Monday, July 7, 2014

Sun Glare While Driving – June 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

Sun glare if train w/b and car n/b? >>>

RT @CTVNews: Two dead in collision between Via Rail train and car in Quebec

VIA Rail Diesel Locomotive London Ontario

stock image via Wikimedia Commons 

ST-LIBOIRE, QC. -- Quebec police are not excluding the possibility that the driver of a vehicle who died when a Via Rail train rammed into his car at a level crossing planned a "voluntary act."

A one-year-old boy and the man in his 40s died in the incident on Monday morning in St-Liboire, east of Montreal.

"We have car-collision specialists who are here to try to establish exactly what happened where the impact took place," provincial police spokeswoman Joyce Kemp said in an interview.

"We cannot exclude that this could be a voluntary act and, for that reason, the investigation has been transferred to the homicide squad."…

more -

Some valuable info in this article >>>

Why Polarized Sunglasses are a Must Have | Stunna Shades

Sunglasses are one of the most valuable assets to purchase when preparing for a road trip. Their importance is obvious, since they serve as protection for eyes while also providing clearer vision while driving. If you want to save yourself aggravation while driving for hours on a sunny day, as well as avoid squinting and therefore blurring your vision, then the proper eyewear is a must.

Although the primary use of sunglasses is self-explanatory (to provide shade), they also have a more technical use: sun glare. Sun glare is when direct sunlight, often suddenly unavoidable when turning around a corner or driving over hills, blinds motorists. This major hazard is a threat to the safety of both the driver, as well as other cars on the road. On summer road trips, when the days are hot and the passengers are likely otherwise distracted by friends and family, sun glare can be a dangerous cause of car accidents. Road trippers are also more likely to be driving at high-glare times, which peak during the first 15 to 45 minutes of sunrise and the last 45 minutes of sunset.

Worse yet, sun glare affects older people especially. According to a study conducted by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, older drivers are more likely to get involved in crashes if glare obstructs their vision. The study shows that 38.5 percent of drivers involved in crashes related to glare exposure were of “age 45 years and older.”…

more -

Sunset glare blamed for collision | Sun Advocate

Sunset While Driving on North Interstate 39 in Illinois

stock image via Wikimedia Commons 

WELLINGTON, UT - A driver temporarily blinded by the setting sun slammed into the rear of a westbound coal truck Friday night on U.S. Highway 6.

"During this time of the year, drivers have a difficult time seeing when the sun begins to set," said Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Matt Bunnell. "It is so bright, especially along that stretch of U.S. 6, drivers have reported being completely blinded." …

more -

Series of accidents that police say may have been caused by sun glare, 31-yr-old killed | WFSB

BROOKFIELD, CT - A 31-year-old woman has died after being struck and pinned between two vehicles in Brookfield during a series of accidents that police say may have been caused by sun glare.

Police say Erin Morrarty of New Milford was involved in one of the three accidents on Route 25 Monday morning and got out of her car to exchange information with another driver. Officials say an SUV struck a car that then hit Morrarty and pinned her against a van. She later was pronounced dead at Danbury Hospital.

Authorities say the first accident happened when the van was rear-ended by a car while stopped for a school bus. Police say Morrarty then struck the car that hit the van…

more -

Did you know more teens die in motor vehicle crashes than from any other cause? @safekidsusa

No one starts their day anticipating getting into a car crash. But teens like Presley teach us that it only takes one time riding in a car without bucking up for a life to be changed forever…

more -

Bicyclist Ends Up In Back Seat Of Convertible After Crash In Cohasset | CBS Boston

COHASSET, MA – As he surveyed the mangled handlebars on his bike – just retrieved from police – 65-year-old Ed Jones still found some humor in the accident that could have easily killed him.

“There I was riding a bike,” mused the semi-retired inventor and consultant, “and then I was upside down in someone’s car.”

Jones has ridden his bike down Route 228 in Cohasset countless times over the last two decades as part of his regular loop of 20-something miles. He considers himself an incredibly careful cyclist. But on Sunday afternoon, he was hit by a silver Mercedes trying to turn into the Corner Stop restaurant.

