CAA Saskatchewan kicks off annual Worst Roads campaign, encourages public votes

Photo submitted by Angel Blair. Highway 9 near Whitewood was rated No. 7 on CAA Saskatchewan's 2023 Worst Roads campaign. The 2024 campaign runs through April 29 with online voting open to all road users.

Jocelyn Bennett

Regina Leader-Post

CAA Saskatchewan’s Worst Roads campaign has become, for some, synonymous with the start of spring.

The online advocacy and safety campaign was created to engage with road users and draw attention to the province’s most unsafe roads. It offers motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and passengers the chance to nominate and vote for roads that are a safety concern.

In a province with more than 250,000 kms of roads — more than any other Canadian province — there are a lot of candidates to take this honour.

Voting for the worst roads in Saskatchewan is open through April 29 at Votes are Limited to one road per user in a 24-hour period.

During the campaign, CAA Worst Roads roving reporter Angel Blair will speak with road users near Eston, Redvers, Pilot Butte, Whitewood and Hudson Bay, five communities that rated in the top 10 for most unsafe roads in the 2023 campaign.

Highway 44 near Eston was rated the No. 1 worst road last year, with potholes cited as the biggest problem. Road users weren’t surprised to hear this rating, Blair said in a media release at the start of the campaign on Tuesday.

“It’s pretty miserable — lots of potholes and washboardy spots, you definitely have to be paying attention, and not much of a shoulder on either side,” Codie Cumiskey said.

“With the large potholes and the hydroplaning, you don’t know if you are going to get pulled into the wrong lane of traffic or if you are going to get pulled into the ditch. It’s just a hazard. Sooner or later someone is going to lose a life on this road or highway,” Rob Swyryda added.

Also near Eston, Highway 30 was voted No. 2 in last year’s campaign.

“We are finding we are losing customers to our businesses in the community because they are openly saying, ‘I won’t travel Highways 44 and 30 to get to Eston anymore because it is too dangerous and it’s too hard on our equipment and vehicles,’ ” Glenn Goheen said.

“That whole extended 30 is a disaster to travel and dangerous, so it cuts back on people travelling to the regional park to use it for camping, golfing and relaxing at the swimming pool. They have got so that they do not want to go there anymore because of the roads.”

Top 10 Worst Roads in 2023:

  1. Saskatchewan 44, Eston
  2. Saskatchewan 30, Eston
  3. Coteau Street West, Moose Jaw
  4. Highway 13, Redvers
  5. Saskatchewan 5, Buchanan
  6. Butte Street, Pilot Butte
  7. Saskatchewan 9, Whitewood
  8. Saskatchewan 123, Petaigan/Ravendale/Pemmican Portage
  9. Highway 9, Hudson Bay
  10. Old Highway 35, Whitefox

The most prominent safety issues noted in these campaigns were potholes and crumbling pavement, CAA Saskatchewan said. Other issues identified by road users include cracks, general disrepair, poor signage, congestion and unsafe infrastructure.

The release stated CAA will share the top 10 worst roads for 2024 with stakeholders — including government and business leaders — with the aim of starting conversations and working toward better roads and safety for all road users.

As a new addition to this year’s campaign, CAA will offer a $1,000 Shell gift card through a random draw of all eligible voters. The 2024 Top 10 Worst Roads will be announced on April 30.