Monday, February 3, 2014

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – January 2014

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

Cool, Sochi Russia is at same latitude as Mississauga.

Latest sunrise of the year in Toronto today (Jan 3/14, 7:51am). Altho barely noticeable, trust me, the sun rises earlier starting Jan 4.

Sochi Olympics sunrise/sunset tables - 

Sochi Paralympics sunrise/sunset tables -

Nice!!! Sun starts rising earlier tomorrow (Jan 4) in southern Ontario.

The Sochi Olympics mountain events are at about the same latitude as downtown Toronto.

Scituate turbine study shows shadow flicker more than predicted |

SCITUATE, MA - Scituate officials said they are exploring options to reduce shadow flicker caused by the industrial wind turbine, after discovering several homes were experiencing the strobe-like effect more frequently than predicted. According to an analysis presented to selectmen last Tuesday, three Scituate homes are experiencing over the state-recommended 30 hours of shadow flicker a year – with one home as high as 69 hours. Five other homes are estimated to experience between 10 and 25 hours of shadow flicker a year. Shadow flicker occurs when the blades of the turbine travel in front of the sun… more -

Nice to feel the days getting longer. Sunset today (Jan 28/14) in Toronto was 32 minutes later than on Jan 1st.

Cheers, Ralph

Sun Glare While Driving – January 2014

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).
No wonder sun glare is bad in in winter. Max height of sun in Toronto on Dec 21 is equiv to that at 8:00am/6:40pm on Jun 21.

And many of my cases involve left turns > Pedestrian accidents in Ridgewood have left turns in common |

RIDGEWOOD, NJ - For drivers who have hit a pedestrian in a Ridgewood crosswalk, the most common issue appears to be left turns.
A driver makes a left turn onto Walnut Street from Franklin Avenue. A large percentage of accidents involving pedestrians occur when drivers are turning left. Based on a study by The Ridgewood News of all pedestrian accident reports in the past three years, in about 65 percent of the 40 incidents involving pedestrians hit in a crosswalk - the most typical accident situation - drivers were turning left. In all but one of those 26 incidents, the driver was turning into a road across which a pedestrian was walking. It was the same story again and again in the police reports: Drivers turning left did not see the pedestrian, who occasionally also noted not seeing the driver, until hitting him or her. Occasionally, "sun glare," darkness or the vehicle's frame were blamed for obstructing the view…
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Low sun this time of year can make brake lights hard to see.

Cold causes crashes on our roads | CTV News

BARRIE, ON - It was bitterly cold again on Friday but the sky was clear, the winds were calm and we weren’t getting flurries. Despite that we still saw a number of crashes on our road.
Early Friday morning, all southbound lanes on Highway 400 between Highways 89 and 88 were closed for about an hour after a three vehicle crash. Two people were taken to hospital with minor injuries.
A short time later a mini-van rolled in Barrie. The female driver told police she was temporarily blinded by the sun…
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Sun glare dangerous even at low speeds > Carwash crash blamed on sun glare |

LA PORTE, IN - A driver said sun glare is to blame after he hit the car in front of him while exiting the Tiny Bubbles Car Wash here, the Herald Argus reported.
The Dec. 31 story said the driver said he didn't know the car in front of him had stopped. A carwash employee was in the middle of the two cars, drying off a vehicle, when it happened.
Three police cars, an ambulance and two fire trucks were called to the scene.
The employee suffered leg injuries and was taken to the hospital...
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First time I've ever heard of hwy being closed due to sun glare.  Good call!
DENVER, CO - CDOT: EB I-70 closed MM244 Floyd Hill due to sun glare. CDOT Ops Ctr says may be 1st time hwy closed for sun glare prior to an accident.
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Pedestrians, please make eye contact with drivers instead of your cell phones - much safer!

