Monday, December 2, 2013

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – November 2013

The following relate to urban development and urban design in general, specific projects, and sun/shade issues. They were derived from our twitter feed ( or @SunPosition).

71-storey tower planned for Edmonton to be Western Canada’s tallest building | Yahoo News

Image from Yahoo News

EDMONTON, AB - A new condominium tower planned for construction in downtown Edmonton would be the second-tallest building in Canada and, perhaps more notably, would topple a Calgary tower as the tallest building in Western Canada.

Dubbed the Edmontonian, the office/condo building would eclipse the city's current tallest building Epcor Tower by more than 100 metres and Calgary's Bow Tower by a mere 10 metres…

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Scituate resident seeks state regulations on turbine shadow flicker | The Patriot Ledger

SCITUATE, MA - A neighbor of the 390-foot-tall wind turbine on the Driftway is pushing state officials to require turbine owners to install technology that would shut down the machines when shadow flicker is detected.

While state regulations limit turbine noise, there is no limit on shadow flicker: the rotation of turbine blades causing alternating periods of shadow and light on surrounding buildings.

A group of residents have complained that their health is adversely affected by the noise and shadow flicker from the turbine, which is owned by Scituate Wind LLC, a partnership of Palmer Capital and Solaya Energy…

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Map: Who’s asking to re-zone (and redevelop) parts of Toronto’s Employment Lands | BuzzBuzz Home

Photo: Grant MacDonald/Flickr

TORONTO, ON - The housing boom in the city has caused homebuilders to look for just about any scrap of land to develop. With the Official Plan up for review, many are asking that parts of the city that have been zoned for employment — everything from office space to industrial work and light manufacturing — make the switch to other designations.

Today City Hall will be looking into some 116 conversion request in Toronto’s Employment Lands and we thought we’d dig through the planning department’s recommendations to see who’s asking to rebuild and rezone what.

Here are some of the interesting facts, odd requests and recognizable names we found, plus a map (below) to put it all in context:
  • Of the 116 applications, 92 explicitly requested residential building in the Employment Lands, though two were for temporary living quarters.
  • One of those temporary living quarters was for the band Billy Talent, who want to add a temporary residence above their recording studio on Logan Avenue in the East End.
  • Woodbine Entertainment Group is asking that the southeast portion of 555 Rexdale Boulevard (that would be the Woodbine Racetrack) to be converted to Mixed Use Areas to allow for residential uses. Right now, that part of the 48 hectare property contains the Woodbine practice race track, stables and jockey dormitories.
  • Senior’s housing is kind of hot: there were four requests involving retirement communities and housing geared at seniors.
  • For King West residents who complain about the smells drifting from Quality Meat Packers at 2 Tecumseth, consider this: after receiving a request to convert the area from Employment Lands to a Mixed Use or Regeneration Area designation, the Planning Department suggested changing it to a Regeneration Area. However, the neighbourhood’s Garrison Common North Secondary Plan has to be amended to allow the business to keep operating until “the current meat processing operations cease.”
Play around with our map to get the scoop about sites that could see redevelopment or get shut down by the city: article and map -

Neighbours of proposed Barrie condo voice their concerns | The Barrie Examiner

image from Barrie Examiner

BARRIE, ON - Good planning is obviously a matter of opinion, and perspective.

After hearing a presentation Monday about proposed eight-storey, 92-unit condominium apartment at 556, 560 and 568 Essa Rd. in Barrie, most area residents had little good to say about it at a public meeting.

“There is no possible way that building represents good planning,” said Dave Johnstone of nearby Warner Road.

“I just think the building is too big, too tall,” said Rachael Draper of Coughlin Road, also close by.

“Five stories is the maximum I would like to see in the neighbourhood.”

Dr. Orson Wedgwood, who lives on Drury Lane, said he is concerned about the precedent this project could set.

“High-rise developments should be sited in areas with existing high-rises, or very few low-rise residential buildings in proximity,” he said. “Intensification is vital, but it must be done with respect to existing residents and in harmony with the local built environment, not just at the whim of what developers want.”

A petition opposing this development has 54 signatures.

The property owner, Saverino Investments, has applied to rezone this two-acre parcel on Essa Road's east side, south of Mapleton Avenue, for residential apartment use from single-detached home and residential hold zoning.

Brian Goodreid, Saverino's planning consultant, has submitted 24 letters of support to the city for the rezoning application from Barrie residents and business owners.

The form letters said this development would significantly improve the appearance and attractiveness of Essa Road, and would help revitalize the street and improve the local economy. Goodreid says the letters were collected by a neighbour of the project.

Goodreid says the development is good planning, and architect Michael McKnight says it wouldn't be an eyesore, as one speaker suggested Monday.

“There are balconies on every unit,” McKnight said. “We feel it is an attractive building.”

The city has received several letters opposing the development, ranging from privacy loss, more traffic, shadowing and decreased property values to it being out of character with the neighbourhood.

“These are premium lots we all own,” said Irene Peterkin, also of Warner Road. “They are no longer to be considered premium lots. This is a very large blow to the land value.”

Coun. John Brassard, who represents this part of the city, says this type of development is likely to be the area's future, including the widening of Essa to five lanes with sidewalks.

“It's a cow path that needs to be done as soon as possible,” Brassard said of Essa.

“Essa Road is an example I often use of why we are behind in road construction,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman.

That construction is scheduled to be done in 2015-2016, subject to council approval at budget time.
If the condo project gets timely approval from council, it could be built in 2015.

Lehman, however, wondered aloud about whether this project could be lowered to six stories and still maintain approximately the same number of units.

Barrie's 2009 intensification policy identifies Essa Road as one of five intensification corridors and nodes.

This policy identifies appropriate areas in the city and related policies to guide intensification initiatives - to encourage growth through increased residential density and mixed-use development.

It establishes four principle areas where intensification is encouraged, including: the Urban Growth Centre, or downtown Barrie and Allandale; primary and secondary corridors consisting of arterial roads such as Bayfield and Dunlop streets, Essa Road, Duckworth and Yonge streets; primary and secondary nodes at significant intersections along the primary and secondary corridors; and South Barrie GO Station near Yonge Street and Mapleview Drive East.

A series of guidelines have also been created to help direct new development within these intensification areas, and are viewed to be complimentary to the existing city urban design guidelines.

They are to create attractive and safe pedestrian areas, support transportation of all types and result in attractive designs.

The Saverino development's conceptual site plan indicates there will be 109 parking spaces. The plan also includes a shadow impact study, a functional servicing report and traffic brief, and a planning justification report.

A public meeting is one of the first stages of Barrie's planning process. Next city planning staff will write a report on the application for Barrie councillors to consider.

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Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – November 2013

The following are miscellaneous sun, shade, solar and solar energy facts and comments. They were derived from our twitter feed ( or @SunPosition).

The darkest morning of the year in Toronto Nov 2/13 as the sun rises at 7:55 am.

Huh, 'Standard' Time is in effect for only 35% of the year.

Cheers, Ralph

Sun Glare While Driving – November 2013

The following relate to the dangers of sun glare while driving and traffic safety in general. They were derived from our twitter feed ( or @SunPosition).

Commuters, be extra careful next few days since the sun has 'moved' and collisions increase after the time change.

Toronto commuters, sunrise and sunset this week of Nov 4 +/- 7am and 5pm.

Toronto commuters, for the week of Nov 4 be prepared for worst sun glare conditions 7-8am and 4-5pm.

