Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sun Glare While Driving – October 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

Police: possibility sun glare played a role > Dedham woman fatally struck by pickup | Boston Globe
DEDHAM, MA - A 70-year-old Dedham woman walking to church was struck and killed by a pickup truck as she tried to cross a street Tuesday morning, officials said.
Dedham police responded to High Street near Linden Place in Dedham at about 7 a.m., where the woman was found lying in the parking lot of St. Mary of the Assumption Church, Chief Michael J. d’Entremont said in a statement…
Police are looking at the possibility that solar glare played a role in the fatal accident…

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Sun Glare Can Be Dangerous for Drivers | WKEF ABC 22 DAYTON, OH -

Driving into the sunset or sunrise might sound romantic, but it can be dangerous.
"It's hard to see," said Terence Howard.
"The glare even with the visor down and your sunglasses on I'm always afraid somebody will pull out in front of me," said Rosalie Rice.
"The sun's lower in the sky at this time of year and it's right in their line of vision so it's kind of hard to get that position so you can see around it," said Cindy Antrican, Public Affairs Manager for AAA.
Nationally, only a fraction of deadly crashes are caused by the sun's glare, 195 out of more than 56,000 fatal crashes a year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
But according to AAA, you should still take steps to stay safe.
"If you're having trouble seeing what's ahead of you, please allow more room between you and that vehicle," said Antrican.
It might seem like common sense, but washing your windshield is one of the best ways to help reduce the glare from the sun.
"The dirt on there can increase the glare and make it harder for you to see," said Antrican.
If you're driving and the glare is just too much, give yourself some extra time.
"If you cannot see, do not pull out," said Antrican. "You just may have to wait a couple of minutes, move your vehicle a little bit, try to get in a better position where you can see.
"Be very cautious, don't go over the speed limit and look out for the other guy because you never know what he's gonna do," said Rice.
AAA also suggests if you're driving away from the sun turn on your headlights so the drivers can see you coming toward them.

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Pickup driver in Tillamook County crash that killed cyclist won't face criminal charges via @oregonian

TILLAMOOK COUNTY, OR - A pickup driver who fatally struck a bicyclist on a winding stretch of Oregon 131 will not be criminally charged, said Tillamook County District Attorney William Bryan Porter.
Rather, Frank B. Bohannon, 74, of Oceanside, was cited for careless driving and driving while suspended in connection with the Sept. 19 crash that killed Kerry Lee Kunsman, 67, of San Diego, Oregon State Police said.
According to investigators, Bohannon was driving a 2011 Ford F350 west on the highway near milepost 5 around 5:15 p.m. He rounded a curve and was temporarily blinded by sun glare as he came up behind Kunsman, who riding about 2 feet into the roadway, Porter said…

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NHTSA: 195 fatalities per year caused by sun glare | WKEF ABC 22 more -

For Crop-Dusters, a Hidden Danger in the Fields | The Kathryn Report

CRESTON, IA - Van Lucas flew F-16 fighter jets over Iraq and Afghanistan for the Air National Guard, but the idea of returning to Iowa to fly low-powered crop-dusters a few feet off the ground felt like a new level of danger.
“I said, ‘Show me every place that you can think of that a crop-duster has been killed or wrecked,’  ” recalled Mr. Lucas, 35, who has been flying crop-dusters for seven years. “And that’s what we did. I learned how to fly under wires. I learned about wires being in the tree lines.”
But in recent years, pilots like Mr. Lucas have encountered a new, rapidly proliferating threat camouflaged among the fields, one that has led to several deaths and, safety officials fear, could cause more.
They are thin metal towers, almost 200 feet high, that wind energy companies use to help gather data on the best places to put wind turbines.
Mr. Lucas first encountered one of the towers in 2009, as he was spraying fungicide at sundown near a mammoth wind project in Adair, Iowa. Suddenly one of the towers, anchored by a web of guy wires, appeared ahead of him.
“I just prayed and pulled. Pulled back on the stick and got out of there quick as I could, hoping I didn’t hit it,” Mr. Lucas said. “By the time I pulled up, the guy wires were right underneath the airplane.”
Towers like these — temporary meteorological evaluation towers, or METs — can be erected in a matter of hours, and at 198 feet, most barely skirt the 200-foot limit set by the Federal Aviation Administration requiring marking and lighting for safety.
At least five people, among them three crop-duster pilots, have died hitting the towers since 2003…
On a clear day in 2013, near Balko, Okla., a crop-dusting pilot named Jason Martin, 34, was en route to spray herbicide on a field and flew straight into an orange MET. The impact tore off part of the right wing, and the plane disintegrated upon hitting the ground. A safety board investigation into Mr. Martin’s death concluded that he had not seen the tower because of sun glare…