“I’m so careful,” he says shaking his head. Ed doesn’t remember seeing the car or sensing the threat – but does recall the impact. “I remember the sound” he says. “Hauntingly so.”…

John Plunkett, 62, of Quincy, has not yet been charged in the accident – but Cohasset police indicate that’s likely.

Plunkett’s 2004 Mercedes has been impounded. He was overheard at the scene saying the sun was in his eyes…

more -

A woman in a wheel chair and her service dog were hit by a car after a driver was blinded by sunlight, police say | Wicked Local Walpole

WALPOLE, MA - A woman in a wheel chair and her service dog were hit by a car after a driver was blinded by sunlight, police say.

A driver going toward the center on Stone Street hit the woman and her service dog at about 7:45 p.m. on Saturday while they were crossing the street, prompting a hospital trip for both victims. Police are investigating the incident, but Deputy Police Chief John Carmichael said the sun’s glare likely contributed to the accident.

The victim was taken to the hospital and later checked out OK, Carmichael said, suffering some bumps and bruises. The Animal Control Officer took the woman’s small dog, Buddy, to the Tufts Veterinarian Clinic because of visible injuries, Carmichael said. The current condition of the dog is unknown.

Police have not charged the driver, who Carmichael said was likely not traveling fast on the residential road. The accident occurred near 20 Stone St. Charges might arise after the investigation, he said.

"[The driver] was traveling west, so you’re going to have that sun going over those trees in the background," Carmichael said. "That was obviously a factor in this case."…

more -

RT UN Road Safety @UNRSC: Be seen on the road! Lightly-coloured or reflective clothing makes pedestrians and cyclists more visible

picture link -

Don't drink & dive. Be safe in the water this summer.

RT Steve Mitchell @BlackJacksGaff: Did planners think about the glare solar panel fields cause to drivers??

picture link -

Sun Glare: 8 Tips to keep safe on the roads | SuperMom

Moms often jokingly refer to themselves as taxi drivers it’s extremely important they we do everything we can to ensure the safety of our children while travelling. According to a recent report by the AA, hundreds of road accidents are caused by the glare of the sun blinding drivers every year. Here are 8 great tips to managing this safety hazard.

  1. Keep your windscreen clean – inside and outside. Avoid using a vinyl-based cleaner on your dashboard, which can turn the surface into a mirror. Dust particles and other foreign objects on your windscreen can reflect and distort light too.
  2. Don’t buy a car with a light-coloured dashboard. Coupled with the slope of the windshield, a light-coloured dashboard can be extremely reflective.
  3. Be extra vigilant early morning or late afternoon. Many sun glare accidents happen in the early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is on the horizon and little protection is offered by a car’s sun visor. If possible, try to plan your travel so that you’re not travelling in a glare. The closer the sun is to the horizon, the worse the glare will be.
  4. Be sensible enough to slow down immediately when the sun is blinding you. It may be tempting to carry on regardless until the glare passes, but rather don’t.
  5. If you’re driving at sunset, anticipate the effects of glare on you and other drivers.
  6. Never overtake into low sunlight when the road ahead is obscured as this risks disaster.
  7. It’s essential to wear a good pair of sunglasses that are dark enough to cut the glare. We specifically recommend polarised sunglasses.
  8. The easiest way to counteract the glare is by never forgetting your sunnies! Keep a spare pair in your glove compartment in case you do.

more -

Yes, it's winter in South Africa >>>

Motorists, beware the winter glare! |  Vision Brokers

Beware the glare and keep your windscreen clean!

Winter has hit South Africa and with it comes the dangers of driving glare.

The glare of the setting sun during rush hour during this time of the year puts drivers at risk of being temporarily blinded by the dazzle of the sun.

"The South African AA says dangerous conditions are caused by glare resulting from intense sunlight reflected from the road surface, bonnet, windscreen or dashboard of your car. This danger is particularly high at this time of year as the sun sets just as most drivers are heading home from work," said 1st for Women Insurance's Executive Head, Robyn Farrell.