When driving into sun glare, leave extra space - contributing factor in rear end collisions > Police: Sun’s glare ‘contributing factor’ in Interstate 79 accidents | The Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT, WV - Traffic backed up on Interstate 79 southbound late Sunday afternoon after the glare of the sun prompted several drivers to slow down, causing three accidents, including two chain-reaction rear-end collisions and one rollover in which no one was injured.

The first accident was toned by Marion County Central Communications at 4:48 p.m. and was covered by the Marion County Sheriff’s Department. The second set of accidents was toned at 5:01 p.m. and was handled by the West Virginia State Police with the assistance of the sheriff’s department.

All accidents took place between mile markers 137 and 136 before the exit to the Gateway Connector in Fairmont.

“We got several witness statements that were not involved in the collision who saw what happened,” said Trooper L.L. Rohrbaugh of the West Virginia State Police. “All witnesses and drivers said the glare from the sun caused motorists to slow down suddenly. Drivers couldn’t see that people were braking in front of them, which is what caused the rear-end collisions. So the glare from the sun is a contributing factor.”


Take care driving, walking and cycling with earlier nightfall, AAA warns | Lohud Westchester Blog

GARDEN CITY, NY - With clocks “falling back” this weekend, lighting conditions will change drastically during commutes, creating difficulties as road users adjust to the new normal. “People traveling home from school and work will encounter less light beginning next week as sundown will take place an hour earlier,” said AAA New York manager of media relations, Robert Sinclair Jr. “Traveling at dusk when there is less light lowers depth perception, the ability to recognize colors and peripheral vision. We all need to be very careful, especially during the first week after the time change,” Sinclair said.

There are three times more traffic deaths at night compared to daytime, according to the National Safety Council. A driver depends on vision for maximum reaction time. Adjusting to earlier nighttime driving in the week after the return to standard time is critical.

AAA New York recommends that drivers:

Be prepared for reduced visibility.

Slow down and be extra alert in residential areas and school zones and watch for children, pedestrians and cyclists.

To see and be seen, make sure all vehicle lights are working, and use them.

Pedestrians need to be aware of the difficulty drivers will have seeing them. They should:

Make eye contact with drivers when crossing streets.

Do not cross between parked vehicles.

Don’t jaywalk; cross at the corner traffic light.

Walk on the sidewalk, if there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic.

Dawn will also take place earlier. Morning sun can reflect off windows and metallic surfaces. All road users should be aware that drivers have a tough time seeing early in the morning as they fight sun glare.

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NHTSA Offers Some Important Safety Tips as Daylight Saving Time Ends | NHTSA

WASHINGTON, DC – As Daylight Saving Time ends on November 3, and clocks are turned back, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) cautions motorists and pedestrians to be more alert as the potential for harm increases as darkness falls earlier.

NHTSA offers the following tips for motorist and pedestrian safety during the shorter days of autumn and winter:


  • Slow down. During the evening hours, you need more time to see a pedestrian in your path.
  • Keep in mind that pedestrians who are wearing headphones, hats or earmuffs may not hear your vehicle as it approaches.
  • Keep your windshield, windows, and mirrors clean. Make sure your defrosters and windshield wipers are working properly and that washer fluid is replaced as needed.
  • Carry a flashlight or attach reflective materials – such as fluorescent tape – to clothing, backpacks, purses, and briefcases. These materials reflect light from headlights back to drivers, making it easier to see you.
  • Don't depend on the traffic signal to protect you. Motorists may be distracted, especially when adjusting to the nighttime travel environment.
  • Avoid jaywalking and crossing between parked vehicles. Crosswalks offer a safer alternative.
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If you must walk on the street, face traffic.
  • When crossing the street, look left-right-left for cars from the curb.
  • Do not cross the street if a car is coming and use a crosswalk if available.
  • Watch out for cars at every driveway and intersection.
  • Stay completely focused on the road and avoid distractions.

NHTSA also cautions that the clock adjustment could catch some drivers by surprise - with sun glare or darkness occurring during different parts of their familiar driving routine. Also since sleep patterns are affected, the agency warns drivers to be aware of their need for rest and the effects that a loss of sleep can have on driving attention and fatigue.

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Not all headlights are auto. Too many cars with no tail lights on at night. Know your car ppl. Be seen from behind.

Contrary to popular belief, AWD doesn't help you steer or stop better. It only lets you accelerate better - not exactly a safety feature.

Driver, 22, blinded by sun knocked over and killed 82-year-old lollipop man | London Evening Standard

LONDON, UK - A woman caused the death of an 82-year-old lollipop man who was "scooped up" on to her car and thrown into the road after she was in collision with him having been blinded by bright sunlight, a jury was told.

Lauren Paul, of Ramblers Way, Waterlooville, Hampshire, denies a charge of causing the death of Raymond Elsmore by careless driving, whom she collided with as she drove to work at a sixth form college…

Mr Elsmore had worked for about 10 years helping children at Queens Inclosure Primary School in Waterlooville.

Matthew Lawson, prosecuting at Portsmouth Crown Court, described how Mr Elsmore had been escorting a pedestrian, Toni Ponting, who was pregnant at the time, across Tempest Avenue, Waterlooville, at about 3.05am on Wednesday, December 5 last year when the accident happened.

He said that Mr Elsmore had been stood in the southbound carriageway holding up his lollipop sign when the Nissan Micra driven by Paul was in collision with him.

Mr Lawson said: "At that point he was struck from behind by a Nissan Micra driven by the defendant, Lauren Paul.

"Tragically Mr Elsmore was seriously injured in the accident and later passed away in hospital as a result of the injuries he received."

He said that Ms Ponting "saw the Nissan Micra approach from behind, instead of slowing or stopping, it ran right into Mr Elsmore.

"Mr Elsmore was scooped up on to the car which shattered the windscreen, he was thrown forward on to the road as the Nissan Micra braked and stopped."

Mr Lawson said that when Ms Ponting asked Paul what had happened, she replied that she couldn't see.

Another person who arrived shortly afterwards, heard Paul, who was hysterical, say that the sun was in her eyes.

The court heard that the defendant added: "I didn't see him, I would have stopped if I had seen him."

Paul was also heard to say that her windscreen had misted up and she had been trying to demist it, Mr Lawson said.

Mr Lawson said that Paul told a police officer: "I was driving along the road, the sun was low and my screen was starting to mist.

"I pulled my visor down and heard a bang. I never saw the guy from first to last."

Mr Elsmore was taken by air ambulance to Southampton General Hospital where he died of chest and head injuries suffered in the accident.

Mr Lawson said: "Sadly the injuries were incompatible with survival."

Mr Lawson added that the police sergeant "noted that the southbound carriageway was direct into the sun which was very low and blinding."

During a police interview, Paul gave a statement saying that she was travelling to South Downs College where she works.

Mr Lawson said that she told police that: "She had left the house to drive back to work, she was not in a hurry and was feeling alert and not stressed. She was familiar with the route having travelled it many times before."

He continued: "However as she was driving down Tempest Avenue, she was driving directly into the sun which was low in the sky, so she had slowed down, she believed her speed was about 25 mph.

"She had put the driver's sun visor down and taken steps to adjust her driving position."

He added: "There was suddenly a bang and something seemed to hit her windscreen, at this point she performed an emergency stop and saw the body roll down the bonnet and land on the road."

He said that she said she was in "severe shock" after the accident and added that hearing of Mr Elsmore's death had a "traumatic effect" on her.

He said that she told officers: "She was desperately sorry for what had happened to the gentleman and the loss his family had suffered.

