Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunrise/Sunset Tables March 2013

Our free sunrise/sunset tables for March 2013 have been posted.  If you would like to receive one for the current month for your location, simply e-mail your request to us. Tables for past and/or future months are also available.  For more information visit:

Cheers, Ralph

Daylight Saving Time Change

For those of you in North American jurisdictions that observe Daylight Saving Time, don't forget to 'spring ahead' your clocks one hour before bedtime on Saturday night, March 9th. Official time change to Daylight Saving Time occurs at 2:00 a.m. local time on Sunday, March 10th.

Cheers, Ralph

Sun Glare While Driving – February 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).

Talking on cell while turning left may be risky, neuroimaging shows

TORONTO, ON - Drivers who talk on a cellphone — even one that’s hands-free — while executing a left-hand turn at an intersection could be putting themselves at serious risk, say neuroscientists who imaged the brain to see how it copes with competing tasks.
Making a left turn and phone-chatting at the same time “could be the most dangerous thing they ever do on the road,” said Tom Schweizer, director of neuroscience research at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

RT @GdnDevelopment: Making road safer. A new development target? 
LONDON, UK - Road deaths will dramatically increase in the world's poorest countries unless governments and multilateral development banks swiftly and radically overhaul their transport policies, according to a new report.
Already, 1.3 million people lose their lives on the world's roads every year, with road accidents now one of the leading causes of death in the developing world.

In its new report, the Make Roads Safe campaign, a global coalition co-ordinated by the FIA Foundation, warns that deaths will see a "relentless increase" if sustainable transport policies are not put at the heart of debates on development after the millennium goals expire in 2015.

@SafeDriver 90% of input needed for driving is through the eyes.

GPS's could do that no? They know both actual vs limit. RT @DriveSmartBC: @SENSEBC Amazing if we could confine current speeds to the limit.

RT @NHTSAgov: It’s Aggressive Driving Awareness Month: always follow the speed limit! Better to be Late Than to Never Arrive 

RT @StarGTANews: Toronto pedestrian group advocates for walking-friendly city  
TORONTO, ON - A new pedestrian advocacy group is struggling to be born, hoping to be the voice of Toronto’s feet on the street.
“There’s no one speaking for pedestrians in the City of Toronto,” explained pedestrian activist Dylan Reid in an interview.
The new advocacy group will be an informal, all-volunteer body with no funding from the city.
Why have a group at all?
Reid says pedestrians are confronted by different issues in different areas.
In parts of the downtown core, for example, a city study in 2004 found that 45 per cent of residents walk to work, a number that is under-appreciated by planners.

> ‏@lives2talk: All it would take for pedestrian-friendly city wld be for both pedestrians & drivers to obey rules of the road!
> ‏@SunPosition: Agreed, and a little eye contact would help pedestrians and drivers alike.
> @lives2talk: We need a bit of Aretha Franklin on our roads!
> ‏@SunPosition: Good one!
> ‏@SunPosition: And some Doors!
> @lives2talk: Hope you're not referring to "Ship of Fools"
> ‏@SunPosition: Ah-ha, stumped you. "Roadhouse Blues" by The Doors. "Keep your eyes on the road, your hands up on the wheel".
> @lives2talk: Yup definitely stumped me but I'm not really familiar with The Doors!

Can affect wheel balance too RT @SafeDriver: Did you know that ice can build up in your wheel wells which ...

RT @francetim: London, LosAngeles, NewYork and Paris...
Roadsafety in megacities: Bikers, pedestrians beware 

Ann Arbor, Mi - Rapid growth of large cities throughout the world is having enormous impact on traffic safety in urban areas, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Read more:

Visitors??  RT @tworepou: "@CTVBarrieNews: Barrie Police say they dealt with ONLY 15 vehicle collisions today." Barrie drivers get it

The more you spin your wheels, the less progress you'll make. Applies to driving in snow... and life.

Bright sun triggers multi-car crash

Lake Arrowhead, CA - Bright sunlight was apparently the cause of two collisions that occurred seconds apart on Highway 18 near the Red Rock turnout Wednesday morning, sending two persons to hospitals with minor injuries.

County Fire Battalion Chief and paramedic Ronald Walls, who was on his way to work at Fire Station 91 on Highway 173 when the accident occurred, said he was nearly involved.

Walls told the Mountain News he was driving on the uphill stretch between Baylis Park and the turnout at about 7:07, “driving about 5 mph with my hand up, blocking the sun,” when he encountered a black Ford F-150 pickup truck that had stopped behind a disabled vehicle.

Walls stopped behind the truck, he said, and another vehicle pulled up behind him. Seconds later, that vehicle was struck by another. The damaged vehicle was pushed forward by the impact, stopping just short of Walls’ car, he said.

Moments later, a second rear-end collision occurred, further down the hill, he said.

Walls said the biggest problem emergency responders appeared to have at the outset was keeping passing traffic from becoming involved in additional accidents. The highway was soon closed between Baylis Park and the turnout, and was reopened shortly after 8 o’clock.

Because of the bright morning sun streaming into drivers’ eyes, “it was exactly the perfect time” for an accident, Walls said.

‏@lives2talk:  Surprised, but pleased that no one was seriously injured
‏@SunPosition:   Can't be too careful. Looks like we won't have to worry about bright sun for a few days...
‏@lives2talk:   Too right! At least it's going to warm up over the wknd!

Left turns are dangerous at the best of times. Be aware and especially careful when turning towards low sun. 