Sun glare off glass building a problem at corner where Denver pedestrian killed | KWGN News

DENVER, CO - Denver Police investigate their first deadly hit-and-run accident this year.
A woman died crossing the street at S. Colorado Blvd. and E. Exposition Ave.
Witnesses say the 40-year-old woman was in the crosswalk — moving east to west, on Exposition — but she never made it across.
They say an older white car turning right onto S. Colorado from Exposition hit her, then reportedly drove over her and took off — leaving her to die in the street…
“This intersection is notorious for being very crowded. Traffic on Colorado Boulevard–people don’t stop,” says neighbor Iris Foster.
She also says sun glare from the big “glass” building on the east side of the street can make it hard to see pedestrians in the well-traveled crosswalk…
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Rear-ended due to sun glare > $470,000 settlement for rear-ended city bus driver on Staten Island

STATEN ISLAND, NY - A city bus driver from Port Richmond hurt when a sun-blinded van driver rear-ended his stopped bus in Annadale more than three years ago, has settled his lawsuit for $470,000, his lawyer said.
Jesse Kilcullen, 46, suffered back injuries in the Sept. 7, 2010 incident, said court papers.
It occurred about 4:15 p.m. on Arthur Kill Road at Woodrow Road, said Jonathan D'Agostino, Kilcullen's Eltingville-based lawyer.
According to the police accident report, Kilcullen, who was driving a Charleston-bound S74 bus on Arthur Kill, had pulled over at the bus stop on Woodrow Road.
Joseph Basile was driving a Verizon van in the same direction when he ran into the back of the bus, said court records.
Basile told cops that sun glare obstructed his vision and he didn't see the bus in time to stop, the police accident report said…
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Tips for dealing with sun glare > Police motorcycle training – Riding at Dawn | Super-Visor – by Sergeant Rob Grimsley
It is very important when riding at dawn to be very aware of unexpected sun glare. I’m writing this training article on a real life experience that recently happened to me in hopes that it will help to alert my fellow motor officers.
Last month (October 2005) at around 7:30 in the morning, I was headed to work traffic enforcement at a local school. The weather conditions on that day were clear and sunny. Morning traffic is always slow on the Interstate. I was traveling with speeds fluctuating from 25 to 35 MPH
The sun was extremely bright and because I was traveling from west to east the occasional glare was blinding even though I was wearing sunglasses. As I crested the top of a bridge the unexpected happened. The sun suddenly blinded me at the same time a Ford Explorer came to an abrupt stop in front of me. Because the unexpected sun glare temporarily blinded I never saw the brake lights or the vehicles ahead of me slowing to a stop until it was too late…
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> Mark Dixon ‏@Claytonsafety @SunPosition Do you know of many companies who provide sunglasses for their drivers as part of their #roadrisk policy?
> @Claytonsafety Mark, great idea, but I am not aware of any firms that provide sunglasses for their drivers. 1/2
> @Claytonsafety In some jurisdictions professional drivers may claim sunglasses as an expense. 2/2
> Mark Dixon ‏@Claytonsafety @SunPosition Thanks Ralph. Am doing some work with a fire service and they are looking at the issue for response drivers. Cheers. M

Morning glare may have caused Nashua crash that seriously injured pedestrian | The Telegraph