"She couldn't say where the gentleman had come from and hadn't seen him him, possibly she had been blinded by the sun for a second or two in the approach to the accident."

Mr Lawson said an accident investigator, who visited the crash scene, experienced how the bright sun had the effect of "blending in" with the colour of a colleague's high visibility jacket similar to that worn by Mr Elsmore at the time of the accident.

Investigations established she had been travelling between 21mph and 28mph.

But Mr Lawson said that the Highway Code stated that a driver should "slow down or if necessary stop" if dazzled by bright sunlight.

He added: "The defendant's driving at the time fell below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver in all the circumstances."

Ms Ponting said that she had arrived early to pick up her child from the school.

She told the court that Mr Elsmore had not seen the car approaching it before it struck him without slowing down.

She said: "My blood was boiling, at the time being pregnant and hormonal, I was enraged and confused.

"I walked across the road towards Ray and I looked at him. I was very angry."

She said that the driver was "shaken, very upset, distraught".

She asked the driver: "Could you not see him?" She said that Paul replied that she couldn't see.

She admitted swearing at her and added: "I told her she shouldn't be driving."

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.

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Sun glare blamed in U.S. 68 crash | Dayton Daily News


XENIA TWP, OH - A driver who slammed into the back of a turning vehicle on U.S. 68 this morning told Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers that she didn't see the vehicle in front of her because the sun was in her eyes.

The car that was struck was waiting to turn onto Stone Road when the collision occurred at about 9:15 a.m.

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Sun glare worst for drivers during first and last hour of light.

Toronto drivers, sun glare worst this week (Nov 20 ) before 8:18am and after 3:48pm.

Don’t expect answers soon on bus-train crash, says coroner | The Ottawa Citizen

The investigation into the September crash continues.

OTTAWA, ON — A decision on whether to hold an inquest into September’s deadly bus-train collision is “far into the future” and dependent on the results of a federal Transportation Safety Board investigation, according to a supervising coroner.

In her first public statement since shortly after the accident, regional supervising coroner Dr. Louise McNaughton-Filion said Tuesday the investigation being led by the TSB is proving complex and is unlikely to be complete for “many months.”

“We meet quite frequently (with TSB) and communicate on a regular basis,” she said. “The investigation is progressing and we are learning more each day.”

Days after the Sept. 18 crash, TSB investigators brought three double-decker buses equipped with cameras and brake sensors to the crash site in an effort to capture what driver Dave Woodard saw and did as he drove toward the level crossing around 8:50 a.m., his bus packed with commuters.

The collision sheared off the front of the bus and killed Woodard as well as public servants Michael Bleakney and Karen Krzyzewski, Carleton University students Connor Boyd and Kyle Nash, and Rob More, who worked at IBM.

More than 30 people were injured.

TSB investigations typically work through three phases: The accident-scene phase, followed by data analysis then report writing.

The TSB investigates railway, marine, pipeline and aviation accidents and incidents to draw lessons that might improve transportation safety. It does not assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

McNaughton-Filion refused to discuss specifics of the crash investigation but said the province’s chief coroner won’t decide on whether a public inquest is warranted until the TSB work is finished.

The chief coroner will typically call a “discretionary” inquest if any of five fundamental questions can’t be answered: Who died; where they died, when they died, how they died and by what means?

If the chief coroner orders an inquest into the bus-train crash it will be more likely to satisfy other general inquest criteria, including the need to focus public attention on preventable deaths, correct public misinformation, or to spur public and private organizations into corrective action.

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Cool mornings can result in fogged/iced up windshields. Clear them before driving off…

…plus sun glare = blind.

Sun glare cited as factor > Mayor Nenshi worries about protecting pedestrians | The Calgary Journal


CALGARY, AB - With Alberta boasting the third lowest traffic fatality rate in Canada, it's a major concern that our quota of six pedestrian fatalities a year due to motor vehicle accidents has almost been reached within the past three months. Four citizens have been killed between August and October and though not fatal, one toddler was seriously injured after a hit-and-run in the Marlborough Mall parking lot.

Kimberley Nelson, president of Bike Calgary, released a statement earlier this November expressing concerns about "victim blaming," and Calgarians needing to be more "mindful of the fact that many pedestrians, such as children and persons with impaired mobility, might not be able to process or navigate complex traffic situations."

While news of pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents remains troubling, data provided by the City of Calgary states that "based on the three year rolling average between 2002-2004 and 2009-2011, the fatality collision rate has declined by 45 per cent." Furthermore, only 2.3 per cent of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are involved in collisions in Calgary.

Unfortunately, due to the high vulnerability of those travelling on foot or by bike, this sector of the population still "accounts for 20.5 per cent of collision causalities." But whether it's the victim's or the driver's fault when a fatal accident occurs, there are still more factors to consider.

According to information provided by the Calgary Police Service and the City of Calgary, potential contributors to pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents include:

  • Sun glare
  • Early darkening in winter months
  • Construction and road obstructions
  • Pedestrian negligence
  • Poor crossing conditions
  • Distracted drivers
  • Visual impairments

In December 2011, approximately 60 people were hit by motor vehicles. This was a drastic increase compared to the May 2011, where fewer than 20 pedestrians were involved in a collision with a motor vehicle. This in part indicates these factors — sun glare, early darkening and visual impairments— are more at play during the winter when, for example, crosswalks tend to blend in with snow and ice on the roads.

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No kidding. RT @SarahWallaceTV: Sunglare big time! Careful driving @weatherabc7 @Evansweather

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Parents blame sun glare for crash that injured teens | The Idaho Statesman

MERIDIAN, ID - A Meridian mother says it's a "miracle" that four teenagers who were hurt in a Saturday afternoon crash on Idaho 55 suffered only minor injuries.

The wreck happened when 17-year-old Makaylah Griffin pulled her Nissan Xterra onto the roadside near Horseshoe Bend Hill to switch drivers. Police say that the teen did not use a turnout, and part of the car was overhanging the highway when it was hit from behind.

But her mother, Jana Griffin, said the teen made the right decision.

"The sun was shining so bright in their eyes going up that road they could hardly see," she said. "She got nervous, being 17, and she pulled over to that right-hand side feeling like that would be the safest thing."

Makaylah turned on her blinker and hazard lights and asked her passenger, 18-year-old Christian McIntosh of Meridian, if he would take a turn driving, Jana Griffin said. McIntosh was outside the vehicle preparing to get into the driver's seat when the car was hit from behind by a van driven by 71-year-old Edsel Martin of Caldwell…

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Fitting name for crash site > Multiple Vehicles Collide Tuesday Evening on Bangs Hill | The Brownwood News


BROWNWOOD, TX - A blinding sunset resulted in a multiple vehicle, chain reaction accident on Bangs Hill in Brownwood Tuesday evening, according to law enforcement officials.

Shortly after 5:00 p.m., four vehicles were involved in three chain reaction collisions. According to Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Martin Molotsky, the driver of a Ford pickup was traveling at an extremely slow speed up the westbound side of Bangs Hill, (1200 block of West US Hwy 67), because he was blinded by the sun. A Chevy pickup pulling a large barbeque pit on a trailer came up behind him and rear-ended him in a very minor accident, according to Molotsky. Shortly after this accident, a small crossover vehicle came upon the scene and swerved, barely scraping her vehicle’s front quarter panel and hub cap against the side of the trailer that the Chevy pickup was pulling causing minor damage.

