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Carling Avenue ranked worst road in Ottawa, again

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Carling Avenue has been ranked the worst road in Ottawa, according to the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).

CAA released its annual Worst Roads List on Tuesday. While the 19-kilometre road ranked as the worst in Ottawa for the 20th year in a row, it didn't crack the top 10 list in Ontario this year.

In 2023, it ranked as the fourth worst road in the province.

"I think it's always number one just because of its length," said Coun. Tim Tierney, chair of the Transportation Committee. "Yeah, it's one of our major arterials in this city. People are using it on a regular basis. We actually have a lot of great work planned west of the 417 starting this year with utilities to bundle it together, to make it cheaper on the taxpayer. At the same time, I think we've had a really good winter this year with the freeze-thaw cycle, you see what a difference it makes."

Bronson Avenue took second place for the worst road in the city, followed by Bank Street, Hunt Club Road and Merivale Road, respectively.

The results are based on data from 145 Ontario municipalities, who nominated over 2,000 different roads in their communities. The survey collects anecdotes from regular road users, but tries to highlight those experiences in a way that gets the attention of politicians.

Drivers accounted for most of the nominations, while cyclists and pedestrians accounted for about a quarter. 53 per cent cited potholes, followed by poor road maintenance (52 per cent), traffic congestion (13 per cent) and poor cycling infrastructure, or lack thereof (8 per cent) as their primary reasons for selecting their road.

"Itss good to see it came off the top ten," said CAA's Brian Pirvu. "We hope that the city of Ottawa continues to prioritize Carling and the other roads on the Ottawa region list and continue for that extra funding."

The City of Ottawa has made a number of efforts to improve Carling Avenue, with many residents complaining of a large number of potholes and dangerous conditions for pedestrians.

The city is undertaking the preliminary and detailed design for a renewal of Carling Avenue, Churchill Avenue North and Kirkwood Avenue, with construction expected to start this summer. Sidewalk renewal and cycling facilities will be updated as part of the work.

“Carling Avenue is a 19-kilometre roadway with varying pavement conditions. It consists of various segments with different design standards built over time. As such, renewal needs, and timing is not uniform over the entire length of the road," said an emailed statement by the city's director of asset management services, Susan Johns. 

"Coordinating the scheduling of road renewal is also required to align with other planned construction activities in the corridor, particularly concerning underground utilities renewal and growth-related projects. This could result in postponing road renewals or adjusting limits of the renewal projects in the short term for efficiencies."

The worst road in Ontario was Aberdeen Avenue in Hamilton, followed by Eglington Avenue in Toronto taking second place and Barton Street East in Hamilton in third.

The only eastern Ontario road to make the top 10 list this year was County Road 49 in Prince Edward County, ranking fourth overall.

Ontario's Top 10 Worst Roads for 2024

  1. Aberdeen Avenue, Hamilton
  2. Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto
  3. Barton Street East, Hamilton
  4. County Road 49, Prince Edward
  5. Hurontario Street, Mississauga
  6. Bloor Street West, Toronto
  7. Cedar Street North, Uxbridge
  8. Finch Avenue West, Toronto
  9. Lake Shore Boulevard East, Toronto
  10. Laclie Street, Orillia

--With files from CTV News Ottawa's Peter Szperling

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