Friday, May 9, 2014

Sun Glare While Driving – April 2014

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

Coroner: Sun glare could have caused deadly Auburn crash | WRBL News

Sun glare St Louis downtown

image via Wikimedia Commons

AUBURN, AL - The late afternoon sun could be to blame for a deadly Auburn crash Sunday, Lee County Coroner Bill Harris says in a news release Monday.

At 5:13p ct, Mary Hunta Owens, 85, of Auburn, died instantly when the vehicle she was riding in was stuck on the passenger side by an SUV, the coroner says…

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RT @ctv_stjohn: Gov says in 2012 - distracted driving was responsible for more deaths in BC than drunk driving.

RT @barrieadvance: Morning sunshine to blame for Barrie crash that sent woman to hospital | The Barrie Advance

BARRIE, ON - Bright sunshine was to blame for a 25-year-old woman being sent to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre with minor injuries to her legs early Wednesday morning.

She was struck on Mapleton Avenue, near Marcellus Drive.

“With the light from the sun, she couldn’t see anything, so she went to put her visor down and she struck a parked vehicle,” said Barrie Police Const. Melanie Turner.

The woman stopped her Sunfire to leave a note to the driver of the damaged car, but as she was placing the note, an 18-year-old woman in a Dodge Caravan hit her.

“It was because of the sun as well,” Turner said.

Both the 25-year-old woman from the Sunfire and the 19-year-old woman driving the Caravan were charged with careless driving.

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Sun glare can wash out traffic signals. Make sure you know the signal colour before proceeding >>>

Wanatah firefighters injured in crash | Herald Argus

WANATAH, IN - Two volunteer firefighters from Wanatah were seriously hurt in a crash Sunday morning with a semi-tractor trailer, an accident apparently caused by the blinding sun…

They were traveling U.S. 421 and were in the process of crossing U.S. 30 when broadsided by the semi at about 7 a.m.

Police said the semi was driven by 39-year-old Trevor Molnar of Minooka, Illinois. Molnar told investigators he was westbound and couldn’t make out the color of the traffic signal due to the glare from the sun. He didn’t notice the light was red until he had gone into the intersection, according to police…

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Police say sun glare could be a factor in fatal OR crash | KREM

Free stock photo of road, people, street, smartphone

image via pexels

FOREST GROVE, OR - One person was killed and another was injured in an accident near a Forest Grove school Wednesday, according to Forest Grove Fire & Rescue.

The man who died was identified as J T Mercado-Nuno, 49, of Hillsboro, and his coworker, Scott Bafaro, 27, of Portland, was also hurt, according to police. Both men were employed by Oregon Green Thumb Landscape Maintenance out of Forest Grove and were in the process of unloading equipment from a work trailer when the accident occurred…

A neighbor ran to help after she heard the crash just after 7:30 a.m. on 18th Avenue and Maple Street, near Joseph Gale School…

Police said sun glare may have been a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation...

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Springtime sun glare hits Schriever commuters | Schriever Sentinel

Free stock photo of city, cars, road, traffic

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SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, CO - Marketers for Colorado Springs' tourism industry often tout the area's 300-plus days of sunshine a year, but that sunshine isn't always a welcome sight for Schriever commuters.

It only takes a few commutes for drivers to figure out they must drive into sun glare every morning. And, unfortunately in the springtime, they get the same treatment on their way home.

"Many times, it can be like driving into a spotlight," said Master Sgt. Sarah Law, 50th Space Wing ground safety chief. "With the sun rising just above the horizon line, it becomes more than difficult for drivers to not only see others cars, but to even distinguish between red and green stop lights."

It can be funny to hear drivers say, "the sun was in my eye," but as many Schriever commuters can attest, sun glare is a very real hazard.

"We had a traffic crash on base just a few weeks ago where a driver said the glare was so harsh that she couldn't see another car," Law said. "The issue is especially important for Team Schriever members because of our location relative to residential areas. We have been discussing the topic at right start briefings and it's important to get the word out to the entire base about how drivers can mitigate this hazard."