The driver of the Chevy stated that he decided to return to his pickup and as he sat waiting for law enforcement, a black Ford pickup came from behind and hit the trailer, driving up onto the trailer causing major damage to both his vehicle and the truck and trailer. The black Ford came to a stop entangled on the trailer and the bed of the Chevy pickup, pictured above.

The driver of the Chevy, a Texas State Guard member who works at Camp Bowie stated that he had just taken the barbeque pit to work to help cook their Thanksgiving meal earlier in the day and was on his way home when the accident occurred.

Although there was significant damage to the two pickups and the barbeque pit, there were no injuries to any of the occupants of the four vehicles involved according to emergency responders on scene. Officials said that the glaring sun was the cause of all of the accidents…

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RT @yasacanada: NHTSA Data Confirms Traffic Fatalities Increased In 2012 | YASA

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today released the 2012 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data indicating that highway deaths increased to 33,561 in 2012, which is 1,082 more fatalities than in 2011. The majority of the increase in deaths, 72 percent, occurred in the first quarter of the year. Most of those involved were motorcyclists and pedestrians.

While the newly released data announced today marks the first increase since 2005, highway deaths over the past five years continue to remain at historic lows. Fatalities in 2011 were at the lowest level since 1949 and even with this slight increase in 2012, we are still at the same level of fatalities as 1950. Early estimates on crash fatalities for the first half of 2013 indicate a decrease in deaths compared to the same timeframe in 2012.

"Highway deaths claim more than 30,000 lives each year and while we've made substantial progress over the past 50 years, it's clear that we have much more work to do," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "As we look to the future, we must focus our efforts to tackle persistent and emerging issues that threaten the safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians across the nation."

While Americans drove approximately the same amount of miles in 2012 as in the previous year, the new FARS data released today showed a 3.3 percent increase in fatalities from the previous year. The final 2012 numbers confirm preliminary quarterly reports issued by the agency.

Other key 2012 statistics include:
■Fatalities among pedestrians increased for the third consecutive year (6.4 percent increase over 2011). The data showed the large majority of pedestrian deaths occurred in urban areas, at non-intersections, at night and many involved alcohol.
■Motorcycle rider fatalities increased for the third consecutive year (7.1 percent increase over 2011). Ten times as many riders died not wearing a helmet in states without a universal helmet law than in states with such laws.
■Large-truck occupant fatalities increased for the third consecutive year (8.9 percent over 2011).
■Deaths in crashes involving drunk drivers increased 4.6 percent in 2012, taking 10,322 lives compared to 9,865 in 2011. The majority of those crashes involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher – nearly double the legal limit.
■The number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes decreased slightly from 3,360 in 2011 to 3,328, while an estimated 421,000 people were injured, a 9 percent increase from the estimated 387,000 people injured in 2011. NHTSA is just beginning to identify distraction-related accidents, and is continuing work to improve the way it captures data to better quantify and identify potential trends in this area.
■Nighttime seat belt use continues to be a challenge. In nighttime crashes in 2012, almost two-thirds of the people that died were unrestrained.
"As a public health and safety agency, any increase in the number of deaths is cause for concern. While we're seeing some unfortunate trends, we're also seeing progress in some parts of the country," said NHTSA Administrator David L. Strickland. "We will continue to work closely with our federal, state and local partners to change the way motorists behave on our roadways and build public awareness of key issues that have the potential to save many lives."

Thirteen states and Washington D.C. experienced reductions in overall traffic fatalities, led by Mississippi (48 fewer), New Jersey (38), Georgia (34), Alabama (30) and Utah (26). In addition, 18 states and Washington D.C. showed decreases in drunk driving deaths. New Jersey had the greatest decrease (30 fewer) followed by Colorado (27), Utah (20), Oklahoma (17) and Virginia (17).
■View the final 2012 data
■View the preliminary 2013 data

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Pay attention, Ottawa cops tell cyclists, walkers | The Ottawa Sun

Ottawa cops tell cyclists, pedestrians t owatch out at intersections

OTTAWA, ON - Far too often, police say pedestrians and cyclists simply aren’t paying attention.

And the consequences can be deadly.

“They’re busy, they’re thinking about other things, and I guess they’re rushing to try to get across, and there’s cars coming all the time,” said pedestrian Kealey Crossan, who admittedly was wearing earbuds while walking downtown.

“You hear about this all the time, people getting hit for no reason. But there’s a reason, because they’re not paying attention.”

And police agree.

Even as several officers took up a spot at Bank St. and Laurier Ave. this week to educate people on the rules of the road, there was no shortage of rule-breakers during the busy lunch hour rush.

The sheer amount of collisions involving pedestrian and cyclists in his area has frustrated Ottawa police Insp. Chris Rheaume so much, he mapped out the worst intersections in the area he oversees.

And he wants to see more signage at problematic intersections.

“The majority of people are being inattentive, whether they’re on their phone, listening to their MP3 player, listening to music, reading, doing whatever, you see it all the time,” said Rheaume, who oversees Central District, which includes the Byward Market and Centretown areas.

“Mostly, it’s being inattentive, and then the rest is proceeding when the (traffic light) hand is flashing.”

Last year alone, four cyclists and six pedestrians were killed in the city.

But there were more than 600 collisions involving both in 2012 — and the vast majority are preventable.

“You’ve got to be aware of your surroundings all the time,” said Rheaume.

“You can’t be distracted. You can’t have your iPhone in, you can’t be texting and riding your bike, you can’t be listening to music. You have to pay attention to what you’re doing, even as you’re walking.”

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Cheers, Ralph

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sun Glare While Driving – October 2013

The following relate to the dangers of sun glare while driving and traffic safety in general. They were derived from our twitter feed ( or @SunPosition).
Awesome! Wish all jurisdictions did this > CDOT warns of morning sun glare on Floyd Hill
DENVER, CO - Transportation officials are warning eastbound drivers on Interstate 70 at Floyd Hill that they will soon have major problems dealing with early-morning sun glare.
The glare, particularly 7 to 8:30 a.m., will get worse starting in early November and continuing through early February, said Bob Wilson, spokesman for the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The problem, he said, is created by the sun's angle during mid to late fall and early winter, along with the highway's configuration along Floyd Hill, which is east of Idaho Springs.
CDOT will display messages on electronic signboards west of Floyd Hill, warning of the glare and asking eastbound drivers to use caution and slow down…

Motorists urged to be cautious for deer on roads, esp during low light or sun glare
TRENTON, NJ – The Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife is urging motorists to be alert for white-tailed deer on roads across the state with the arrival of the fall breeding season, especially during morning and evening commutes when visibility may be poor and deer are more active...
The danger is particularly pronounced at dawn and dusk when many people are commuting to and from work. Visibility resulting from low light or sun glare may be difficult during these times…
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Great advice - and it reminds me of Roadhouse Blues by The Doors. MT @StateFarm: 2 eyes on the road. 2 hands on the wheel.
>State Farm @StateFarm: @SunPosition Let it roll, baby, roll!
>RB: Good comeback :). It would make for a great soundtrack for a driving safety ad don't you think?

Don't be a deadly human projectile. RT @NHTSAgov: Rule No. 5--no driving or riding without a seat belt.