This dazzling effect is particularly dangerous when the road turns unexpectedly into its path or the glare appears from behind trees or buildings. Blind-spots created by the sun's glare as well as distance perception problems can easily cause crashes.

Underestimating the power of the sun's rays at this time of day is a mistake, says 1st for Women Insurance, which adds that drivers should be extra-vigilant at this time of year when it comes to joggers, dog-walkers and pedestrians.

Here are some tips for dealing with glare:

- Keep your windscreen clean, inside and outside. Avoid using a vinyl-based cleaner on your dashboard, which can make the surface more reflective.

- Keep the windscreen washer reservoir topped up, so fluid is always available when needed.

- Don't buy a car with a light-coloured dashboard. Coupled with the slope of the windshield, a light-coloured dashboard can be extremely reflective.

- Many sun glare crashes happen in the early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is on the horizon and little protection is offered by a car's sun-visor.

- If possible, try to plan your travel so that you're not travelling in a glare. The closer the sun is to the horizon, the worse the glare will be.

- Be sensible enough to slow down when you're being dazzled by the sun, even if it is tempting to carry on regardless until the glare passes.

- Don't overtake into low sunlight.

- It's essential to wear a good pair of sunglasses that are dark enough to cut the glare.

more -

Staggering toll: Car crashes cost $871 billion a year  via @usatoday

Red and Yellow Hatchback Axa Crash Tests

stock image via pexels

Highway crashes cost the USA $871 billion a year, new study finds. Total includes both economic costs and societal harm. Speeding, DUI and distracted driving account for most of the damage…

more -

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – June 2014

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

Less shadow impact >>>

Smaller But Taller Mirvish+Gehry 2.0 Reboots Landmark Proposal | Urban Toronto

TORONTO, ON - The beta version of Mirvish+Gehry 2.0 has arrived. It's 2.0 because we are looking at a fresh new proposal now—not just the latest iteration of the initial proposal—and beta because what you'll see in this article is not the final plan, but a major step on the way to it. However you felt about version 1.0 and the 1.5 update, clear the decks: there are now two towers where initially there were three, two of the heritage components on the site have been saved, and those who love the Princess of Wales theatre will be very happy to hear that it’s staying around now too.

The update was unveiled at Metro Hall on the evening of May 27 in front of a hundred or so people, including locals, architecture buffs from around the city, development industry professionals, and a number of those who had volunteered on the City-created Mirvish+Gehry working group. The group was instrumental in fashioning a new direction for the project, one which preserved heritage, preserved the cultural asset of the Princess of Wales theatre, and which brought down the overall density of the proposal…

While the towers of first plan reached 84, 86, and 82 storeys (moving west to east), in the new plan the west tower now reaches 92 storeys, or 304.3 metres/998 feet, while the east tower remains at 82 storeys. Despite the new west tower being taller than the previous centre tower, its uppermost volume has been trimmed to a size that will reduce the tower's shadow impact on Queen Street, three blocks to the north, so that it does not add new shadow to the north sidewalk of that street at Spring and Fall equinoxes (when the City always applies shadow studies)…

more -

There are 4,427 houses & townhomes under construction in Toronto, compared to 44,118 condo units: via @BuzzBuzzHome

more -

RT JENNI KIMBALL @YOURPOWERHOUSE: Planned Eau Claire twin ultra-luxury condo towers include $13 million penthouse...IMPRESSIVE!

Calgary Downtown night

stock image via Wikimedia Commons

CALGARY, AB - Calgary’s latest luxury condo development project in Eau Claire, along the Bow River, will be the best engineered flood and emergency prepared residential building ever designed in Canada, says the Vancouver-based developer of The Concord.

Concord Pacific announced plans for the development on Tuesday, which has more than 200 luxury homes on two towers, including a $13-million penthouse, at 6th Street and 1st Avenue S.W. near the Peace Bridge…

Footscray: the new South Yarra of the west? via @ABCNews

buildings, city, city lights

stock image via pexels

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - Footscray is set to become the South Yarra of the west, Victoria's Planning Minister Matthew Guy says, after the approval of four new apartment towers.

The four towers are to range in height from 16 to 28 storeys.