The 50 SW Safety office recommends drivers take the following steps to combat sun glare and reduce hazards.

     Drive with headlights on
 Use polarized sunglasses
 Increase following distance behind cars ahead
 Utilize your car's sun visor
 Keep your windshield clean, inside and out
 Avoid storing papers or other items on your dashboard
 While experiencing heavy sun glare, use lane markings as a guide

"Driving with your headlights on makes sense because it helps other drivers see you," Law said. "Creating more distance between yourself and the car in front of you will also allow you more time to react to a circumstance. I advise people to also use alternate routes. For instance, I was driving east on Woodmen Road last week and the sun glare there was brutal. I couldn't see the traffic signals, so I turned on Marksheffel Road and drove south to Highway 94. I hit the glare again once I turned onto Highway 94, but at least I gave myself a break from it for a lengthy period and there is only one traffic signal between there and Schriever."

Drivers should also use caution when they are heading in the opposite direction of sun glare, since reflection off other cars and surfaces can temporarily blind as well. Colorado drivers frequently can experience sun glare combined with rain and snow as well.

"We are conditioned to focus on severe weather conditions like snow and ice when driving," said Lt. Col. Nate Iven, 50 SW safety chief. "The first 10 to 15 minutes after sunrise can also be severe, but taking these steps can reduce the risk."

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Great advice RT @SafeDriver: When the sun comes out shining, do you have fashion sense or common sense while driving?

Concern over solar park glare ‘danger’ | Carmarthen Journal

Solar park, Marokko

image via Wikimedia Commons

WHITLAND, UK – Concerns have been raised over “blinding” glare coming from the newly-erected solar park in Whitland.

Residents say the reflected sunlight was potentially dangerous for those nearby...

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1 airlifted, 4 others hurt in crash involving school bus | via @9News 

 Free stock photo of yellow, vehicle, school, bus

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LARIMER COUNTY, CO - A serious crash involving a school bus and passenger vehicle on Bandana Lane and County Road 82 in Larimer County left three students and two adults injured Friday morning.

The driver of a Toyota slammed into the back of the Poudre School District bus as it was stopped waiting for a passenger around 7 a.m…

According to police, the three students and the bus driver all suffered minor injuries but were transported to the hospital via ambulance as a precaution.

The Colorado State Patrol says excessive speed was not a factor, neither were drugs or alcohol. Investigators are looking for the cause.

Dickerson's family told 9NEWS the sun was in her eyes. The glare that time of day affected what she could see…

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Springtime roadway hazards | Messina Bulzomi Christensen

Free stock photo of road, sunny, street, flowers

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TACOMA, WA - With the warmer weather and more sunny days heading our way, we are all excited to get out and explore Washington’s scenic roadways. Of course, along with all the beautiful wildflowers blooming on our region’s majestic mountainsides come a few seasonal hazards you should be aware of. If you’ve heard any local news in the past month, you already know about one very dangerous weather-related peril: mudslides. There are many other springtime menaces facing drivers, as well, such as distracted driving, sudden changes in weather and conditions, weakened shoulders (the narrow gravel or grass area alongside the road), or potholes which emerge through the winter months. The nice weather also tends to bring out more motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists that drivers must watch for carefully. As backyard barbeques and baseball season start, it’s also a good idea to be aware that people may be drinking and driving…

Spring can be dangerous for pedestrians with drivers facing sun glare…

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RT @Transport_gc: It’s Rail Safety week! Distractions can be deadly. Look carefully, and obey all crossing signals | Transport Canada

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Woman Who Crashed Into School Bus Blames Sun Glare | CBS Denver

 LARIMER COUNTY, CO – The woman who drove right into a school bus is talking about what she saw the moments before impact. 

Ashlie Dickerson’s car was wedged under the school bus. She says she was driving her normal route to work but she normally doesn’t see a bus in that area. But when turned onto the typical road she takes she said she was overwhelmed by sun glare.