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AA warns M4 and A55 drivers over low-lying sun glare deaths | WalesOnline

CARDIFF, WALES - The glare of a low-lying sun has contributed to an average of 28 road deaths a year since 2010, according to figures highlighted by the AA.
A major problem in October, around 3,900 road users a year are injured after being dazzled by the sun, the AA said.
In Wales the motoring group said the worst affected roads would be the major east-west routes, including the M4 (South Wales to London), and the A55 (Chester to Holyhead).
The A5, which runs north west to south east between Holyhead and London, can also prove challenging for motorists.
Last year sun dazzle was a factor in 149 accidents in Wales, with Rhondda Cynon Taf the hotspot with 22 incidents, followed by 14 in Neath Port Talbot. The M4 runs through both counties, but the statistics don’t reveal how many, if any, of these incidents occurred on this road.
The motoring organisation drew attention to the figures as sunrise and sunset move into the morning and evening rush hours until the clocks go back on Sunday, October 26…

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Sun's blinding glare blamed for causing 200 road accidents in Scotland | Herald Scotland  via @hsnewsbreak

 EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - The glare of the low-lying autumn sun has been blamed for causing more than 200 road accidents in Scotland last year, according to figures highlighted by the AA.
The problem, which becomes particularly severe for drivers as the seasons change in October, was said to be behind 222 crashes across Scotland in 2013…
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Autumn sun 'kills 28 drivers a year' via @MailOnline

LONDON, UK - Motorists face 'twilight terror' as sunrise and sunset fall in rush hour before the clocks go back.

Glare from the sun is a particular problem in Oct before clocks go back
Around 3,900 road users a year are injured after being dazzled by the sun    
Drivers in north west England are worst affected, according to the AA    
M4, which takes drivers towards London, is one of the worst for glare

Concerns that shadow flicker from proposed wind turbines will distract drivers | Lancashire Telegraph

OSWALDTWISTLE, UK - Plans to build a wind turbine at an Oswaldtwistle farm have been met with anger… John Rawnsley said: “The proposed turbine would be sited close to a main road with a dangerous double bend. The distraction this would cause to drivers and the resulting potential to cause accidents should be considered.
“Also the road, just before the bend, would be subject to shadow flicker, further distracting drivers as they approach a dangerous bend with hidden access roads, bridleways, and footpaths along the route.” …

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Sun glare cause > WBTV: Two hospitalized in school bus crash near Mint Hill

CHARLOTTE, NC - A school bus crash sent two people to the hospital Friday morning.
The crash occurred near the intersection of Albemarle Road and Wilgrove Mint Hill Road near Mint Hill around 8 a.m. Friday.
Officials say a pickup truck ran a red light and hit a CMS school bus…
The driver of the truck said glare from the sun blinded him and he couldn't see the traffic light…

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Don't need to stare: Sun glare can cause issues in low sky | Augusta Free Press  

WAYNESBORO, VA - From now to the end of daylight saving time on November 2 is a deadly time of year for east to west commuters due to the sun’s alignment during sunrise and sunset. Drivers should take additional precautions such as leaving additional space between vehicles, wearing sunglasses, making sure their windshields are clean and slowing down, advises AAA Mid-Atlantic.
During October, the sun will rise between 7:04 a.m. and 7:34 a.m. when drivers are headed out on their daily commutes to work and to drop their children off at school. The sun will set between 6:51 p.m. and 6:09 p.m. when commuters are headed home. “It is during the first 15 to 45 minutes of sunrise that sun-glare becomes a serious hazard to motorists,” advises the National Weather Service (NWS). “Motorists traveling westbound can also experience sun-glare as the sun drops lower toward the horizon,” warns the NWS.
“Just after sunrise and before sunset the sun can shine directly into drivers’ eyes, leaving many motorists driving with a blinding sun glare,” says Martha Mitchell Meade, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “AAA is urging drivers to take preventative measures such as wearing sunglasses, cleaning vehicle windshields, slowing down, and altering commutes whenever possible.”
The National Weather Service and AAA Mid-Atlantic provide safety tips to area drivers.