Another new 38-storey tower containing 249 apartments has also been approved for Haig St in South Melbourne.

The projects are located in the expanded central-city area that is slated for major population growth under the new strategy called Plan Melbourne…

But Maribyrnong councillor Martin Zakharov says the Footscray developments are too high…

"One of those buildings that's intended now is going to put the Catholic primary school over the road in shadow all year."…

more -

Tower plans cast shadow over village | getSurrey

Hersham Village - - 51937

stock image via Wikimedia Commons

HERSHAM, UK - Objectors fear the six-storey building would be "the end of Hersham as a village".

A divisive planning application near Hersham village green is set to go before Elmbridge Borough Council’s full planning committee, with objectors keen to make their displeasure heard.

Proposals for a six-storey building comprising 14 flats on the site of Mark House in Queens Road were rejected during a meeting of the north area planning committee by the casting vote of chairman Chris Sadler.

Yet the tight nature of the refusal and its appearance in front of the full committee on June 17 has raised concerns among those opposed to the development.

Retired Lawrence Jackman, of Clarence Road, Hersham, thinks approval would be a disaster for the community.

“It would be the end of Hersham as a village,” he said. “We are lucky here because we have the village green, which is a conservation area. The proposed six-storey block is not what one expects in a village.”…

> Cllr. Roy Green ‏@hershamroy: @SunPosition Hardly a tower just a four storey building

> RB: @hershamroy Couldn't agree more, but I suppose it's all relative.

more -

Kingston town meeting voids windmill shadow flicker ban | The Enterprise

Danish wind turbine

stock image via Wikimedia Commons

KINGSTON, MA – There wasn’t enough support at town meeting to keep the ban on shadow flicker from future wind turbines.

While a majority of the voters, 76-72, favored keeping the zero hour limit imposed at Town Meeting in April, a two-thirds majority was required, and the previous decision was reversed…

more -

RT TorontoStar @TorontoStar: Ossington condo project gets a green light from OMB

 Ossington Avenue Sign

stock image via Wikimedia Commons

TORONTO, ON - Slight amendments will see a six-storey mixed-use building built where residents had hoped for only four storeys.

The Ontario Municipal Board has approved a controversial Ossington Ave. condo development, overruling the city’s bylaw on building height, after the developer made several amendments in response to community concerns.

The OMB found that the six-storey, mixed-use building would have minimal negative impacts and fit with the existing streetscape of the neighbourhood. The developer made several amendments to its original plan, including reducing the height slightly and adjusting the design so the building would create less shade for people living in the homes behind it. The proposal will also break up the large commercial space slated for the first level of the development, capping maximum retail floor size at 500 square metres. As a condition of approval, a pedestrian walkway will be added at the back of the building.

The building will still be higher than the four storeys the Ossington Community Association would have liked…

more -

Planned Prospect Park Tower Throws Shade on Park, Upsets Neighbors via @WNYC

Prospect Lefferts Gardens from balcony

stock image via Wikimedia Commons

BROOKLYN, NY - The Hudson Companies Inc. has started work on a 23-story residential tower a block and a half from Prospect Park in Brooklyn. But some members of the Prospect Lefferts Gardens object to the proposed building, saying it is too tall and will change the texture of their neighborhood…

Prospect Park East Network has filed a lawsuit against the developer, The Hudson Companies, and the construction company. A judge issued a temporary restraining order on the pouring of concrete at the site. The suit alleges that the project will cause secondary displacement of low income residents, and that the state of New York failed to adequately assess the tower's environmental effects on the community…

UPDATE: State Supreme Court Judge Peter Moulton issued a decision that denied the preliminary injunction and vacated the temporary restraining order he had issued.

In an emailed statement, Hudson Companies said it is pleased with the decision. It added that construction continues at the project…

more -

Shadow on abutting low-rise>>>

RT @OttawaCitizen: Little Italy's skyline up for debate at planning committee

File:Corso Italia Ottawa street sign.jpg

stock image via Wikimedia Commons

OTTAWA, ON - The future of Little Italy’s skyline could be decided Tuesday.