    NASHUA, NH – Police are considering whether glare from the morning sun contributed to a Monday morning crash on Amherst Street that seriously injured a 55-year-old Nashua man.
    Police identified the victim of the crash as Kevin Johnson but did not release the name of the 21-year-old female driver who struck him.
    Johnson was crossing the four-lane road around 9 a.m. near Nashua Community College and the minivan that hit him was driving east.
    Nashua police Lt. Michael Moushegian said it’s possible that “solar glare” contributed to the crash, given the sunny morning…
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    Police briefs: Sun’s glare leads to crashes | Kamloops This Week
    KAMLOOPS, BC - Glare from the sun is being blamed by drivers of vehicles involved in collisions on the North Shore on Saturday, Jan. 11, within an hour of each other.
    One involved two cars on the Halston Connector at 9:23 a.m., when an eastbound  Cadillac collided with a Honda Civic travelling south at the intersection of Salish Road and the connector…
    At about 10 a.m. that day, another two-car collision took place at the intersection of Fortune Drive and Nelson Avenue when a southbound Ford Fusion hit a westbound Honda Civic...
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    Sun blinds pilot on landing | General Aviation News
    WALTERBORO, SC - What reportedly happened: The pilot was attempting to land in the late afternoon on a runway with a westerly heading.
    During the landing roll, the afternoon sun “blinded” the pilot, limiting his vision. The airplane drifted off the right side of the runway, encountered soft ground, and veered into a ditch.
    Probable cause: The pilot’s loss of directional control during the landing roll, which resulted in a runway excursion. Contributing to the accident was the sun glare…
    NTSB Identification: ERA12CA156
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    Summit Police Chief Discusses 'Perception vs. Reality' Regarding Pedestrian Safety | Summit Patch
    SUMMIT, NJ - Summit Police Chief Robert Weck has issued the following statement regarding pedestrian safety:
    "With the recent accident in which a crossing guard was struck by a motor vehicle as she walked back to the curb and the comments/thoughts it has generated about pedestrian safety, I wanted to communicate with the public about “perception vs. reality” as well as share what the Summit Police have been doing to address it.

    Let me start off with saying that even one pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle is one too many, and we will continue to do what we’ve been doing -- and that is, to utilize the three E’s of traffic safety: Education, Engineering and Enforcement to ensure motorists and pedestrians alike are safe when crossing, walking near or driving on our roadways.

    For a variety of reasons, the public may not be aware of the actual motor vehicle accident statistics and/or safety initiatives being conducted by the police department and other city departments. I have provided those statistics on pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents below to ensure that the correct information as well as a consistent message from the City is received…”
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    Bellevue Shop Owner Dies After Struck Crossing Road | Portsmouth, RI Patch

    NEWPORT, RI - A 59-year-old Middletown woman died Thursday night after she was struck by a pickup truck while crossing Bellevue Avenue in Newport…
    Sun glare may have been a factor, said Newport Police Lt. William Fitzgerald.
    This was the second fatal pedestrian accident in the area within a week…
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    Many collisions occur in 'good weather'. "Hey, it was nice and sunny out." Oh the dangers of sun glare!

    David Irving cycle crash death: Visibility 'was good' | BBC News

    SOUTHAMPTON, UK - Visibility before a fatal crash in which a cyclist was allegedly knocked off his bike by a van's wing mirror was "very good", a court has heard.
    David Irving, 48, from Wimborne, Dorset, was cycling in Southampton when the collision happened on 17 December 2012. He died at the scene.
    Steven Petterson, 38, who denies causing his death, told police his vision was restricted by the low sun.
    Sgt Rob Heard told jurors visibility on the morning was "very good".
    He added conditions were "clear, sun out with a little bit of cloud"…
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    Sun glare possible cause of crash in Rolex 24 at Daytona

    DAYTONA BEACH, FL - Memo Gidley and Matteo Malucelli were transported to a hospital Saturday following a two-car accident right before the three-hour mark of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
    Gidley, driving for the pole-winning GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team, had to be cut out of the No. 99 Corvette.
    The accident occurred when Gidley plowed into the slower Ferrari, from the GT Le Mans class, driven by Malucelli. The cars were heading into the kink in the infield portion of Daytona International Speedway and driving into the glare of the sun…
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    David Irving cycle crash death: Sun 'blinding', court hears | BBC News
    SOUTHAMPTON, UK - Weather conditions on the day a cyclist died on a busy commuter road were "blinding", the trial of the driver accused of killing him has heard.
    David Irving, 48, of Dorset, died when he came off his bicycle on Mountbatten Way in Southampton on 17 December 2012.
    The city's crown court has heard minibus driver Steve Petterson, 38, who denies causing the cyclist's death, clipped Mr Irving with his wing mirror.
    Witness Clive Jones told the court the sun had affected visibility that day.
    'Just a whiteout'
    The commuter, who was riding his scooter at the time of the crash, told the court: "I was doing about 40mph, no more than 45mph.
    "It was blinding. My first reaction, if I couldn't see, was to take my hand off the throttle. I was concerned about traffic going into the back of me.
    "It all happened in such a quick time. It was just a whiteout.
    "I couldn't really see anything at that point. Even with my sun visor pulled down. It was the glare that just hit me."…
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    Backplates on traffic signals reduce effect of sun glare, crashes down 31% in test | FHWA Safety

