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Preventing another Fredericton traffic engineering failure – Lincoln / Adams

Posted by on 22 Feb 2010 | Tagged as: fail, Fredericton, Reviews

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.

How lazy are convention goers?

Posted by on 11 Jan 2010 | Tagged as: fail, Fredericton

For some reason, ADI Group insists that buses must stop directly in front of Fredericton’s new convention centre. Do people actually take the bus to a convention? I don’t really know the answer to that, however, as Queen St. is one way, the doors of any bus would open on the wrong side. What’s the proposed solution? Make Queen St go two way for a block.

Red areas are to be modified

Needless to say, I have a few problems with this:

  • It isn’t just the case of painting a few lines on the road, the Queen/Regent and Queen/St. John intersections will have to be redesigned to allow for the wide right turns that a bus will make.
  • You know that people won’t pay attention and will keep going past St. John and go the wrong way all the way until University.
  • Would people really take a bus to get there? There is a perfectly good hotel across the street, and they are also planning to build a new one next door to the convention centre.
  • If on the odd chance they do take the bus, does it really have to go right to the front door? Couldn’t it just pull up beside the Playhouse and have the conventioneers walk to the doors? It’s only 300 feet.

That’s not really that far to walk, even for a small city.  For an even shorter walk, the bus could stop across the street and they could add a crosswalk so people can easily get across the street.

The cost to modify Queen St. probably won’t be small, and could be better spent on other traffic projects. Hopefully they don’t go through with this.

Details please?

Posted by on 23 Nov 2009 | Tagged as: fail, Fredericton, opengovernment

Here we go again. The City of Fredericton announces something and puts absolutely no information about it on their web site. This time, it’s a plan to redevelop the run-down exhibition grounds. The only information about the project is a newspaper article with a vague description and a low resolution image. How can they expect any decent comments with that?

I’d also like to note this article which outlines the need for high density urban environments. Hopefully they took that into consideration when coming up with this plan. We’ll never know as they don’t have any details available on-line.

City of Fredericton web site double-fail

Posted by on 21 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: fail, Fredericton, website

Q:What’s worse than not having information posted on a website?
A:Having it up on the site, but not linking to it so it can’t be found.

Last week, I posted an article about how the City of Fredericton doesn’t post a lot of information on its website. Imagine my surprise when I Googled something completely unrelated and find this:

It’s exactly what’s needed, but it isn’t linked from anywhere on the main site. The file properties show that it was created on Sept 9th, which was well before my blog post criticizing them for not having it.

It’s really sad that they have this information compiled and ready to go, but they are unwilling to release it. It’s time to tear down the wall between City Hall and the people. It’s 2009, there is no excuse for this.

Banner hanging fail

Posted by on 27 Aug 2009 | Tagged as: fail, Fredericton

When hanging banners, make sure the English part isn’t hidden by a tree:


Public place failure: The Tannery

Posted by on 17 Aug 2009 | Tagged as: fail, Fredericton

Fredericton’s Tannery is known to be the place to be at night, but during the day, it leaves a lot to be desired. With many of the surrounding restaurants offering take-out, you’d think there would be a place where you could sit and eat your lunch. Unfortunately, there isn’t. Much of the space is taken up by parking (in blue). The green areas are flower beds that you can sit on, but due to the narrowness of the driveway, you’re required to stand anytime a minivan or SUV comes in.



The solution is actually quite simple, just remove some of the parking spaces, add some concrete benches and the odd table. Hose off the drunks in the morning and it’ll be ready by lunch.

Why cellphone bans are silly

Posted by on 09 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: fail, Fredericton

Saw this link today:

At first glance, it would be another law to supposedly keep us safe from bad drivers. As stated many times before on this blog (see below), Fredericton drivers are terrible. I see no enforcement of existing laws other than speeding. Things like obstructing traffic, not knowing the rules of the road and crosswalk violations are overlooked. Now we’d just have another traffic law that won’t be enforced.

For reference:

Update on Fredericton airport “near miss”

Posted by on 08 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: fail, Fredericton

This is an update to this older post: Is the Fredericton Airport (YFC) safe?