  • Be aware that drivers traveling toward the sun at sunrise or sunset may be virtually blinded.
  • Clean your windshield outside and inside. A cracked or dirty windshield can magnify glare.
  • Wear sunglasses with polarized lenses, or wear eyeglasses with an anti-reflective (AR) coating.
  • Keep in mind, scratched eyewear makes glare worse.
  • Heed the speed limit, particularly if you are driving into the sunrise on your way into work or the sunset on your way home.
  • Increase your following distance beyond the recommended safe distances to allow three or more seconds between vehicles. The more space you have, the more time you have to react.
  • Turn headlights on so oncoming motorists can see you as they are driving toward the sun.
  • Use your visor as much as possible, but remember that visors can also block your vision.
  • Use sun-blocking or shading tools that can provide protection and prevent sun glare.
  • Consider alternate routes to minimize east/west driving whenever possible. Use north/south streets until you find an east/west road with lots of trees or taller buildings.
  • Be alert to changing cloud cover and changing traffic flow.

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Drivers urged to slow down as sunrise and sunset move into the rush-hour |  The FINANCIAL

TBILISI, GEORGIA - The AA is urging drivers to slow down particularly at sunrise and sunset as AA research reveals that drivers and other road users blinded by the glare of the sun have contributed on average to 28 road deaths a year since 2010.
Dazzle remains a stubborn factor in the injury of a further 3,900 road users each year…

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Sheriff Urges Driver Safety with Season Change via @M3PMedia 

WAMPSVILLEe, NY – Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley is urging motorists to be aware that with the change of seasons, challenges in your daily driving will increase…
Avoid Sun Glare
With the end of Daylight Savings Time comes reduced visibility. Even on familiar roads, it is important that you use additional caution and adjust your driving habits to the different morning or late afternoon glare from the sun. It can cause reflections off vehicle windows and hoods, and can decrease your visibility considerably…

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Glare from a low sun costs 28 road deaths a year | Western Morning News

PLYMOUTH, UK - The glare of a low-lying sun – a particular problem for drivers each October - has contributed to an average of 28 road deaths a year since 2010, according to figures highlighted by the AA.
Around 3,900 road users a year are injured after being dazzled by the sun, with north-west England drivers the worst affected, the AA said.
The motoring organisation drew attention to the figures as sunrise and sunset move into the morning and evening rush hours until the clocks go back on Sunday October 26…
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Sun glare blamed for fatal motorcycle crash | Deseret News via @deseretnews

MAGNA, UT - The bright glare of the setting sun is being blamed for a motorcycle crash that left the rider dead in western Salt Lake County.
Investigators said that glare from the sun was responsible for a causing a 57-year-old male rider to rear-end a car on State Road 201…
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Drivers urged to slow down as sunrise and sunset move into the rush-hour more -

Freak accident. It all started with intense sun glare | @njdotcom MOUNT

ARLINGTON, NJ - It all started with intense sun glare.
Police say a freak chain reaction after a pedestrian collision on Seasons Drive ended with a another person — not involved in that first crash — trapped under a vehicle.
Chief Keith Licata said the sun glare for travelers going east on Seasons Drive Monday morning was intense — and police themselves had to proceed with caution as they traveled along the road to respond to a report of a collision…
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AA warns drivers of dangers of twilight dazzle | Fleet World  via @fleetworldgroup

ST. ALBANS, UK - Drivers are being urged to slow down as AA research reveals that drivers and other road users blinded by the glare of the sun have contributed on average to 28 road deaths a year since 2010.
The organisation says that dazzle remains a stubborn factor in the injury of a further 3,900 road users each year…
Three rules for driving at sunset:

  1. Keep your windscreen clean inside and out – wiping the inside with a cloth dampened in warm water and a little washing up liquid once a fortnight will cut the risk of a screen being blanked out by sun glare.
  2. Slow down immediately – it is tempting to carry on at your current speed hoping that you'll turn out of direct sunlight or that something obscures the glare, but by the time that happens, it may be too late. Use the sun visors rather than rely too much on sunglasses and slow down if you're blinded by sun glare.
  3. Anticipate the effects of glare on you and other drivers – the sun may appear suddenly from behind trees, buildings and other obstacles if you're heading west on major routes or going up hills.