Another 'left turn with sun glare' vehicle/pedestrian collision - esp bad this time of year
PARADISE, CA - The fifth vehicle vs. pedestrian accident in Paradise since May occurred on Saturday at 4:52 p.m. on Skyway and Elliot Road resulting in minor injuries.
Madeline Stringer, 20, turned left onto Skyway from Elliot in her Ford Focus sedan on a green light when she allegedly struck 51-year-old Leroy Test, according to a press release…
According to the press release, Stringer was reportedly unable to see Test in the crosswalk due to the setting sun…
Finally the press release urged drivers to be extra cautious when driving at both sunrise and sunset when the sun can be blinding to drivers…
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Finally, a stat > Dazzling sunsets kill 36 drivers in 12 months: Glare contributes to 3,000 accidents

Image by Alamy

LONDON, UK - The glare of the setting sun during rush hour is to blame for 36 deaths a year, a report from the AA warns today.
The danger is particularly high now as autumn turns to winter and the sun sets at around 6pm – just as most drivers are heading for home.
It plays a part in nearly 3,000 accidents every year with drivers at risk of being temporarily ‘blinded’ by the dazzle of the sun on the windscreen…
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Sun glare related crashes are up > 12% increase in 'dazzle' accidents

CAMBRIDGE, UK - With the low winter sun about to make its presence felt – especially on the homeward journey along the A14 – now’s the time to ensure your car is prepared for the dazzling days ahead.
According to newly published data concerning road traffic accidents in the UK, there has been a 12 per cent increase in accidents resulting from dazzling sun affecting motorists’ vision (2012 versus 2011)…
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Roadshow: Tips to fighting the sun while behind the wheel – by Gary Richards
SAN JOSE, CA - Q I am responding to the letter from Kay Ritchey, who last week asked how best to keep the sun out of her eyes when driving.
I too have experienced the sun directly on the horizon and shining in my eyes while driving on Blossom Hill Road. I was not expecting the sun to be so direct and blew through a very busy intersection on a red light. One car on my right went through his light just in front of me, another car stopped upon seeing me, a third was making his left turn on a green arrow and headed in the same direction as I was going, and a fourth car was turning right also on a green light headed in my same direction.
The last two blasted their horns at me, rightfully so. It is a miracle that I didn't hit anyone and no one hit me. If there had been a collision I would have been at fault.
My solution is now to pull over and park or move into a parking lot for about 10 minutes until the sun has cleared the horizon. It is far better to be 10 to 15 minutes late, avoid a collision and not take a side trip to the hospital or morgue.
Barbara Turnage
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Autumn road hazards: Grapes, livestock, sun glare

 image from Road Warrior

SANTA ROSA, CA - In September we reported a loose pig that was tying up traffic and slippery grapes that fell off a truck on their way to the crush pad. And then there was the charging cow that briefly closed Highway 128. (Read the story here.)
But now that it’s October, afternoon sun glare is responsible for more widespread havoc. We offer suggestions about how to drive with the sun in your eyes and hear from a reader who says the sun interferes with traffic signals.
How do motorists combat sun glare? Mr. Roadshow columnist Gary Richards asked for suggestions and got a slew of them. Chime in if you’ve got better ones…
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Blinded by the light – raising rising sun awareness – by Mike Kenny 
GLENDALE, AZ - After six-plus years, I feel pretty well acclimated to Arizona. I might as well have been born here. Blood is thinner, I shrug off encounters with scorpions, got a gun now … the whole deal. None of those things are true, but still. You see what I’m saying.
But there is one thing I have yet to adjust to, and that is the extreme brightness and location of the morning sun while driving. I realize that is a strange and specific thing to say, but it is a serious problem for me and I will explain.
It is not an issue in the winter when it is still dark on my way to work, or the summer when the sun reaches its peak height at 5 a.m. and remains there until 8 p.m. In the spring and fall, however, the morning sun rests at its most perilous point—over the mountains yet under my car’s sun visor…
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Sun's glare causing problems for drivers
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - Have you noticed just how bright and blinding the sun is on your commute to and from work these days?
Well there's a very good reason for that.

From late September through October, the angle of the sun lines up nearly perfectly with east-west roads as it rises and sets.
The worst of the glare off the pavement are those driving eastbound during the morning rush and westbound during the evening rush.
This is making it difficult to see pedestrians, traffic lights and oncoming traffic…
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Even a stopped cement truck can be hard to see in sun glare > Collision kills newspaper driver

MABANK, TX – Mabank police worked a fatal accident Thursday morning on State Highway 198, north of the Comfort Suites hotel.
A 2001 red Chevy extended cab truck traveling north around 8 a.m. rear-ended a cement mixer stopped to make a left turn by the Golden Buckle, resulting in major frontal damage to the truck and killing the driver.
According to police the rising sun and associated glare played a major role in affecting visibility and causing the collision…

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Rush-hour glare? Yep, it's the season for that

image from LA Times

ORLANDO, CA - Rush hour driving and glare from the sun are at their most unhappy alliance now.
It's the time of year – near the autumnal equinox – when the sun's glare can make a morning commute to the east and an evening commute to the west difficult and dangerous.
"That's right," said astronomer Daniel Batcheldor, a professor at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. "I have to drive east and west. … The sun is always in my face."
The same will be true near the spring equinox, March 20.
Autumn equinox was Sept. 21.
Adding to the problem this time of year is the position of the sun once it tops the horizon. At the autumn and spring equinox, the sun rises around 7:30 a.m. and sets around 7:30 p.m. and most closely tracks a true east-west line.
That means anyone driving east in the morning and west in the evening will have nearly full front-on exposure, and it can blind you…
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Sun glare blamed. RT @fitzskemplaw: Wisconsin woman killed in multi-vehicle collision
MADISON, WI - At certain hours of the morning and evening in Wisconsin, the sun’s glare can be blinding for automobile drivers. Sun visors can help, but when the sun is low in the sky, they become all but ineffective, especially for those who are driving directly into the sun. During these times, it is important for drivers to slow down to ensure that they have enough time to react if another vehicle or object crosses their path.
A fatal car accident that resulted in a multi-vehicle collision was reportedly caused by sun glare. The accident occurred in the early morning recently, most likely while the sun was still low in the sky. A 58-year-old Madison, Wisconsin woman was driving her car eastbound into the sun’s glare. At around the intersection where Highways 31 and 151 meet, the woman crashed into a motorcycle. It is not known exactly how the collision occurred, just that the woman was blinded by the sun and likely did not see the motorcyclist until it was too late.
When the woman got out of her car, she was hit by another car and died. This caused six other vehicles to crash into each other and cause a pile up on the highway. A total of four people were taken to the hospital for treatment…
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Did you know that sun glare can result in red light running?