On Tuesday July 7th, CBC Fredericton’s Terry Seguin interviewed the principal of the Moncton Flight College and was able to answer 3 of my 4 questions.  I’ll summarize the answers below:

  • This occurred on June 2nd. Why was there no media coverage of this incident? It was serious enough to warrant a TSB (Transportation Safety Board) investigation. The media did not cover it because they didn’t know about it. They got scooped.
  • The control tower is actually in Moncton. With this amount of air traffic, why isn’t there one here? Is there anyone at all in the Fredericton tower? There is someone there, but they don’t do a whole lot. According to the airport management, the airport will soon have a full service control tower.
  • Why were the students in the airspace that belonged to the Air Canada plane? Shouldn’t they have been told to move? Isn’t negotiating air space with air traffic controllers a vital skill that every commercial pilot needs to know about? At airports that don’t have control towers, airspace isn’t reserved. Aircraft in the area are informed of incoming traffic and the other pilots then have some sort of system they use to stay away. At a non-busy airport, this is usually a non-issue as there is so little air traffic. Now that YFC has the flight training school and all it’s air traffic, it’s obvious that this is a genuine safety concern. I would expect a statement from NAV Canada (the crown-corp resposnsible for air traffic control) that would say that the conversion to a control tower was planned long before the incident on June 2nd.

Fredericton’s new Bikepark fails in security

Posted by on 04 Jun 2009 | Tagged as: fail, Fredericton

I missed the grand opening of what I think is a great idea for Fredericton’s downtown.  Not all employers are as generous as mine and allow bikes to be brought into the office.

I decided to check it out. $50 is a great deal for parking for a year.


I was curious how one got into there so I took a quick peek and noticed they had a proximity card system. This is probably the best system you could use in an installation like this as you can’t copy it like a key and you can deactivate them really easily if the card is lost or stolen.


I then noticed that it looked different on the other side. I assumed that you would also need to use the card to get out as steel bars don’t provide any reach-around security. Boy, was I ever wrong:


Yes that’s right, it’s a button. Their security system can be disabled with a coat hanger or even something less conspicuous like an air pump. (Note, I didn’t actually test this out myself)

6 More Fredericton Area Traffic Engineering failues.

Posted by on 18 May 2009 | Tagged as: fail, Fredericton

6. West end of Knowledge Park Drive

This is a big mess. At the end of it, where it intersects with Arnold Dr and Regent St, the traffic lights don’t have advance left turn signals, yet most of the traffic is turning traffic. The lane markings weren’t thought out very well, there are stripes where a left turn lane should be and there isn’t enough warning when the right hand lane turns into a right turn only lane. (thanks Orser!)

5. No median on Route 8 between PMB and Hanwell Rd.

Part of the point of having a divided highway is so that you don’t have the risk of oncoming traffic ending up in your lane. With nothing but a narrow grass strip, there isn’t anything to stop a drifting vehicle.


Will this stop a car?

4. Removal of “scramble” intersections.

Back in the day, downtown Fredericton was the friendliest of places to stroll about. City planners loved pedestrians, and it showed. Being able to cross an intersection diagonally was thought of as being one of the most progressive things the city ever did. Sadly, the city’s love of the downtown has long come to an end. The removal of the scramble intersections, along with the desire to collect more revenue from parking makes the downtown a different place than it used to be. We are lucky that there is still a single scramble intersection left on Prospect St., in front of F.H.S.  Hopefully it will get heritage protection status.

3. Fast lane off-ramp on TCH west of Fredericton.

Now it’s MRDC’s turn to get on the list. Why do I have to turn off in the fast lane? So MRDC can make more profit by not building an overpass.

2. Fast lane on-ramp to TCH east of Fredericton.

Cheapness comes in pairs.

1. Oromocto’s TCH ramps.

Boy, did they ever get screwed on this one. They had two full intersections, but when MRDC came in, they tore up two perfectly good ramps to give them one and a half intersections. They also didn’t finish the intersection to Hwy 7 which makes it annoying if you are coming from Gagetown and want to go to Saint john.


This was handy for a lot of people

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