    Backplates, as shown in Figure 3-15, are commonly used to improve the signal visibility by providing a black background around the signals, thereby enhancing the contrast. They are particularly useful for signals oriented in an east-west direction to counteract the glare effect of the rising and setting sun or areas of visually complex backgrounds…
    At six locations of varying types in Winston-Salem, NC backplates were added to signal displays on one or more approaches to call attention to the signal display. Angle crashes caused by motorists on the approach where the backplates were installed declined by more than 31 percent at all locations combined…
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    Couple, toddler miraculously survive crash with tractor-trailer caused by sun glare | WPXI News

    CHARTIERS TOWNSHIP, PA - A woman, man and toddler miraculously survived a crash caused by sun glare in Chartiers Township Wednesday.
    Police said the driver couldn’t see in front of him as his car flew underneath a tractor-trailer…
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    Cheers, Ralph

    Sun/Shade & Urban Development – January 2014

    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).
    Seeing a Need for Oversight of New York’s Lordly Towers | The New York Times

    NEW YORK, NY - They’re arriving along 57th Street like a clutch of preening runway models, super-tall and skinny, the expensive playthings of Russian oligarchs and Chinese tycoons. A coupling of technology and wealth has bred this new, local hothouse species: leggy, cloud-piercing, sliver-thin residential towers.
    They capitalize on views of Central Park — “the money shot,” in the indelicate phrase of Carol Willis, director of the Skyscraper Museum — over which these buildings will cast long, literal shadows…
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    In the Shadow of Rising Towers, Laments of Lost Sunlight in New York | The New York Times

    NEW YORK, NY - Having to live in someone else’s shadow is one of the risks of being a New Yorker. Yet for untold thousands, this vexing state of affairs is literally true. In a city forever sprouting new buildings, the quest to reach higher often comes at the cost of stealing somebody else’s light…
    The city has long endeavored to balance the insatiable thirst for sky-high buildings with preserving a modicum of street-level sunlight, with mixed success.
    The 1916 zoning code mandated that tall buildings have setbacks, resulting in ziggurat-style structures resembling giant, layered wedding cakes.
    The revamped code of 1961 encouraged more plazas and arcades, like those at the Seagram Building and at Lincoln Center, which ended up being windswept and largely unused.
    Such guidelines pale compared with those in place in Japan, where enormous importance is placed upon a property’s access to sunlight. There, the shadows of buildings cannot be cast on other buildings for more than a set amount of hours a day, with the minimum requirement being set on winter solstice.
    In New York, however, focus was placed on building higher. In the 1960s, the city was rezoned to accommodate expectations that its population would swell to 12 million to 16 million people. This meant that for nearly every tract of land there exists an invisible outline delineating how much farther a building set there could grow…
    Aspects of the current building boom have had glimmers of an upside. The feverish erection of glass-curtain towers has caused light to bounce into some heretofore dark places.
    As to whether apartments newly affected by darkness or shadows lose their value, Jonathan Miller, a real-estate appraiser, said the effects on prices was hard to assess. “The implication in urban vertical living is that like it or not, people are going to lose their view or light,” he said.
    And so people adjust…
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    Not sure I'd be comfortable in this elevator > Building Taller With Carbon Fibre Hoisting Technology | Construction Canada
    Urbanization is the leading growth catalyst for cities, economies, and technologies around the world. More than half the global population already lives in urban areas, and the United Nations estimates by 2030, five billion people will be living in cities—up from 3.6 billion in 2010. According to Statistics Canada, 81 per cent of the population already lives in urban areas—a figure rising steadily year after year.
    Faced with unprecedented urban growth not seen since the early 1990s, architects, designers, and construction professionals are under pressure to make cities smarter and easier to live in. Adding to the urgency for innovative solutions is the increasing need for environmentally responsible technology. While cities cover less than two per cent of the planet, they account for 75 per cent of global energy consumption and 80 per cent of manmade carbon emissions.
    As these trends continue and the world’s population skyrockets, the model of the downtown work core with ever-expanding suburbs is becoming outdated. Many experts think the only sustainable solution is to create denser cities by building upward. While new technologies are needed across multiple industries to grow cities in the future, the next leap in building heights is difficult without a corresponding rise in elevator technology…
    Currently, this technology is not found in North America. However, Marina Bay Sands, a recently opened 200-m (656-ft) tall resort in Singapore employs the carbon-fibre technology. Denser concentrations of people in urban environments will increase the importance of efficient movement in and between buildings. With greater people flow, buildings will be built higher and greater efficiency will become essential. Urbanization is a guiding trend for the construction industry. While it may not be intuitive, elevators enable the vertical growth of cities, and they will continue to play a critical role in facilitating the sky-high buildings of the future…
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    Anson Kwok of Pinnacle Discusses 1 Yonge Master-Plan – PART 1 | Toronto Star

