Ontario's worst municipal roads: Counting the costs

    TORONTO, Aug. 20 /CNW/ - Any motorist who has ever had to shell out
hundreds or even thousands of dollars to fix damage caused to their vehicle by
bad roads knows the true costs of driving on neglected roads and bridges.
Pothole-dodging cyclists and transit users being bumped around on buses also
know the dangers of driving on poorly maintained roads and bridges. That's why
this year's Worst Municipal Roads Campaign, launched today, is giving fed up
commuters the opportunity to send a loud and clear message to Dalton McGuinty,
John Tory and Howard Hampton during Ontario's provincial election campaign.
    Commuters can make their voices heard by visiting select CAA stores or
approved repair facilities, or by logging onto www.worstroads.ca. Voters can
have their say by casting a ballot for a worst road in their community or by
answering an online poll question. They can also send an electronic postcard
to their mayor and/or the party leaders of their choice that says they want
their provincial gas taxes spent fixing their local roads and bridges.
    "Ontario motorists pay more than 4 billion dollars in provincial gas
taxes and licencing and registration fees each year and they want more of that
money spent fixing their roads and bridges," said Kris Barnier, Provincial
Affairs Specialist, CAA Ontario. "The problem is that senior levels of
government collect all the gas tax revenues while municipal governments are
being asked to fix the overwhelming majority of our roads. That's why Dalton
McGuinty, John Tory and Howard Hampton have to step up with a commitment to
help struggling municipalities."
    CAA and the Ontario Road Builders' Association (ORBA) are calling on all
provincial parties to commit to immediately expand Ontario's 'transit-only'
gas tax sharing program to include money for road repairs. In the long term,
CAA and ORBA believe all three levels of government need to come together to
strike one gas tax sharing agreement that will address the transportation
needs of all Ontario municipalities.
    The billions of dollars in taxes and fees are not the only costs that
Ontario motorists have to absorb. Each year motorists can pay hundreds or even
thousands of dollars fixing premature and senseless damage to their vehicles
caused by bad roads.
    "Bad roads can damage your suspension, steering systems, alignment and
brakes," said Barnier. "Wheel assembly damage can run from $65 to $600 on
average and suspension damage typically costs anywhere from $500 to $1000 to
    Damage caused by poorly maintained roads can impact the steering and
brakes of vehicles. This can make it more difficult for a motorist to avoid
collisions. Knocked out wheel alignments and other types of damage cause by
bad roads can also impact a vehicle's fuel efficiency and emissions.
    Municipal governments have taken action, or have committed to take action
to fix 95% of the roads named to the Worst Roads campaign since 2003.
    "We're getting those worst roads fixed for motorists, cyclists, transit
users and pedestrians," said Rob Bradford, Executive Director of the Ontario
Road Builders' Association. "But if we're going to get all our bad roads
fixed, we need the people of Ontario to help us send that message to McGuinty,
Tory and Hampton."
    CAA and ORBA will be taking their message across Ontario during its
six-week campaign, visiting more than 40 communities across the province.
Balloting opens on August 20, 2007, and will conclude on September 28, 2007.
CAA and ORBA will announce the final results during the first week of October,

For further information:

For further information: Karen Gordon, Squeaky Wheel Communications,
(416) 699-1624 office, (416) 997-9478 cell

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