RT ‏@YorkRegion: Pedestrian struck, killed in Markham 
MARKHAM, ON - A woman is dead after being struck by a vehicle in Markham this morning.

The incident occurred at the corner of Carlton Road and Central Park Drive.

Police say an elderly Markham woman was crossing Carlton when she was struck in the crosswalk by a black Mitsubishi SUV that was turning left onto Carlton from Central Park.

Read more:

Driver Blames Sun Blindness for Crash

SAN CARLOS, CA - A 69-year-old San Carlos man toppled a utility pole with his car on Chula Vista Dr. on Friday afternoon, knocking out power at more than 100 PG&E customers.

The driver told officers that he was westbound on Chula Vista Dr. when he became blinded by the sun. He then swerved to the right, jumped the curb and collided with the pole.

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – February 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).

Mayor fears building planned to be tallest in southern hemisphere could overshadow Shrine of Remembrance

Melbourne, Australia - Lord Mayor Robert Doyle casts doubt on titanic tower he says could put Shrine of Remembrance in shadows. Cr Doyle, a Shrine trustee, said the 108-storey apartment and hotel tower proposed for Southbank exceeded the city council's height limits by almost 300m.

Architects Fender Katsalidis, who designed the nearby Eureka Tower, are behind the Australia 108 project, which would be the world's 18th tallest building at 70 Southbank Boulevard.

The Rise Of The Supertalls - Engineering advances have architects striving for the mile-high skyscraper

On the morning of September 11, 2001, Bill Baker, a structural engineer with the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), was at his office in downtown Chicago. SOM is the undisputed leader in skyscraper design, and, at least on the engineering side, Baker is its undisputed king. In the past 30 years, he has overseen or worked on six of the world’s 15 tallest buildings. But 9/11 was a bad day to be king: As the World Trade Center collapsed and rumors circulated about a rogue plane headed for the Sears Tower, Baker and his colleagues watched as the symbols of their profession became objects of terror.

A few days later, Baker and some of his co-workers drove to New York. The contractors at ground zero needed volunteer engineers to help take apart the towers. “They broke up the site into four zones,” he said. “Each zone had four structural-engineering teams, and we were the Chicago team.” As Baker picked through the rubble, it was hard not to question the future of high-rise architecture. One article in The Associated Press noted that architects were asking bluntly, “Should we ever build iconic skyscrapers again?”

New Development Proposed at 2131 Yonge Street

TORONTO, ON - Here is the latest development proposal from Freed Developments, on Yonge Street at the old Art Shoppe location. The project is being designed by aA also known as Architects Alliance.

RT @brad_tor74:  New Condo Development Toronto in the works by Great Gulf

TORONTO, ON - Here is a new condo tower being proposed in the downtown core of Toronto on the Eastside of Yonge Street. The project is being put together by Great Gulf Homes, and the location is at 24 Lombard. Great Gulf is best known for the One Bloor East Development which they are currently building in Yorkville. Downtown Toronto is in the midst of a massive condo boom…

Read more:

They can do that?? > Coeur d'Alene residents sue over high-rise plan

COEUR d'ALENE, ID - Coeur d'Alene residents who live downtown next to the site of a proposed 14-story luxury apartment building are suing the city to stop the development.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday by a group of Coeur d'Alene North Condominium residents called Coeur d'Alene North Home Owners View Preservation.
The suit claims the $20 million project would harm existing residents' private property rights — rights they allege the city was obligated to protect.
Greg Hills, the Colorado-based developer spearheading the project, has said the company was prepared to face litigation.
Deputy city attorney Warren Wilson has previously said the city should not interfere with a private property owner's legal development.

Northwestern Mutual chooses designer for new lakefront high-rise

Milwaukee, WI - Kendall/Heaton Associates, Inc., of Texas, will be the architect of record while Connecticut architects Pickard Chilton will design the exterior of the building. Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, a national firm, will be the interior architect for the high-rise. Hines, a real estate development firm, will continue as the development manager for the project.

The new Wilshire Grand Hotel, tallest building in the West to be built in downtown L.A.

LOS ANGELES, CA - The long-awaited design of a $1-billion hotel and office skyscraper to be built in downtown Los Angeles -- soon to be tallest building in the West -- was unveiled Thursday by developer Korean Airlines.
At 73 stories, the tower at Wilshire Boulevard and Figueroa Street will be a dramatic addition to the city skyline and a symbol of South Korea's growing status as a global economic powerhouse.
The Wilshire Grand will slightly surpass in height the 72-story U.S. Bank Tower on Bunker Hill that has held the title of tallest west of Chicago since 1989.

Read more: 

Congrats to our Clients on the list > Urbanation reveals the top selling Toronto developers and projects of 2012

TORONTO, ON - Tridel was ranked number one on Urbanation’s list of top selling developers, with Lifetime Developments/BLVD DevelopmentsCentreCourt DevelopmentsCresford Developments and Empire Communities rounding out the top five.

RT @NewHomeBuyers: Urban Capital has dug a big hole at Peter and Richmond

TORONTO, ON - It looks like the construction crew has made some tremendous progress, and that crane is ready for some work. Once Tableau is complete, it will stand 36 storeys, boasting one of the coolest designs in Toronto. What stands out the most to us, and what we’re really looking forward to, is watching the podium take shape. Tableau will have long, slender legs surrounding a sleek glass podium, supporting the building. Completion is scheduled for 2014, so expect Tableau to start taking shape very soon.

Cheers, Ralph