    TORONTO, ON - One of the most high profile developments currently underway in Toronto is the 1 Yonge master-plan by Pinnacle International. Since 1 Yonge will feature four residential buildings ranging from 70 to 88 storeys, we just had to catch up with our friend Anson Kwok, the VP of Sales & Marketing at Pinnacle, for Super Tall Towers Month!
    Designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, 1 Yonge will feature a hotel tower and two office towers in addition to the previously mentioned residential towers. 1 Yonge isn’t just enhancing the skyline, it’s also going to affect the neighbourhood at street level with a new 17 meter wide Yonge Street promenade and an extension of Harbour Street.
    The big question is, why do cities want to build towers over 80 storeys high? “For us, it’s very location driven. I think in most major cities, location is probably the primary reason to build super tall buildings. In many countries, 88 storeys isn’t even considered super tall,” Kwok explained.  “It’s about creating a complex mix of uses. I think that’s the expectation now. If you look at most big cities, you’re looking at six, seven different uses all integrated, and that’s what we want it to be. And, if we’re trying to not rely as much on cars, we’re going to need a more vertical community base.”…
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    Anson Kwok of Pinnacle Discusses 1 Yonge Master-Plan – PART 2 | Toronto Star

    TORONTO, ON - How come some people are opposed to super tall towers?
    If you’re a lover of tall design, then you’ve asked yourself this question many times. Anytime a tall tower is proposed, there is a backlash from one community or another that cite reasons such as shadowing, increased traffic, too many people, etc.
    “We’re planning for the future. When we do a master-plan for 1 Yonge, it’s not going to happen today. We’re looking at a 10 or 15 year cycle. It’s probably going to take us four or five years to build one of these. Look at Aura, it’s been under construction for a good amount of time. We’re looking toward what Toronto is going to look like in 2025 and 2030,” Kwok said, explaining that many people instantly look at the biggest number on a stats sheets and picture what the neighbourhood would be like without taking the city’s natural growth into consideration. 1 Yonge isn’t going to add 6,000 people to the waterfront tomorrow, or the next day, or even in the next couple years. The growth will be gradual and manageable, and realistically, the market will dictate its success. If people don’t buy in an 88-storey condo, then it won’t be built…
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    The price difference between an average condo and 2-storey house in Canada is $171,752 | via @BuzzBuzzHome

    Glare From London 'Fryscraper' Becomes an Attraction | ScienceDaily

    LONDON, UK - Sun rays reflected from a half-finished London skyscraper that melted parts of several cars and damaged shopfronts has become one of London's hottest attractions, with a screen put up in front of the shops to avoid more damage. A thermometer shows the temperature rises to 50 celsius under the reflection.
    video story-

    Cheers, Ralph