“You’ve got sun right there on the horizon, That’s all I can remember up to the accident,” said Dickerson…

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Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – April 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 @SunPosition

Is this why glass shatters and falls from high-rises? >>>

Shadow Conditions That Increase the Amount of Thermal Stress on Glass | AAMA

Free stock photo of sky, clouds, building, glass

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SCHAUMBURG, IL - In the June 2013 publication of Glass Canada, Margaret Webb, Executive Director of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA), gave an overview of a technical services bulletin developed by IGMA to assist the industry in providing a proper technical understanding for thermal stress. The bulletin, TB 1300-13, is titled “Guidelines for Thermal Stress Considerations.”…

One of the most common examples of thermal stress breakage can occur from conditions arising from a clear cold winter night when the glass cools to an ambient condition over night and then in the morning or when the glass is exposed to solar exposure with shading conditions that allow portions of the glass to stay cold while other portions of the glass are being heated by the solar exposure. The heated areas of the glass tend to expand being forced into a state of compression, while the cool zones that are encapsulated by the framing system and/or shaded area are forced into a state of tension…

Experience and examination of fracture origins has verified that the conditions described can and will occur from thermally induced glass fracture and can occur in summer or winter conditions. This is because the thermal gradient between the heated area of the glass and cooler edges is the critical condition to evaluate.
The shadowing of the glass enhances the thermal stress issue and certain types of shadows have more of an impact than others. The shadows that cast an angular shadow or a “V” shape on the glass have been demonstrated to develop larger thermal stresses that linear shadows…

These guidelines were developed from the collective experiences of insulating glass manufacturers, glass and glazing material suppliers, contract glaziers, design engineers, industry consultants and persons experienced in successful IG manufacturing. The document reflects existing technology and will be subject to periodic review and change when new technologies become available as is the normal process in IGMA.

TB 1300-13 contains various sections to cover the importance of thermal stress conditions. The shadow portion is just one of the many issues that interest the architect, designer, glass fabricator, glazing contractor and others relative to the subject…

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To think our first shadow studies were drawn by hand using a protractor and scale rulers.

Future wind turbines will have to prove flicker won't impact neighbours | Wicked Local Orleans

KINGSTON, MA – Any developer hoping to install utility-size wind turbines in Kingston will have to wait until after April 15, 2016.

And, with any proposal, the developer will have to prove that the shadow flicker from that turbine won’t affect neighboring households…

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Rize Kingsway development proposal updated | Vancity Buzz

 Rize Mount Pleasant

image via Vancity Buzz

VANCOUVER, BC - Yesterday evening, Rize Alliance hosted a City-managed open house at St. Patrick’s Church on Main Street to provide more detailed information about their proposed project for Kingsway and Broadway.

This provided an opportunity for the community to see the revised development permit application and provide input on the character and public realm evolution.

The Development Permit application conforms to the height, use and density as approved (in principle) by Council in April 2012 and has been evolved based on community and Council input.

The proposed project is now separated into five distinct blocks that each reflect and enhance the character of the street on which each fronts (Broadway, Kingsway, E 10th and Watson). The tower height is as approved by Council, while the other four blocks have been reduced in height to improve shadow impact and the pedestrian experience on adjacent streets and sidewalks…

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Etobicoke waterfront in the midst of an evolution | via @pressly

Toronto - ON - Humber Bay und Humber Bay Arch Bridge

image via Wikimedia Commons

ETOBICOKE, ON - It’s an early-spring afternoon and the city’s west-end waterfront is alive with activity.

As the sun shines over Lake Ontario’s Humber Bay on this blue-sky day, a steady stream of cyclists, joggers and people walking dogs flows along the shoreline trail with looming views of the Toronto skyline.

Steps north of the lake, on a swath of land leading west from Park Lawn Ave., and sandwiched between Lake Shore Blvd. and Marine Parade Dr. — formerly the site of the infamous “motel strip” — it’s a considerably less serene scene: bulldozers, cranes, dump trucks and plenty of workers in helmets are working to transform this barren stretch into the newest addition to the Humber Bay Shores neighbourhood.

