Ahh, spring. In Vancouver, it's heralded by carpets of cherry blossoms falling on the streets. Everywhere else, pot holes spring up. Which means it's also time again for the CAA's Worst Roads campaign!
During the campaign, the CAA asks drivers, cyclists, transit riders and pedestrians to identify roads that they think need the most improvement. Too many potholes? Lots of congestion? Poor signage? The CAA wants to know. Then they use that feedback to engage with politicians and decision makers in government across the country and to advocate for safer roads.
The campaigns run at different times in different regions; however, this year the CAA has created a central site for all their chapters - www.caaworstroads.com
Here is a schedule of the dates of the campaigns in the participating CAA Regions:
Atlantic Canada - starts April 6, 2016
Manitoba - runs March 9 to April 6, 2016
Saskatchewan - starts April 8, 2016
Ontario (Niagara, North & East Ontario, South Central Ontario) regions and Quebec have not year announced their dates, but you can check in on the CAAWorstRoads website.
After you've voted for the worst road in your region, check out these tips from the CAA on protecting yourself from bad roads:
- Potholes. Avoid them, but not at all costs. If you have to drive over a pothole, try to do so slowly. Don’t slam on your brakes – it will make you a danger to the car following you – and watch out for other vehicles swerving to avoid potholes ahead.
- Congestion. If you can, drive at a different time of day to avoid the busiest periods for traffic. If that’s not possible, identify alternative routes so you can bypass some of the worst jams.
- Traffic. Leave a little earlier and give yourself more time to get where you’re going. You’ll be more relaxed and happier for it.
- Extra space! When the road is bad, leave yourself even more room for movement or reaction. Don’t follow other traffic too closely – the car ahead could brake suddenly for a pothole or ruts, or throw a rock at your windshield on a poorly-surfaced highway.
- Cyclists. Make sure you’re visible on the road, to make yourself seen by motorists already distracted by poor driving conditions. Wear a reflective vest or at least carry reflective badges on your helmet, and fix reflectors to your bicycle.
How are the roads in your municipality? Did you vote?
- Rose R.