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Detectives say the sun could be to blame > Middle Country motorcyclist hurt in crash | Times Beacon Record

EAST PATCHOGUE, NY - A Selden man was seriously injured on Monday afternoon when a car hit his motorcycle on Montauk Highway, and detectives say the sun could be to blame…

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PennDOT urges drivers to watch out for sun glare, wet leaves during fall season | PennLive

MECHANICSBURG, PA - With fall's arrival, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is reminding motorists to use caution and be alert for seasonal travel hazards, such as sun glare, frosty mornings and wet leaves.
Sun glare can affect morning and evening commutes. Because intense sun glare can affect a driver's vision, motorists can prepare by keeping a pair of sunglasses within reach, removing items from vehicle sun visors and by keeping vehicle windshields clean, PennDOT said…

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Be prepared for worst sun glare before about 8:25am and after 5:45pm this week on Toronto streets. Sunglasses and visors ready.

Worst sun glare conditions occur during rush hour these days.

New studies point out dangers of 'talking' to car | Fox News

WASHINGTON, DC –  Just because you can talk to your car doesn't mean you should. Two new studies have found that voice-activated smartphones and dashboard infotainment systems may be making the distracted-driving problem worse instead of better…

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It's that time of year again when sun-related crashes are way up. Have sunglasses handy, clear your visor and slow down.

Sun Glare Might Have Contributed to School Bus Crash in Norwich | NBC Connecticut

NORWICH, CT - Police said sun glare might have been a factor in a crash that involved a school bus and a car just before 8 a.m. on Asylum Street in Norwich on Wednesday morning…

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Reflective sun glare obscures driver's vision > Mazda Sued Over Allegedly Defective Dashboards | National Law Journal

Dashboards in some models of Mazda Motor of America, Inc., sedans and hatchbacks are allegedly so defective they melt in the sun, ooze a gooey substance, give off a noxious chemical odor and become so light-reflective that they make it dangerously difficult to see out the windshield, a proposed class action alleges...
Of even greater concern, the car owners say, is the serious safety risk that comes from the way the shiny dashboard reflects the sun, creating a blinding glare that makes seeing through the windshield difficult…

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How to Mow Safely Near Traffic | Total Landscape Care

A Florida landscaper is mowing the grass in a road median about 8:15 a.m. While he is mowing, a mid-size pickup truck approaches the work area. The driver’s vision is impaired from the sun glare, and he misses a curve in the road. He veers to the left and drives onto the curbed median. The pickup’s windshield and side mirror strike the landscaper, killing him…

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Sun glare blamed in AM motorcycle crash | @KCCINews

DES MOINES, IA - A motorcycle rider suffered neck and back injuries in a crash Thursday morning.
The crash was reported in the 3500 block of Vandalia Road about 7:50 a.m.
Police said the motorcycle was headed toward the rising sun when a truck pulled out…

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Recognizing the Dangers of Being a Pedestrian | SGP Law Blog

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that in the United States alone, there were nearly 5,000 fatalities in pedestrian-related accidents in 2012. The study also reported the total estimated amount of injured pedestrians in traffic incidents was about 76,000…
Drivers can often not “see” a pedestrian because of sun glare or dirty windows. Make sure you and your vehicle are prepared with sun visors and/or sunglasses to decrease light glare, and have your car’s windows cleaned frequently, which will increase visibility of pedestrians…

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Sun blamed for bus accident in Manomet | Wicked Local Plymouth

PLYMOUTH, MA – Solar glare was blamed Monday after a school bus from Woburn crashed in Manomet…

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Fatal collision with tractor in Haldimand County - sun low in west reportedly caused visibility problems for EMS | Simcoe Reformer