When the area reaches full build-out over the next decade, it will encompass a wide assortment of new condos, thousands of residents and a variety of shops, services, eateries and community amenities — including the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s Humber Bay Park.

“It’s going to be beautiful,” predicts Henry Strasser, a principal with Phantom Developments, which is developing Jade Waterfront Condos, a 41-storey, 381-unit project currently under construction in the area that’s been designed with extra-large balconies to showcase waterfront views. “It’ll end up being a little city all its own. In a few years it will be one of Toronto’s top trendy communities.”

Condos are nothing new along the Etobicoke waterfront. Just east of the construction zone stands the landmark Palace Pier, one of Toronto’s first condo projects. And over the last decade, the area west of Palace Pier and Humber Bay Park has seen the rise of developments Marina Del Rey and Grand Harbour.

But the condos being built — in accordance with the City of Toronto’s Humber Bay Shores master plan — will deliver the population needed to sustain the shops, services and amenities that will accompany the condos. “You need that critical mass to support successful retail development,” notes David George, president of Monarch Communities, which has completed four buildings with another two underway and several more on the horizon…

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New Yorkers Protest Long Shadows Cast By New Skyscrapers | OPB News

Central Park during Autumn, NYC

image via Wikimedia Commons

NEW YORK, NY - Skyscrapers are a hallmark of large cities. Modern engineering makes it possible to erect something as tall as the Empire State Building on a very small footprint. Although developers love them, in New York — the city of skyscrapers — residents have been upset at the shadows these buildings cast over public spaces like Central Park. 

Warren St. John first noticed the shadows when he took his daughter to a playground near Central Park’s southern border on sunny, blue-skied fall day. All of a sudden, though, it became chilly. He remembers the parents zipped up their kid’s jackets and hurried off. He looked up, “and that’s when I realized the sun was behind this new building I’d never paid much attention to,” St. John says. “But what really got me was that about six months later, I was at a playground a mile north of here and the exact same thing happened. I looked up, and it was the same building.”

On a recent afternoon, St. John again gets caught in the chill in the shadow of another tall, thin building still under construction. It’s One 57, the tallest building south of the park. But, he says “it will soon be dwarfed by another building, 30 percent taller.” As the sun goes behind the tower, St. John notes, “it’s a little chillier.”

At a community meeting held to address the rise of super towers and the reach of their shadows into the park, City Councilman Corey Johnson said that most of these apartments “are being sold to foreign investors, who have tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, who are not making this their primary home.”

Extell Development, the developer of One57, braved the hostile audience at the community meeting.

“The shadows cast by tall, slender buildings, which is what most of the buildings going up are, are very brief, maybe they’re 10 minutes in any one place and cause no negative effect on the flora or fauna of the park,” said Gary Barnett, president of Extell Development. What’s more, Barnett says, the buildings are creating many permanent jobs in retail, hospitality and construction. “And these are not minimum wage jobs,” Barnett says. “Many of the union construction jobs compensate between $100,000 and $200,000 a year. Upon salaries like this our fellow New Yorkers can build a better life.”

St. John responds that each of these buildings might have 100 apartments, but 40 million people use the park. To wit, in the shadow of One 57, he points to a row of empty benches in the shade. “Nobody is sitting on these benches, but over there where the sun is, people are sitting,” he says. “They’re having a snack.”

Moving on to another area of Central Park, older buildings throw shorter shadows right next an open area filled with constant sunlight. He points to buds on the trees in the sunlit area, “but if you look just to the trees beyond them, there are no buds on those trees because that is where the shadows begin to fall from these buildings.”

If it was just that one building, St. John says, you could kind of shrug it off. But he ticks off six or seven buildings that are going up right in this area. Central Park is landmarked and protected from development, but there is nothing to protect it from shadows from buildings outside the park.

Michael Van Valkenburgh is a landscape architect who designed the tiny teardrop park near the World Trade Center. Surrounded by tall buildings, he wondered, would there be enough sunlight for a lawn? “Sunlight is the joy of what a park is,” he says.