A cluster of towers near the intersection of Preston and Carling, including a pair set to top out at 48 storeys, is already in the works, and developers are also eager to build up the small side streets that run west off Preston and dead-end at the O-Train tracks.

The planning committee Tuesday will hear a recommendation in favour of a controversial proposal to construct a nine-storey condo building on Norman Street. It will also debate an amendment to the Preston-Carling secondary plan, which seeks to open the door to another nine-storey development two streets north on Aberdeen even though the plan itself is hot off the presses and not yet approved…

Worried the plans could have a “profound impact on the future of Little Italy,” Somerset Coun. Diane Holmes says she’ll introduce three motions that seek to chop heights as recommended by staff in the secondary plan. She wants height limits on the north side of Norman and Adeline streets brought down to four storeys (from nine) and heights on the south side of Young brought down to six storeys (from 15).

“This is a four-storey neighbourhood,” Holmes said, adding the combination of residential, business and light industrial land uses in the neighbourhood make Little Italy a “perfect” example of a mixed-use area.

Tamarack Homes initially proposed an 18-storey building for the Norman site but has since reduced the maximum height to nine and five storeys, with a row of townhouses facing the street.

But even those heights require a zoning amendment from the city because, under the old rules, the site is zoned for low-rise development, up to a maximum of four storeys.

Under the new rules outlined in the secondary plan, nine storeys is OK.

The city received more than 40 public comments expressing concerns about the proposed development, which is also opposed by the Dalhousie Community Association, the Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association and the Little Italy Business Improvement Area.

“If you allow one, more will come,” said Judy Girard, a member of the group Save Little Italy.

She said the city is “pandering to the developers” by zoning that piece of Norman for nine storeys, even though the proposed 112-unit building Tamarack wants to build would be surrounded by mostly single-detached, two-storey homes on the front and rear.

Girard, who doesn’t live on Norman Street, is worried that adding that many new units to the small street would bring all kinds of extra traffic, mean less privacy for residents, create challenges for emergency vehicles and possibly cast shadows over the immediate neighbours.

“To me, it’s ludicrous,” she said.

As for nearby Aberdeen Street, an Ottawa developer called Miramare Developments wants to build and operate a nine-storey retirement home at 75 Aberdeen.

The facility would house about 150 residents and include an entire floor of subsidized suites for people on low incomes.

The secondary plan calls for development on that stretch of Aberdeen to be capped at four storeys, but the committee is expected to debate a motion backed by Coun. Rainer Bloess that asks for an amendment to allow nine storeys as long as any proponents promise to build a retirement home and design it in such a way that it successfully transitions in height from nine storeys down to fit adjacent low-house development.

“We’re just trying not to have the door slammed,” said Brian Casagrande of Fotenn Consultants, speaking for the developer. “We’re just asking them to keep it open so that something like this can actually come through and have a public process and have a dialogue because that’s how the planning process is designed to function.”

Miramare has also secured an agreement to purchase adjacent land on George Street and proposes to create a through-lot so vehicle traffic can enter off Aberdeen and exit off George, thus addressing some of the traffic concerns raised about proposed developments on the short, dead-end streets, Casagrande said.

City planners, however, say a nine-storey building would also create significant shadow and other microclimate effects on the abutting low-rise properties, particularly those along George, and likely “destabilize the neighbourhood and compromise the secondary plan objectives.”

more -

Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – June 2014

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

Ottawa has 13 min more daylight than Toronto today June 2, and almost 2 hours more than Miami.

Ottawa monthly sunrise and sunset times -

Toronto monthly sunrise and sunset times -

Monthly sunrise and sunset times for major Canadian and US cities -

UV peaks this first weekend of summer at 1:20 pm in Toronto, 1:05 pm in Ottawa, and 1:19 pm in Muskoka.

Summer starts 6:51 am EDT tomorrow June 21. Happy summer solstice. Longest day of the year.

Summer Solstice occurs tomorrow (June 21) when the sun is directly overhead in south-central Libya.

Today (June 21) may have been the longest day of the year, but the latest sunset is yet to come. Toronto June 26.

Cheers, Ralph