SPINDALE, NC - Property damage was extensive after two vehicles collided at 7:45 a.m. Thursday at the intersection of U.S. 74A and ICC Loop Road in Spindale…
A blinding sun early Thursday appears to be the reason Pamala Vickers Dunaway, 55, of Rutherfordton ran the stop light in her 2007 Saturn SUV as she was proceeding east on U.S. 74A. As she was passing through the light, Hollie Cheyenne Brackett, 18, of Dobbins Road in Ellenboro was attempting to make a left hand turn while driving a 2009 Nissan pick-up truck...
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September was a bad month for sun glare related crashes
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Higher number of collisions than normal this week: police, EMS
TORONTO, ON – It’s been a worse than normal commute in Toronto this week because of a high number of crashes…
Const. Clint Stibbe, with Traffic Services, said the main cause of crashes this week was driver error — the two major factors being mental mistakes and overly aggressive driving…
Const. Stibbe also said the most collisions occur during the fall months.
“From the end of September to the mid part of December is essentially our highest collision months for the entire year, primarily on a dry day,” he said.
Police partly attribute that to the sun setting earlier and drivers spending more time in the dark…
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Scary children' placed outside primary school to shock speeding drivers into slowing down

 image by imgur/ufig101

LEICESTER, UK - They may look like something out of a low budget horror film but these 'child bollards' are the latest attempt by a council to slow down drivers.
Half a dozen of the mannequin-style creations have been placed by the side of the road outside Avenue Primary School in Leicester to fool drivers into thinking a child is about to cross.
The hope is that when drivers see the crude plastic features and painted-on school uniforms they will ease off the accelerator…
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Cool, you used my photo. RT @AHHerald: Sun Glare Can be Deadly When Driving


image by Ralph Bouwmeester

HAMILTON, NJ – It is a major hazard and a big threat to safety on area roads this time of year. It’s the glare from a force of nature – the rising or the setting sun. Squinting and straining can be dangerous and can easily hamper a driver’s ability to see the road, other on-coming vehicles, children heading to and from school, pedestrians, cyclists, and even traffic lights and signals.
Blinding rays from the sun can also reduce a driver’s reaction time when heading east in the mornings and west in the evenings. What’s more, research shows older drivers are most likely to be momentarily blinded by glare when the sun is on the horizon. Motorists should take precaution to avoid being blinded by the light…
more - by AAA Mid-Atlantic

Why is it that young drivers seem to be involved in so many sun glare related crashes? Another example
CUSHING, OK - A Cushing man on a motorcycle was killed Wednesday evening when struck by a pickup on West Point road near Ripley.
The accident occurred at approximately 6:45 p.m., according to a Oklahoma Highway Patrol report.
Motorcyclist Paul Conklin was traveling east bound on 68th and West Point on the two lane roadway.
Traveling west bound was Robert Massey, 19, of Cushing.
The report states Massey could not see the road due to the sun setting…

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>Leigh Buchan @lives2talk: @SunPosition Because most driving instructors never address it!
>RB: Then perhaps they should.
>Leigh: Totally agree! It like high schools not teaching students about credit cards etc~!

Dealing With Glare From Low Sun – by Cst. Tim Schewe
COURTENAY, BC - Welcome to fall! It’s the time of year that I have trouble driving to work in the morning. The sun is low in the sky to the east at the time of my commute and there is one spot on the highway where it shines directly into my eyes making it very difficult to see. Worse still, this location has an intersection with a traffic light that can be completely obscured by the glare.
The first line of defense is to keep my windshield as clean as possible. I use good wiper blades, winter washer fluid and top up the reservoir regularly. I also use a good quality glass cleaner on the inside of the windshield. It can be surprising how dirty the inside can get when the defroster is used. Dirt makes glare worse, so a clean view is a must.
My sun visor and polarized sunglasses make up the second line of defense. These sunglasses can remove significant amounts of glare and are not to be confused with glasses that have anti-reflective coatings. The two are not the same. When they are not enough, I use the same trick that I use when I am avoiding headlight glare at night, watch the edge of the lane so I know where I am.
The last line of defense is to anticipate and slow down. This gives me more time to search out the traffic signals and make sure that I am not going to run a red light. Keeping in mind that drivers behind me are also affected by the glare I may choose to slow down before it is required so that I am not hit from behind.
more - Oct 2/13 edition

The Western Squint: Low sun is cause for havoc on Calgary roadways

image by Marnie Persaud / Swerve

CALGARY, AB - Tonight, Oct. 4, the sun will set over Calgary at precisely 7:07 p.m. (remember, mere weeks ago, when it playfully stayed up until long past your bedtime? Sigh). Tomorrow, you can subtract three minutes from that, and so on, until it’s dark before you’ve even finished your afternoon cuppa. While there are upsides to our ever-shrinking days—it’s cosy!—one of the more dreadful downsides to impending winter is the sudden, unwanted appearance in our windshields of an unfathomably huge ball of hot plasma stubbornly settling in like an NBA centre in the middle row of a packed Cineplex Odeon. Around the fall equinox, our east-west-running boulevards channel the blinding sun through our pupils as effectively as the gaps in Stonehenge…
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Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – October 2013

The following relate to urban development and urban design in general, specific projects, and sun/shade issues. They were derived from our twitter feed ( or @SunPosition).
Tall buildings, tall order | Barrie Examiner


BARRIE, ON - Councillors gave initial approval Oct. 28 to change the Official Plan to establish a framework for the appropriate design, location and orientation of tall buildings in Barrie.
“It does not change the height limits that are enshrined in our documents,” Mayor Jeff Lehman said, “but rather how council and staff should apply them.”…
Planning staff say existing height limits in Barrie's zoning bylaw allow sufficient heights so the city can meet its intensification targets.
But there is a need for clear and concise policies to guide new tall buildings in Barrie…
They deal with reducing the visual and physical impact of height, in part with slenderer towers and better separation distances. Parking, site servicing, utilities and loading areas should be shielded from public view.
As well, tall buildings should contribute to a visually interesting city skyline.
Also to be considered are building shadowing, views and access to Kempenfelt Bay, climate impacts such as strong winds and sunlight, retail street-level activity, compatibility with the area's character and views of the Algonquin Ridge, landmarks and lookouts.
The policies are generally to deal with buildings taller than three storeys and would apply to all of Barrie…

In defence of glass towers in the city | Globe & Mail

TORONTO, ON - I like the shine, lift and futurism of numerous glazed residential towers that have dotted Toronto’s downtown cityscape in recent years.
That’s not saying all of these buildings measure up uniformly to high artistic standards. But it is saying that even the less imaginative ones often show what a beautiful, luxe and urbane material contemporary glass has become.
Nor, as I found out a couple of weeks ago, have developers run out of ways to apply glass solutions to the outfitting of high-rise buildings.
Take, for example, what is happening at Sixty Colborne, a glassy new inner-city condominium project by Peter Freed just east of Yonge Street. Four ample units stand at the corners of the complex, each with an area between about 1,000 square feet and 2,000 square feet. (Prices range from just under $705,000 to over $1.4-million.) The problem: At those prices, prospective home-owners would probably want a balcony, and none of the suites has one.
To remedy this lack, Mr. Freed is offering (for about $50,000 on top of the unit price) to modify the glass walls of the suite so they can be slid aside. The result, when the wall is fully open, will be a gap 16 feet wide and extending from floor to ceiling, which should transform a corner of the apartment into a balcony-like space…
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New condo towers planned for already clogged Rideau and King Edward | Ottawa Citizen
OTTAWA, ON - Rideau Street near King Edward is already so crammed with cars that adding two 27-storey towers to an already crowded block won’t make traffic any worse, says an application to the city.
That means it wouldn’t be developer DCR Phoenix’s responsibility to pay for any changes to make the roads work any better, to accommodate the buildings it wants to construct on a property now occupied by Dworkin Furs.
The two towers would be one behind the other, one facing Rideau and one facing Besserer Street to the south, with a three-storey podium as their base. They’d have 182 condos plus four storeys of underground parking run entirely by a robot valet system that whisks cars in and out of about 100 parking spots using motorized platforms.
When you’re erecting something that big in a busy neighbourhood, you have to show what the effect of all the extra cars will be on the neighbourhood. If your new building is going to break an intersection, you’ll likely have to pay for “improvements” like road-widening or a new turn lane to deal with the traffic you’re bringing in.
In this case, DCR Phoenix’s transportation study says nothing needs to be done to the nearby streets because those that will be overloaded after the buildings go up are overloaded already…
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Iowa Coalition Against the Shadow: Chauncey development inconsistent with surrounding neighbourhoods | The Daily Iowan
IOWA CITY, IA - After filing a lawsuit to try to stop a controversial downtown Iowa City high-rise project, one local attorney hopes landing a seat on the city’s governing body will allow him to address that and a number of other prominent issues.
“At this point, it does not appear that there is any finalized contract [on the Chauncey development], so I want to make clear that I will not compromise the city’s liability if there’s a binding contract, but if there’s not, I’ll push the reset button, and I’m going to stop any part of that process that is not legally binding,” said city council candidate Rockne Cole. “We need to ensure that if they’re talking about using our tax dollars, that everyone has access to that housing, that it’s real workforce housing.”
Cole, a local attorney, and Iowa City resident since 1997, has recently caught public attention with his involvement with the Iowa Coalition Against the Shadow — an advocacy group in opposition against Moen Group’s $53 million the Chauncey development…
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SHoP architects get approval for skinny skyscraper in new york

