Unfortunately many of those managers have the foresight to have a designated scapegoat in waiting. I'm seen wonderful workers (and managers) fired because of problems not of their making. I worked with a manager we called Harry Houdini (behind his back) because he could get out of everything. I remember being in one meeting where he threw me under the bus citing something he had expressly told me to do. I realized later that he had done that to purposely set me up.
Back when I was in school I had a co-op job with an architecture company in the electrical department. They told me that the building contractors would look for mistakes in the plans when bidding the job. They knew that they could get paid to first build it wrong per the plans, then charge through the nose to remove the mistake, then charge again to build it the right way. That way they could under bid the job knowing they can make it up later. Some of these look like obvious examples of this process. Mistakes can happen easily because the different plans for the projects (concrete, structural, plumbing, electrical, etc.) are done by different departments in the architectural firm. Back then it was done with hand drawn plans, hopefully now they have better CAD programs.
It's not terribly uncommon to see driveways like those in #1 in the hilly areas around here (Portland, Oregon area). I remember one driveway that's just about as steep, but leading down into the garage rather than up to it.
Based on the surrounding terrain and the slope of the road, I would guess that every heavy rainstorm delivers a nice little flood to that garage.
I have seen similar oddities in south america, were it is much easier to ask forgiveness than permission, or pay someone to look the other way.
Examples like Item #6 & #8 may be purely for symmetrical or ornamental value. but make you wonder where does a stairway like in Item #10 meant to go?
Some (weak) attempts at humor:
#1: "Kid-friendly neighborhood, great for sledding"
#2: "We solved the problem of people stealing the display" or "Display: Acme Corp. has responded to your privacy concerns"
#3: "Yes, Mr. Jones, the reception desk is watching the elevator, so no one will be able to sneak up to your office anymore."
#4: "The pedestrian overpass project was completed on time and under-budget with 90% of planned capacity."
#5: "Our supplier for laser levels is going to receive a sternly worded letter about quality control" or "ZeeThru--our windows give you a new slant on the world"
#6: "The apartments on level 4 have special security measures against catburglers"
#7: "It'll cost how much to remove the rails?! I'll just settle for the balcony then."
#8: "The law requires a street light at every bus stop"
#9: "Our ATMs never have long lines"
#10: "See, the blueprint was signed by M.C. Escher himself!"
#11: "What's wrong with a little togetherness"
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