Experts analyzed how much sunlight would be necessary, and one of the architects actually lowered a part of a building under construction “so enough sunlight came in,” Van Valkenburgh says. “But everything was within inches of not working.”

As to whether the shadows will stress trees and plants, he says, they will probably die slowly — over five years. ” ‘Oh, why are the trees dying?’ ” he predicts people will say. ” ‘It must be related to global warming.’ “

Van Valkenburgh believes there should be rules in New York about the right to sunlight in public spaces as there are in the zoning laws of some other communities.

As for St. John, he’s peeved that there was never any public debate about the super towers. They just happened. “Maybe at the end of that public debate the public consensus might have been the economic activity generated by these buildings makes it worth it, but we just never had the debate,” St. John says.

And at least for these buildings it’s probably too late.

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Proud to have been involved in Aura project with Canderel and Graziani + Corraza. Tallest residential bldg in Canada. @AuraCondominium >>>

RT @AuraCondominium: We're "expanding [Torontonian's] sense of the city and the downtown core," says our architect Barry Graziani: | Toronto Star

Aura Condo at College Park, Toronto Ontario

image via Wikimedia Commons

TORONTO, ON - "It reorients you," says Barry Graziani, architect of Canada's largest condo Aura, left. Graziani and Julie Robinson, senior project manager for Canderel Residential, have helped the builder revive a stretch of stagnant Yonge St. with its mixed-use projects Aura, YC Condos and Residences of College Park. 

Aura is changing the way we view our city.”

The 78-storey mega-tower, nearing completion on the northwest corner of Yonge and Gerrard Sts., has fast become one of Toronto most recognizable landmarks…

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A variety of high-rise living styles in Barrie

photo by Ralph Bouwmeester - 

But the proposed building is "north of McKague’s home"??  >>>

Building casts shadow on plans for solar home | The StarPhoenix

  architectural design, architecture, blueprint

image via pexels

SASKATOON, SK - Meredith McKague was hoping to build a passive solar home in the 600 block of Eighth Avenue North, where she is photographed Monday, April 21, 2014, but a condo building scheduled to be built on the open lot at the corner of Eighth Avenue and Queen will be too tall to allow for the project.

Despite changes to plans for a nearby building, a City Park resident believes her hopes of building a solar home have been thwarted.

Meredith McKague appeared before city council this month to lobby for protected solar access after she abandoned plans to build a passive solar home because a building planned for the former site of the Silverwood Home and Bethany Home on Queen Street would block the sun during the crucial winter months…

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Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – April 2014

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

Toronto reaches 13 hrs daylight on Apr 6th.  14 hrs by the 28th.

Ottawa reaches 13 hrs daylight on Apr 5th. 14 hrs by the 25th.The next

Torontohenge is on Apr 19/14 - sunrise at 6:28 am.

Ottawa reaches 13 hrs daylight today, Apr 5th.

Researchers could reduce sun-induced glare from solar panels, etc. | HNGN

image via pexels

IRVINE, CA - "We found that a very simple process and a tiny bit of gold can turn a transparent film black," UC Irvine chemistry professor Robert Corn, said in a news release.

The study started when the researchers noticed what they thought was soot on a flexible film they were working on. Instead of looking at this as a bad thing the researchers saw it as an opportunity to create a surface that is resistant against glare. The material could also keep grime and liquid from sticking to the screen or damaging it.

The team etched a pattern of the cones on moth eyeballs on Teflon. The team then applied a thin layer of gold over this nanoscale etching.

The team found that they shine from any light shining in the surface was eliminated and the material was also hydrophobic, meaning it repelled water…

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RT @NASA: As seen on Cosmos: Our Sun -- studied by spacecraft like @NASA_SDO

Purple and Brown Colored Planet

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Can't believe it's been 6 years since Earth Day unveiling in Oakland CA of SunChips Solar Billboard we designed.

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Cheers, Ralph