Hamilton's Burlington Street East is 'Ontario's worst road': CAA

Burlington Street has appeared on CAA’s Worst Roads list every year since 2009, but this is the first time it claimed the top position.

Burlington Street has been on the list every year since 2009

CBC drove down Burlington Street East with a GoPro to highlight some of the worst areas. (CBC)

Hamilton has earned the dubious honour of being home to the province's worst road, according to a poll released Thursday by the Canadian Automobile Association.

For the first time Burlington Street East has topped the CAA's annual list of Ontario's Top 10 Worst Roads, although it has made an appearance in the rankings every year since 2009.

"A road appearing on the list for this many years is really a reflection that this is one that is a pain point for many people," said Elliott Silverstein, government relations manager for CAA Southern Ontario.

"It provides a snapshot for people travelling in and around the Hamilton area that this is an area that really needs some attention and repairs."

Thousands of roads across the province are nominated for the CAA campaign each year, with tens of thousands Ontarians weighing in about the state of infrastructure affecting drivers, pedestrians and cyclists over a voting period of about three weeks.

CAA then tabulates the results, in conjunction with the Ontario Road Builders' Association, to determine the roads that deserve the most attention for the year.

Burlington Street East was at number six on last year's list, and number seven in 2015. In 2014, the road was fifth, and in 2013, second worst.

"The biggest challenge we've heard is the crumbling infrastructure — the potholes, the bumpy roads, the patches," said Silverstein. "At the end of the day, it's a safety issue. Whether you're a cyclist, pedestrian or motorist, if you experience some of these road conditions, you face making split-second decisions and having to navigate through those."

On the region-specific list, Hamilton's top five worst roads also included Barton Street East, Main Street West, Upper James Street, and for the first time, Nikola Tesla Boulevard — proving that things on Burlington St. E. are so bad, it has essentially been nominated twice.

Burlington Street needs 'immediate attention': Paul Miller NDP MPP

"What we have seen with roads that appeared on the list in previous years, is that municipalities push a call to action for infrastructure funding, or they re-prioritize some of their capital expenditures to really put these at the front of the list," said Silverstein.

"What we hope with this is that it actually sends a message that this is a struggle for many people in the community and hopefully in the coming years we will see it move down the list, and then off the list."

Paul Miller, MPP Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, said in a statement that the list highlighted where infrastructure spending was most needed.

"I hope that CAA's spotlight will spur some much-needed improvement on Burlington Street East and the many other Hamilton roads that require immediate attention," said Miller.

"We must invest in the repair and maintenance of our existing infrastructure as well as in building new transport connections. People depend on this road to be safe."

Ontario's Top 10 Worst Roads for 2017

1. Burlington Street East (Hamilton)
2. Dufferin Street (Toronto)
3. Lorne Street (Sudbury)
4. Maley Drive (Sudbury)
5. Queenston Street (St. Catharines)
6. Algonquin Boulevard West (Timmins)
7. Hunt Club Road (Ottawa)
8. TIE – Carling Avenue (Ottawa) AND Duckworth Street (Barrie)
9. TIE – Algonquin Boulevard East (Timmins) AND Yonge Street (Toronto)
10. County Road 49 (Prince Edward County)

Hamilton's Worst Roads 2017

1. Burlington Street East
2. Barton Street East 
3. Main Street West 
4. Nikola Tesla Boulevard
5. Upper James Street 


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