SIMCOE, ON - Todd Hunt was looking forward to a night of music at the Norfolk County Fair when he collided with a large tractor on Walpole Concession 6 Saturday, Oct. 11…
The most likely explanation, however, involves the sun. At 6:20 p.m. when the crash occurred, the sun was low in the west and reportedly caused visibility problems for emergency workers rushing to the scene. Hunt’s family thinks he simply didn’t see the tractor coming as he drifted into the eastbound lane…

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Family of Waterlooville lollipop man still seeking justice for him | Portsmouth News

WATERLOOVILLE, UK - Relatives of Ray Elsmore said they can never accept the events that led to the grandfather’s death could not have been avoided.
But Coroner David Horsley said it would have been ‘difficult for anyone’ to see the 82-year-old standing in the road due to the dazzling glare of the sun on December 5, 2012…

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Glare from the sun may have been a factor in Kings Mountain Highway fatal crash | WBTV 3 Charlotte, NC

GASTON COUNTY, NC - Two people died in a crash on Kings Mountain Highway late Wednesday afternoon.
Police say accident happened about 6:30 p.m. when a truck slammed into a Honda car while it was making a U-turn….
Police say glare from the sun may have been a factor in the fatal crash…

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Attorney Weighs In on News Reports about School Bus Crashes in Fairfield County and Across Connecticut | PRWEB

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, CT - In the wake of a pair of recent bus accidents sending over a dozen school children to the hospital, attorney Jeremy Vishno stressed the importance for all drivers to practice safe driving habits when near school buses, including avoiding dangerous behavior such as texting while driving and other distractions…
A Fairfield Citizen article published October 16, “Nine students hospitalized for minor injuries after Kings Highway school bus collision,” revealed that a bus accident on Kings Highway East in Fairfield sent nine middle school students to the hospital. According to the article, the bus was stopped and rear-ended by a car that failed to stop in time.
Just one week earlier, News 3 reported that a school bus accident occurred in Norwich after a jeep crossed the center median on Asylum Street and sideswiped a school bus. The October 9 article, “Norwich bus crash sends 9 students to hospital,” indicated that sun glare may have been a factor in the crash, which sent nine students to the hospital with minor injuries…

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Add in some sun glare, deadly. MT @SafeDriver: Driving in morning with dew across your windows is a "dew not"!

Sun glare blamed for accident Friday evening in Montgomery Co. | KJAN Radio

MONTGOMERY, IA - Officials say gun glare is being blamed for a non-injury accident Friday evening, in Montgomery County. Authorities say an SUV driven by 16-year old Leatha Renee Bennett, of Red Oak and registered to Fly A Cattle Company, was stopped at the intersection of K Avenue north of Highway 34. When she looked to the west, sun glare caused her not to see an eastbound pickup. When the SUV pulled away from the stop sign, it was hit by the pickup that was driven by 41-year old Robert Allen Childs, of Red Oak…

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@sunposition: @JimmieJohnson Which tracks do you find worst for sun and shade?
> @JimmieJohnson: The late stages at PIR are tough with the sun in your eyes.
> @sunposition: @JimmieJohnson Here's a link to a sun angle diagram I prepared for the Nov 9/14 NASCAR race at Phoenix International Raceway -

Winter Driving Means Going Back to the Basics | DriveWise Road Safety
Don’t shoot the messenger, but winter is just around the corner. I don’t need to tell you what that means, but I will anyways: snow, ice, freezing temperatures … all the good stuff.
Of course, one of the major challenges that comes with this shuddersome season is driving. It’s tricky, takes effort and a great amount of patience, not to mention some white knuckles come March or April or even May…
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Sunset is at 6:10pm EDT. RT @SouthSimcoePS: Hallowe'en Safety Tips For Kids

Sunglasses and visor ready. RT @TikiBarber: Sun glare beating me down driving home to NJ right now!!