image © SHoP architects

NEW YORK, NY - SHoP architects have been given approval by the landmarks preservation commission for their 1,350-foot residential tower at 111west 57th street west in new york. working together with JDS development group, the project will see the realization of a slim residential tower and conversion of the city’s midtown landmark, the steinway building.
with the site estimated to be just shy of 45 feet (about 13 meters) wide, the slim condominium–set to soar approximately 100 feet (30 meters) above the empire state building…
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Absolute World Towers earns international skyscraper honour | Construction Canada
1. Absolute World Towers  Edvard Mahnic
MISSISSAUGA, ON - International buildings data firm Emporis has named a Greater Toronto Area (GTA) condo complex the best skyscraper built in 2012.
Absolute World Towers (Mississauga, Ont.) was chosen by an expert jury panel from more than 300 structures completed in 2012 and all exceeding 100 m (328 ft).
Designed by MAD architects and Burka Architects, the towers are 158 and 176 m (518 and 577 ft) tall, 50 and 56 storeys high, and have been nicknamed “the Marilyn Monroe buildings” for the curvaceous shape…
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Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – October 2013

The following are miscellaneous sun, shade, solar and solar energy facts and comments. They were derived from our twitter feed ( or @SunPosition).
Very cool explanation. RT @OttawaCitizen: Late sunrise makes Saturday morning the year’s darkest

OTTAWA, ON - This Saturday will be the darkest morning of the year, the only day when the sun doesn’t rise over Ottawa until 7:44 a.m.
That’s later than any other day — even one minute later than sunrise on the days of the year that are darkest overall, near the end of December…
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Halloween sunset times -
Toronto sunset time on Halloween is 6:09 pm
Ottawa sunset time on Halloween is 5:51 pm
Halloween sunset time in Barrie is 6:09 pm. For other cities >

Don't forget Torontohenge today Oct 25 at sunset 6:18 pm. Watch as the sun sets in line with east/west streets.

One week later on this side of the pond :) MT @Fire_Kills: Don’t forget 27/10 is clock change day. Test your smoke alarms.

Torontohenge this Friday Oct 25 at sunset 6:18 pm. Awesome to see - but be careful driving.
>Jane Mann @JanesinToronto: Is Torontohenge tonight also or mainly Friday Oct 25?
>RB: Tonight and Saturday should be OK too.
>Jane: Great! Thx. Now I know what I'll be doing at 6:18pm for the next 3 nights
>RB: 6:19 tonight, 6:16 on Saturday.

Sue Holland ‏@suesthegrl: @SunPosition Any hot tips on when Torontohenge 2013 for sunsets will be this fall? Usually around now in late October, non?
>RB: Torontohenge this Friday at sunset, Oct 25 6:18 pm. Watch as the sun sets in line with east/west streets.

What time is sunset on Halloween? -
>Leigh Buchan @lives2talk: Not soon enough for the younger trick or treaters!
>RB: Agreed. Halloween sunset was an hour earlier a few yrs ago before Daylight Time was extended into Nov.

Michael Guy @garrattguy: @SkyJacked793 @rightsprung Ok so how far east of 1 Front st E do you have to be to see the sunrise at the exact same time as Rob in his cab?
>Rob Mac @SkyJacked793: Good one! Maybe our man @SunPosition could give us an estimate :)
>Michael: I found a calculator, whats cab height in meters?
>Rob: Say 216 metres
>Michael: 52.5km west of the crane.
>RB: Sounds about right to me - except of course it's to the east.
>Rob: lol. It's so very common for that mix up with crane signals. "No, the other east"
>RB: Had that same problem when I used to survey. And the upside down view didn't help :)
>Rob: Sunrise at lake level at the same time as me is 50+ kms east in Whitby #Amazed

Rob Mac @SkyJacked793: 1:43 pm @JPRoe Your building seems to have become part of my Berczy Park shadow study :) cc; @udotoronto @SunPosition
>RB: Rob, great shot. I should try to duplicate that with my shadow model :)

>Rob: That's interesting :) I like that shot, probably many versions

>RB: Was that taken at 1:43 pm on Oct 1st?
>Rob: Yes sir, yesterday
>RB: Tx, good to know.

Olympic Torch Lit with Rays from the Sun
ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece - Using the sun's rays, the Olympic flame lighting for the Winter Games in Sochi went off without a hitch in southern Greece, ahead of its journey across Russia's nine time zones and even a trip to space before the Feb. 7-23 games.
The ceremony was held Sunday with actresses dressed as ancient priestesses at the birthplace of the Greek games held in antiquity, with the flame lighting using a parabolic mirror…
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Vancouver sunrise/sunset tables -
Our sunrise/sunset tables for your location for the current month are free for the asking.
Ottawa sunrise/sunset tables -
Toronto sunrise/sunset tables -
Our sunrise/sunset tables for current month -

Cheers, Ralph

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Watch as the sun sets along Toronto's east/west streets on Friday Oct 25/13 at 6:18 pm.

Next Torontohenge dates are:

Feb 15/14 sunset at 5:48 pm
Apr 19/14 sunrise at 6:28 am
Aug 23/14 sunrise at 6:31 am, and
Oct 25/14 sunset at 6:18 pm

Cheers, Ralph

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sun Glare While Driving – September 2013

The following relate to the dangers of sun glare while driving and traffic safety in general.  They were derived from our twitter feed ( or @SunPosition).

Police: Motorcyclist killed in SUV collision; sun in driver's eyes may be factor
SALEM TOWNSHIP, MI - Emergency crews responded to a crash shortly after 7 p.m. where a motorcycle reportedly was trapped underneath a vehicle at 142nd Avenue and 26th Street.

A motorcycle traveling west on 142nd Avenue was approaching the intersection where an SUV was stopped, authorities said. When the motorcycle entered the intersection, the SUV pulled out in front and caused the collision, police said.

The driver of the SUV might have been blinded by a bright, setting sun, police said...

Sun's glare causes man to hit a parked trailer
Hutchinson, KS - A Hutchinson man was taken to the hospital after the morning sun glare caused him to hit a parked trailer. 

Robert Schrag, 67, was eastbound about 8 a.m. Wednesday on Avenue G, west of Haven/Buhler Road, when the sun in his eyes caused him to not see a trailer that was parked partially in the roadway…

Blinded by sun?  by David Williams via @ottawacitizen
OTTAWA, ON - I take the OC Transpo bus No. 95 past the same Barrhaven rail crossing every weekday at about the same time Wednesday's crash occurred, heading in the same direction. It was apparent to me from the time I heard about this crash that the sun might be a possible culprit…

Be extra careful this time of year > Official: Sun glare causes fatal Highway 30 accident
MADISON, WI. - Authorities say 58-year-old Jane Sagen from Madison was the woman who died in a crash in the town of Blooming Grove Saturday morning.

