To be fair, it isn’t really an engineering issue; it’s a simple case of plans that look good on paper, but may not work out so well once implemented.

The plan is to turn a single oversized lot and split it up into seven. That, in its self isn’t a bad thing; the problem is where the driveways will go.

Click to make bigger

You’ll have two going onto the Lincoln Rd. and five going onto Adams.

The worst will be the two driveways on the Lincoln Rd. Due to the small size of the lots, drivers would have to either back into, or out of those driveways. If you’ve ever been on the Lincoln Rd, you’ll know that backing out onto it isn’t the smartest of ideas.  A quick survey using Google Maps found that out of 69 driveways on that stretch of Lincoln Rd (from the Experimental Farm to the Vanier Industrial Dr intersection), 63 had an area on the property for cars to turn around. Only 6, or less than 9% did not have a turn-around. 63 out of 69 (91%) is a higher ratio than most dentists give to a brand of toothpaste. Canada Post also recently removed the roadside mailboxes with a community box as they considered stopping along the Lincoln Rd to be too dangerous.

Adams St has a history of problems, at the other end of it, there is a park with insufficient parking, which means it gets plugged up with cars parked on the side of the road. Many of these are minivans and SUVs that are parked a few feet away from the curb (I hate to use stereotypes, but this one is actually true). There’s also a badly built traffic-calming circle in the middle that only slows traffic going away from the Lincoln Rd. The intersection at the Lincoln Rd end has a steep hill, blind curve and a tall hedge that blocks your view. There’s also a blind hill and a blind curve that you have to deal with while pulling out into the Lincoln Rd.  Adding five driveways would just complicate this.  If one of those five houses decides to throw a party, there won’t be enough driveway space to accommodate all the guests.  This means they’ll have to park on the street, which if they park on both sides will plug it up just like at the other end. Since there’s a hedge blocking your view as you pull in from the Lincoln Rd, you’ll get quite a surprise to find only enough room for a single lane and a bus coming the other way.

View Larger Map– You can’t see what’s behind that hedge

Hopefully the developers will change their plans and allow for shared driveways or a space to turn around. They may have to reduce the number of lots, but they’ll be able to sell the ones on the Lincoln Rd for more as not having to back out of the driveway will make them more desirable.

The real solution is to block off Adams St. and build another exit by expropriating some of the experimental farm and making Lonewater go down to Lincoln.  There, you won’t have the blind hill, curve or hedge. This plan probably wouldn’t be popular with the people who live on Lonewater though.

View Adams Fix in a larger map

UPDATE: Mar 8 2010 –
According to this article, the zoning request was denied and a failure was prevented. It is assumed that the developer will try again with a different (and presumably better) site plan.