Fall Driving Offers Challenges | Pathway Hyundai

While most drivers cringe at the thought of winter driving – blizzards, icy roads and the dreaded black ice – drivers should be aware that fall has its own unique conditions to challenge even the most confident driver…
Sun glare makes it nearly impossible to see traffic lights and prevents you from knowing when you are supposed to stop or apply brakes. It affects your sight for several seconds after exposure. Polarized sunglasses may help but even they are no match if the angle of the sun has you temporarily blinded by its glare. Make sure your windshield is clean (dirt or grime causes light to scatter, increasing glare), avoid using high-gloss products on your dash that can increase reflection and slow down, especially in heavier traffic…

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Drivers: Be extra careful during your commute after the time change b/c the sun will have "moved" from what you're used to.

Here's a link to a sun angle diagram I prepared for the Nov 9/14 NASCAR race at Phoenix International Raceway

PIR sun angles
  image by Ralph Bouwmeester

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and six-time champion, Jimmie Johnson, told me via Twitter on October 25, 2014, that "The late stages at PIR are tough with the sun in your eyes."
Of course, I wanted to see how the sun angles look at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) so I prepared the diagram below to illustrate the case.  The next race scheduled at PIR is on Sunday, November 9, 2014, beginning at 1:00 pm MST (3:00 ET) - this is the last race in the Eliminator Round and the last race before the Championship Race at Homestead-Miami on November 16th.  
The diagram below shows the sun angles at PIR for the November 9th race.
Looks like Jimmie was absolutely right... was there ever any doubt??
Click the above image to enlarge.

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Cheers, Ralph

NASCAR Sun Angle Diagram - Phoenix International Raceway

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and six-time champion, Jimmie Johnson, told me via Twitter on October 25, 2014, that "The late stages at PIR are tough with the sun in your eyes."

JJ reply

Of course, I wanted to see how the sun angles look at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) so I prepared the diagram below to illustrate the case.  The next race scheduled at PIR is on Sunday, November 9, 2014, beginning at 1:00 pm MST (3:00 ET) - this is the last race in the Eliminator Round and the last race before the Championship Race at Homestead-Miami on November 16th.  

The diagram below shows the sun angles at PIR for the November 9th race.

Looks like Jimmie was absolutely right... was there ever any doubt??

Click diagram to enlarge.

PIR sun angles

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – October 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

Seattle Wants to Change the Whole Conversation on Streetcars | CityLab

SEATTLE, WA - The city is currently planning a new leg of its burgeoning streetcar system, called the Center City Connector, that will run in its own exclusive lane. It could be the first real test case to show whether the new North American streetcar can actually be a useful part of a city's transportation system, and not just a development tool with questionable mobility value…

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London planners to ask council to approve high-rise on health unit lands via @metrotoronto

LONDON, ON - Planners at the City of London have given an endorsement to plans for a new tower downtown.
If council agrees, it will mean the Middlesex-London Health Unit building at the corner of Ridout Street and King Street will be replaced by a 95-metre high-rise for commercial, office and residential use.
It will also be a big part of the revitalization of the core, chief city planner John Fleming said Wednesday, close to the historic courthouse building and carefully designed to create a new link to the Forks of the Thames…

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Do you need to know how much sun your Toronto condo gets throughout the year?
Sun Exposure Chart -

Melbourne's proliferating high-rise towers need to be planned carefully | The Age
MELBOURNE, AUS - Melbourne's proliferating high-rise towers need to be planned carefully to avoid damaging the city's laneway culture, one of Chicago's highest-profile modern-day architects Jeanne Gang says…
She praised the fact that the city's high-rise towers appeared to be clustered together, rather than uniformly spread out over the CBD – "different districts have different characters" – but also said it was crucial for the proliferating multi-residential towers to incorporate the city's laneways into their footprints.
"The tall buildings that are being planned should pay attention to the vibrancy of the laneway pattern and incorporate it," she said. "It would be terrible if we lost that quality."
Rules protecting the wider environment also need, however, to be able to give developers the ability to be creative and make a return, she said. In New York, Gang designed Solar Carve, a 17-storey commercial building adjacent to the High Line, a linear park built on top of a disused railway line.
To prevent the trunk of the building throwing a large section of the High Line into shadow – even though planning regulations would have permitted it – Gang shaved off one side of the building, so it rises up from the ground outwards, to increase the sunlight falling onto the park.
In planning a building that reduced the floor area of the tower at lower levels, they were able to convince planning authorities to let the building go higher than it could otherwise as an offset, Gang said.
A tall building, she said, is "vertical infrastructure" for a city and needed to be given as much consideration as any other infrastructure... 

