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 (http://twitter.com/SunPosition 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."…

More - http://t.co/30gNOV9LFz

>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

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – September 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 (http://twitter.com/SunPosition or @SunPosition).


Mixed-use building will be Winnipeg’s highest

WINNIPEG, MB - Plans for what will be Winnipeg’s tallest building have been released by Ontario-based property developers.

LiveWorkPlay Winnipeg will be located on a building site currently housing a parking lot in the city’s downtown core. The mixed-use project’s design will reach up to 40 storeys and include more than 300 residential units, office, and retail space…


Skyscraper Owner Lays Plans to Dim Walkie Talkie’s Solar Rays

LONDON, UK - A solar collector is a kind of power plant that works by bouncing the sun’s rays off a concave mirror and using the resulting beam of light to heat water.

Quite by accident, that’s what some London property developers made when they built the tapering skyscraper known affectionately as the Walkie Talkie at 20 Fenchurch Street in London’s financial district…


Tall buildings turning into parabolic ray guns??

LONDON, UK - The Walkie-Talkie Building, at 20 Fenchurch St., in London, has suddenly become the Walkie-Scorchie Building for melting a Jaguar in its focused reflection of the sun's rays. And rather than mumbling into its sleeve, the architectural establishment is condemning its design by celebrity architect Rafael Viñoly. Most of his bad architecture goes uncriticized…


Barrie waterfront development, Harmony Village, draws fire at meeting

BARRIE, ON - Harmony Village drew a crowd Monday, just maybe not the audience it wanted.

The Council Chamber at Barrie City Hall was filled for a marathon public meeting on a rezoning application for the huge, proposed residential/retail development near the waterfront.

With five towers ranging from 22 to 31 storeys, Harmony Village would have 1,255 units in highrises and townhouses for 3,000 residents, a hotel, dinner theatre, community centre, medical offices and a wellness centre on the 6.8-acre site.

Monday’s message from residents is it’s too much — in terms of height, density, traffic, shadowing, noise, etc…


Can tall buildings fry their surroundings? > Fryscrapers - Tall buildings that cook their surroundings

The stories below highlight the immense power of the sun, especially when its rays are concentrated and focussed inadvertently as a result of the design/shape of the building.  These examples have been well-documented and they have gained world-wide attention.  Two are currently (Sep 2013) in the news - Walkie Talkie and Museum Tower…


Fryscrapers - tall buildings that cook their surroundings

Think lighting fires with a magnifying glass, or cooking with a solar cooker!  Not what you want to do with a building - unless of course you find a way to capture and re-use the heat and energy…


@GConnaughton High-rises are usually accused of blocking sun, not reflecting back more than you expected :) cc.@BuzzBuzzHome


"Wok-ie Talkie"? RT @SunPosition: 'Walkie Talkie' building melts car by reflecting sunlight into concentrated spot

LONDON, UK - A £200million skyscraper has had an undeniably dazzling effect on passers-by – but not, unfortunately, the one intended by its architect.

20 Fenchurch Street, better known as the Walkie Talkie due to its distinctive shape, is reflecting blinding rays of light onto the street below, damaging the panels and wing mirror of a Jaguar XJ…


Reflected sunlight actually. RT @TorontoStar: London skyscraper casts beam of light so intense it melts cars.


Dallas condo fried museum art. RT @TorontoStar: London skyscraper casts beam of light so intense it melts cars

LONDON, UK — The owners of the 37-storey tower known as the Walkie Talkie in the financial district are investigating a light beam cast by the building that’s so intense it melted parked cars…


Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – September 2013

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


Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster: Probably history's most famous accident caused by sun and shadow influences.


Using the sun's rays, the Olympic flame lighting for the Winter Games in Sochi went off without a hitch

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…


Interesting solar fact: The tips of all shadows track in straight lines from west to east today.


Cool to think the sun is tracking along the equator today.


Solar PV farms airports: Is glare an issue? - Solar Choice

CANBERRA, Australia - The Canberra Times recently published a piece about the concerns about potential glare from the solar panels of the proposed 4 megawatt (MW) Mount Majura Solar Farm, given its proximity to Canberra Airport. This article addresses concerns about glare from solar panels in aviation and examines a number of similar case studies both internationally and elsewhere in Australia…


California Energy Commission on Palen's negative impact

The California Energy Commission’s environmental analysis of the Palen CSP project is only the most recent of many set-backs for a company that many think of as the flagship of Obama’s Industrial solar fleet.

According to the executive summary, the negative impacts on “Cultural resources,” “land use,” and visual resources all need to be mitigated.

One of the report’s more disturbing concerns pertains to the increased potential for accidents caused by solar glare…


Airport warns over dangers of solar farm

CANBERRA, Australia - A proposed solar farm under the northern landing approach to Canberra Airport will temporarily blind pilots of incoming planes, says the airport…


Hate to say it, but shadows seem to be visibly getting longer by the day. The good news - it's sunny.


Did you know that sunrise/sunset is 2 minutes earlier in Scarborough than it is in Etobicoke?


Did you know that sunrise/sunset is 2 minutes earlier in east Toronto than west?


Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous Tweets – September 2013

The following are miscellaneous comments and news stories.  They were derived from our twitter feed (http://twitter.com/SunPosition or @SunPosition).

The most famous words in Toronto pro sports history: There's always next year.

A great incentive-filled deal. RT @CTVBarrieNews: Toronto Maple Leafs agree to a 2-year, $5.8m deal with Nazem Kadri.

Illegal home addition approved by OMB. Vaughan: “They have opened the door to illegal construction." - http://t.co/DhrCXogBFf

RB: @GConnaughton We should all be mortified by this decision!

Lesson learned: When going out for brunch with your wife, make sure at least one of you brings their wallet.

A lot of ppl seem to have given up on their lawns since the cosmetic pesticide ban in 2009. Sad to see. What a mess.

Our Facebook page highlights traffic safety, urban development and anything sun-related in those fields - https://t.co/lQXwkkKoWs


Cheers, Ralph