Dane County Sheriff's Lt. Kurt Pierce said nine vehicles, including one motorcycle, were involved in the fatal accident at Highway 30 near Highway 151.
The State Patrol said the crash happened at 6:58 a.m.
A motorcyclist was headed eastbound on Highway 30 when he was involved in a crash with Sagen's vehicle, according to the report.
Sagen was then struck and killed by a third vehicle when she got out of her car. A chain reaction crash followed, involving seven more cars. A total of nine vehicles, including the motorcycle, were involved in the crash.
Piece said deputies believed bright morning light may have caused the crash.
"It appears that the primary cause was sun glare, as the vehicles were traveling eastbound directly into the sun," Pierce said…

Lucky no one hurt. Lucky dog too > Bright Sun to Blame For Spokane Crash Involving Deputy
SPOKANE, WA - A Spokane County Sheriff's deputy was driving north on Monroe when a car crossed the road and hit the deputy's car. It happened on Friday morning at Monroe & Cora. The deputy is a K-9 and had the dog with him in the back seat. Both drivers and the dog are ok. The driver who hit the deputy says that the bright sun blinded his vision…

Sun glare worsens as fall approaches
ALBUQUERQUE , NM - Being on the road in the morning and the afternoon can already be a challenge because of traffic, but now there's another thing for Albuquerque drivers to worry about this time of year: The glare from the Sun.
Since the angle of the Earth is starting to change with respect to the Sun at this time, drivers will have more trouble driving east in morning and west in the evening.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the majority of traffic accidents related to sun glare occur between six and nine in the morning and between three and six in the evening.
Here are some tips on how you can stay safe with the Sun directly in your face. Put the visor down, keep the sunglasses on, and keep your windshield and mirrors clean because the dirt can enhance the glare of the sun, making it more difficult to drive…

Be extra careful on clear sunny days. Blinding sun may be cause for 2 collisions this morning > School bus, motorcycle involved in multi-vehicle accident
GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, MI - Police say a blinding sun may have been the cause for two accidents on Baldwin Road this morning.
The first accident, police say, involved two vehicles on Baldwin and McWain roads. At least one of the drivers, police believe, was blinded by the sun, causing a collision.
Grand Blanc Township police say the second accident occurred when a van pulled over onto the side of the road and turned on his hazards, in an attempt to warn other drivers about the first accident. However, an eastbound vehicle, with its driver apparently also blinded by the sun, struck the van and then struck a motorcycle…

Make sure windshield cleared up before driving away on cool mornings. Foggy windshield + sunglare = driving blind. 

Horse wagon struck from behind by SUV
MIDDLEBURY, IN - A young girl and her mother were injured on September 6 when an elderly driver of an SUV rear-ended their horse wagon. The crash occurred in the Middlebury, Indiana area on County Road 22, near County Road 31, as both the vehicle and the horse vehicle were heading north.
Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department explained that Janet Dabney of Goshen, aged 70, was driving her SUV toward Middlebury when she struck the horse vehicle as it headed the same way on County Road 22. According to Dabney, she did not see the cart because of glare from the sun…

It's that time of year again. Sun-glare-related collisions way up > Man injured when struck by SUV
COLUMBIA STATION, OH — Bicyclist John Ondrejovich who was injured when he was struck by a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer was listed in critical condition Friday night at Metro-Health Medical Center in Cleveland, according to a nursing supervisor. 

Ondrejovich, 51, was traveling westbound on Osborne Road around 6:40 p.m. Thursday when he was struck by Severio Nardo, 75, of Columbia Station, who was also traveling westbound, the Ohio Highway Patrol’s Elyria post reported. 

According to Trooper Ryan Pischel the accident was caused by the sun’s glare on Nardo’s windshield… 


Woman struck by vehicle in downtown Saskatoon
SASKATOON, SK  – The glare of the sun may have been a contributing factor after a truck hit a woman in downtown Saskatoon Tuesday morning. 

Police say the driver was attempting to turn from 2nd Avenue to head eastbound on 20th Street around 10:30 a.m. when he hit a woman crossing the street northbound… 


Cyclists, motorists all must obey the rules of the road
LEE’S SUMMIT, MO - Lee’s Summit has the noted distinction of being one of the most bicycle-friendliest communities in the nation having received a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community designation from the League of American Bicyclists late last year. 

Despite the merit, sometimes things happen. 

Case in point: a Sept. 3 accident involving a 17-year-old on his bike who was struck by a motorist as he headed westbound in the westbound lanes of Colbern Road approaching Douglas Road He was struck from behind by a car traveling in the same direction.  

According to Lee’s Summit Police officials, the driver indicated that due to the sunshine glare, she was unable to see the cyclist in the roadway…

How hard is it to see while driving into low sun glare?
Photographic examples of the effects of sun glare while driving.

Drivers, unclutter your visor so you can actually use it when you need it.

Sun Glare Causes Commuters Major Headaches
News4 transportation reporter Adam Tuss has several tips on how to stay safe while driving into the sun.

Way too many kids hit by vehicles this 'back to school' week!! Drivers and kids pls slow down and pay attention.

CTV reports sun glare may be cause. RT @CP24: Infants in stroller struck by vehicle in Newmarket, police say.
NEWMARKET, ON - The driver of a vehicle that struck a stroller carrying two infants in Newmarket Friday morning has now been charged, York Regional Police say.
The infants were struck by the vehicle as the car was turning at Eagle Street West and Davis Drive West, just west of Yonge Street, at around 7:25 a.m…

Toronto commuters: Sun glare worst before 7:45 am and after 6:45 pm this week.

Sun glare affects drivers' vision most within about the 1st and last hour of daylight.

Sun glare blamed > Woman injured when car hits her horse and buggy in West Lampeter
WEST LAMPETER, PA -  A young woman was hospitalized Wednesday after a car struck her horse and buggy in West Lampeter Township, police said.

The 21-year-old woman was traveling east in the 1800 block of Rockvale Road when a car driven by Tichaona Kamumvuri, 42, of Lancaster city, hit the rear of the buggy shortly before 8 a.m., township police Officer Melissa Ransing said.

"(Kamumvuri) said he couldn't see her because of the blinding sun," the officer said. "He was coming over a little hill and never saw the buggy."…

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>Leigh Buchan ‏@lives2talk: You made me cry! Glad everyone was OK but poor horse!

>RB: I sure didn't want to make you cry!  But ya, poor horse.  You'd be surprised how many of these types of crashes occur.

>Leigh Buchan‏ @lives2talk: Actually story made me cry! I love horses, especially police horses. Maybe there's something to make carriages more visible!

>RB: Had discussion about that with Ohio State Highway Patrol a few yrs ago.

Another left-turn crash involving sun glare
TERRE HAUTE, IN — Blinding morning sun was a contributing factor in a two-vehicle accident about 7:40 a.m. Tuesday at Third and Farrington streets.

Be careful westbound too b/c brakelights hard to see. MT @AdamTuss: Funny how sun glare can throw off entire morning commute.

And possibly evening too. RT @DopplerDiVegs: Tis the season for morning rush

Back to school driving safety: Early morning drive comes with bright, blinding sun. Have visor and sunglasses ready.

Cheers, Ralph