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Will Gary Barnett Bring a Third Skyscraper Shadow to Central Park? - Businessweek via @BW
NEW YORK, NY - It appears that prolific New York developer Gary Barnett is planning another supertall, skinny tower on 57th Street in Manhattan. The Wall Street Journal reports that Extell Development, Barnett’s firm, is in negotiations to purchase a site owned by Calvary Baptist Church on the same block as Extell’s 1,004-foot One57…

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Shadow impacts one concern > Property owners sue New Haven, developer over zoning changes | New Haven Register

NEW HAVEN, CT - Owners of a competing property are suing developers of a proposed apartment complex in Wooster Square as well as the city over a zone change and amendment that could delay construction for months, and maybe longer.
The City Plan Commission and the Board of Aldermen approved the changes as a way to provide a transition area from downtown to residential Wooster Square.
The suit is being brought by the owners of the Strouse Adler “Smoothie” building at 78 Olive St., that was converted to apartments decades ago, one of the first to take an iconic part of New Haven’s industrial past and bring it alive with a new use…

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Make the most of a fading resource : light | Toronto Star

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a very real condition often described as a type of depression related to seasonal — and light — changes.
I’m not pretending to be a scientist or a mental health expert. But one thing we can all agree on is that when the sun is shining, we tend to feel better. It’s obvious that our environment plays a major role in our physical and emotional well-being.
Exposure to sunlight, as well as our food intake, contributes to our bodies’ levels of vitamin D — which helps us absorb of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate and zinc. Natural light goes a long way to improving our disposition, health and also productivity…
Integrating natural light is one of the most beneficial, and cost effective, ways in which you can improve your workspace. Not only will you save on utility bills, but also natural light will enhance your frame of mind, reduce eyestrain and heighten your efficiency.
If you’re considering renovating and want to repurpose an unused space (perhaps an attic) for an additional bedroom, reading area or studio, you’ll want to add natural light. In small rooms you don’t want to lose valuable wall space so skylights are one of the most straightforward solutions.
Skylights provide up to twice as much natural light as vertical windows and three times as much as dormer windows. Furthermore, because of their angle to the sun, skylights can provide natural light deeper into the centre of a home if well-designed…

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Living in the Noisy Shadow of a Mega Development Project | New York Observer

NEW YORK, NY - New York’s tallest sliver – the skinny condo shooting up at 432 Park Avenue – recently topped out at 1,396 feet, making it the highest residential edifice in the Western hemisphere (to distinguish it from gravity-defying high-rises in Dubai, Malaysia, Abu Dhabi and other Eastern hubs)...

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The shadow of The Shard, western Europe's tallest building, is cast over buildings lining the Thames in London |

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Mining Tax Data to Map the Past and Future of Urban Development in New York | Hyperallergic

NEW YORK, NY - Last year, the City of New York released a huge trove of tax data to the public. Called Property Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO), the information might not seem terribly thrilling, a dry assortment of building dates, square footage, and property value, but for those looking to map the city’s history and potential future it is an incredible resource.
Urban Layers, showing the Cooper Union Foundation Building in red and newest buildings in blue (screenshot by the author)
Now several projects are utilizing PLUTO to experiment with visualizing the development of New York City. One of the most recent is called Urban Layers. Created by the architectural practice Morphocode, it merges the PLUTO data with NYC building footprints to create an interactive map of the development of buildings in Manhattan (along with Governors, Randalls, and Roosevelt islands) going back to 1765…

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Councillor hoping to talk things out with those for and against Inglewood condo development | 660News

CALGARY, AB - The city councillor for Inglewood is hoping to clear up some misconceptions about a luxury condo project facing stiff opposition from residents.
Ward 9′s Gian-Carlo Carra says it’s a misnomer to call it a tower since the proposed 22.5 metre high building is only eight feet off from what’s allowed in an existing by-law.
He says a letter distributed by the Inglewood Community Association inaccurately claimed he was not supporting them, when in fact, Carra hasn’t made his mind up about the development.
Carra said the letter also suggested shadowing from the structure would be a massive issue.
‘What the proponent has proven is that the 22.5 metre building that they are proposing will shadow the backyards of the homes on 8th Ave. across the alley, no more than the 20-metre building that they are allowed to build today,” he said…

