The condition of the roads, their maintenance and congestion are of relevance to the quality of life and work in Niagara, since the automobile is the main mode of transportation. Our roads carry people, goods and services across the region. Niagara Region maintains 1,674 lane kilometres of paved roads and the costs of maintenance vary over the years. Regional roads are rated using the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) developed by the Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA). The 2006 results indicated progress being made on this measure and a growing positive gap for Niagara relative to the average benchmark inOntario. By 2009,Niagara was in line with the provincial average of 64% of the roads being paved. The percentage of paved roads in Niagara in 2009 was close to the same asOntario,Toronto,Ottawa, Peel andYork and much better thanHamilton,Durham, Muskoka,Sudbury andThunder Bay.
Table 2.2 Percentage of paved roads in Niagara compared to the provincial average
Table 2.3 Operating costs for paved (hard top) roads per lane kilometre
In 2006, Niagara was substantially below the average operating costs for paved roads per lane kilometre at $644.00, compared to theOntarioaverage benchmark of $1,040.00. Our 5 year average per lane kilometre was $996.44. In 2009,Niagara’s $1,209.72 cost per lane kilometre remained way below the total provincial average costs. The total cost of paved roads inNiagarafor 2009 was $14,496.06. Our operating cost in 2009 per lane kilometre was $4,359.91 for winter maintenance – above the OMBI average cost of $3,749.46.