Worst Roads in Ontario

Ontarians have voiced their concerns about major problems on major roads. Taking part in an annual survey, pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, and motorists across Ontario voted to determine which of the province’s roads require the most attention.

The results of the 2023 Canadian Automotive Association’s (CAA) Worst Roads campaign have been released. Unsurprisingly, several streets that have already appeared on lists from previous years were once again included in the most recent survey results.

CAA’s Worst Roads campaign is intended to shine a light on unsafe and poorly maintained roads in order to encourage improvements. This public feedback can be used to foster a healthy dialogue with different municipalities and the provincial government about the state of our community’s roads, while highlighting specific streets in need of urgent upgrades.

Survey respondents were asked to take various factors into consideration when voting for the province’s worst roads, including:

  • Congestion
  • Potholes
  • Alligator cracking
  • Lack of cycling infrastructure
  • Poor road signs
  • Maintenance hazards
  • And other safety issues

With the goal of influencing real, measurable changes on the province’s roads, the CAA’s annual campaign hopes to spark repaving and repair initiatives on dangerous Ontario roads. By drawing attention to the public’s perception of hazardous and inhospitable road conditions, the CAA Worst Roads campaign serves as a yearly reminder of all the work that must be done at the policy level to keep our province’s streets safe.

Repeat Offenders

Unfortunately, addressing the public’s safety concerns about certain roads can take sustained advocacy and political will. It can take several years before any improvements are made to unsafe streets. Indeed, some city roads appear near the top of this public survey year after year, with no signs of local governing bodies even attempting to rectify issues of concern.

Take, for example, the Hamitlon road voted the worst in Ontario for the second consecutive year: Barton Street East. The longest street in the city of Hamilton, Barton Street East is an arterial road that has appeared on CAA’s Worst Roads in Ontario list for several years over the course of the last decade, but in the last two years, has repeatedly scored the worst among Ontario voters.

With a major pothole problem and significant “alligator cracking,” this Hamilton street is a patchwork of rivets and cracked lines that cause more than just driver frustration. Indeed, the poor condition of the road can cause serious wear and tear to local vehicles.

Thankfully, Hamilton’s city council members and staffers have taken the hint, and a $9-million improvement plan has been set into motion. The road rejuvenation program is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, and will include reconstruction of roads and sidewalks, pedestrian crossovers, and a multi-use path.

Other repeat offenders have, once again, made this year’s list of Ontario’s Worst Roads. Unsurprisingly, four cities on the most recent list are in Toronto.

As it so happens, an infamous Toronto street was selected as the second worst in Ontario. Known for the repeatedly delayed and over-budget crosstown LRT construction debacle, Toronto’s Eglinton Avenue West has placed just behind Hamilton’s Barton Street for the second year running.

Now, in its twelfth year of construction with no end in sight, the crosstown LRT project has decimated small businesses on Eglinton, disrupted the daily lives of thousands of residents and commuters for over a decade, and has created unsafe walking and driving conditions for countless road-users. Despite widespread acknowledgement of its subpar road conditions and a perennial position on CAA’s Worst Roads in Ontario list, Eglinton Avenue West remains one of the most problematic roads in the province.

The complete list of this year’s 10 Worst Roads in Ontario is as follows:

  1. Barton St East – Hamilton
  2. Eglinton Avenue West – Toronto
  3. County Road 49 –  Prince Edward County
  4. Carling Avenue –  Ottawa
  5. Finch Avenue West – Toronto
  6. Laclie Street –  Orillia
  7. Steeles Avenue East – Toronto
  8. Aberdeen Avenue – Hamilton
  9. Lake Shore Boulevard East – Toronto
  10. Hurontario Street – Mississauga

Safety Tips for Driving on Unsafe Roads

The 10 Worst Roads in Ontario can cause congestion, delays, and frustrations. However, unsafe road conditions can also lead to serious, injury-causing accidents. While it is always important to exercise caution while operating a motor vehicle, riding a bicycle, or simply crossing the street at an intersection, while traveling down a road that is widely known to be unsafe, there are several safety precautions to consider.

Drivers using any of these potentially hazardous roads should operate their vehicles at a slow, safe, and manageable speed in order to give themselves more time to react to any unexpected obstacles or maintenance issues. It is also advisable to keep a reasonable distance between the vehicle ahead to allow for ample reaction time in the event of a quick stop and prevent rear-end collisions.

It is essential to pay attention to speed limits, road signs, construction notices, and to minimize distractions inside the vehicle while navigating these potentially dangerous thoroughfares. This is especially true while driving during inclement weather events such as snow or rain storms.

Depending on the available cycling infrastructure, bike riders can face an even more treacherous commute on these poorly maintained roads. In order to decrease their risks of an injury-causing accident in these areas, cyclists should always wear appropriate safety gear – including a helmet – as well as bright, reflective clothing to increase their visibility to other road-users. It is important to ride defensively and make eye contact with oncoming drivers and pedestrians to ensure they are aware of the cyclist’s presence.

Maintaining awareness of your surroundings can be difficult, especially in areas of heavy construction and congestion. It is important for every road-user interacting with these potentially unsafe streets to stay mindful, patient, and alert. If everyone does their part, they could help improve the reputations of Ontario’s worst roads in addition to saving lives.

Hurt in an Accident? Call Our Ontario Car Accident Lawyers

Whether you were injured on one of Ontario’s worst roads or on a well-maintained street, you could benefit by taking advantage of a free initial consultation with Preszler Injury Lawyers. Serving cities throughout the province, our Ontario car accident lawyers are committed to helping community members get the compensation and fair treatment they deserve. To learn more, contact us today.

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