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Too tall for Inglewood? Proposed Calgary condo concerns neighbours via @CTVCalgary

CALGARY, AB - A proposed 9 Ave. S.E. condominium complex has some Inglewood residents worried the project could cast an unfavourable shadow on the neighbourhood.
If approved, Avli on Atlantic will be the tallest building in the area and the 22.5 metre structure will exceed the Inglewood Development Plan’s current maximum height allowance.
Developers are asking Calgary City Council to grant an easement allowing for the condo building to be erected as planned, eclipsing the 20 metre height limit.
Some people who live in the shadow of the proposed building fear a height allowance exception could lead to further development…
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Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – October 2014

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

Our monthly sunrise/sunset tables have been posted |

Thank you @blogto for shout out about Air India Memorial > 10 secret things you might not know existed in Toronto | BlogTO

DSCN2777 (2016_03_17 21_48_44 UTC)

image by Ralph Bouwmeester

TORONTO, ON - There are few truly secret places in a city the size of Toronto, but we nevertheless remain fascinated by that which is under the radar, under appreciated or just out of plain sight. Such is the case with this list. Toronotophiles might not find many surprises here, but those whose interest in the city's history and streetscape is more passive, will likely discover a host of intriguing new things to explore. Even as we have published similar lists in the past, the city is continually revealing itself, and it remains impossible to exhaust its various hidden pleasures in but a few posts.

Here are 10 "secret" things that you might not know existed in Toronto…

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Sunset in Toronto on Thanksgiving Weekend is about 6:39 pm.

Halloween sunset times for select Canadian and US cities -

Torontohenge is coming up on October 25th

TORONTO, ON - On October 25, 2014, the sun sets in line with Toronto's major east-west streets offering photographers a great opportunity to capture the sun as it perches on the horizon between the canyon walls of buildings on either side of the street.  Sunset is at 6:18 pm EDT.

Although Torontohenge technically falls on October 25th, great photos can be taken in the days leading up to the 25th as the sun hovers directly above the street prior to sunset.

The photo below is a rendering showing the time and position of the sun (approx.) when it is in line with east-west streets between October 15th and 25th.  As you can see, there are lots of opportunities for great shots shortly after 6 pm…torontohenge graphic

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Viewing times for Torontohenge October 2014 -

Are you ready for Torontohenge this week? -

How to Take Great Photographs of the October 23rd Partial Solar Eclipse and More | Universe Today Partial solar eclipse, North Cascades National Park WA

stock image via Wikimedia Commons

Get those solar viewers out… the final eclipse of 2014 occurs this Thursday on October 23rd, and most of North America has a front row seat. Though this solar eclipse will be an exclusively partial one as the Moon takes a ‘bite’ out the disk of the Sun, such an event is always fascinating to witness. And for viewers across the central U.S. and Canada, it will also provide the chance to photograph the setting crescent Sun along with foreground objects…

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Tulane Students Upcycle Traffic Signs into Shade Canopy via @archdaily 

TULANE, LA - Tulane City Center and a team of Tulane architecture students worked together with the Lousiana Outdoor Outreach Program to design a shade structure made from traffic yield signs for a challenge course in City Park. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding tree canopy and the structure of the ropes course, the design team crafted a faceted, curving aluminum canopy suspended by steel cables with an earthen berm for seating below…

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Possibility of Torontohenge combined with Solar Eclipse tonight (Oct 23) just before sunset in Toronto

Toronto Halloween sunset 6:10pm. Other locations here >

Ottawa Halloween sunset 5:51pm. Other locations here >

Latest sunrise of the year in Toronto this Saturday, Nov 1st - 7:53 am.

Drivers and parents: Barrie Halloween sunset at 6:09pm.

Latest sunrise of the year in Barrie this Saturday, Nov 1st - 7:56 am.

Sunrise is later now than in the dead of winter.

Cheers, Ralph