Thursday, January 1, 2015

Sun Glare While Driving – December 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

Blinding sun may be factor in rear-end collision | The Telegram

ST. JOHN’S, NL - One person received minor injuries in a two-vehicle collision on Kenmount Road in St. John’s this morning. 

A vehicle rear-ended another causing moderate damage to both cars.

An official on scene says it appears the driver of the car that struck the second one may have been temporarily blinded by the sun…

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> Jim Sobek ‏@ClearlyVis: So, the sun reflecting from the other car was so intense that you struck it? I don't think so…

> @SunPosition: The article doesn't say anything about reflection. But then, the shadow angles in the photo don't make much sense either.

> Jim Sobek ‏@ClearlyVis: I had a case several years ago where the striker made that claim. We showed that the sun was in the wrong place to do it.

> Jim Sobek ‏@ClearlyVis: It was a creative claim, but the jury didn't buy it.

> @SunPosition: Interesting :). I had a case like that too, but the striker caved before it went to trial.

Just finished an interesting project in the US for a civil case - find the time of day photos were taken based on shadow patterns.

Shadows on roadway combined with sun glare can make for dangerous driving conditions >

6-year-old killed in Barrow County crash | WSB-TV

BARROW COUNTY, GA. - Channel 2 Action News has learned the victim in a deadly car crash Wednesday was a little girl.

The crash happened at 5:30 p.m. near Ga. 316 at Christmas Avenue In Barrow County.

According to Georgia State Patrol, a 2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by 50-year-old Mary Kathleen Perry, of Statham, attempted to make a left onto Christmas Avenue when it turned into the path of a tractor-trailer.

Troopers said the impact sheared the passenger side of the Monte Carlo, separating the seat belts from the car. Gracelynn Perry, 6, was ejected. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mary Kathleen Perry was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries.

Witnesses said the sun was setting at the time of the crash, creating shadows on the roadway from the tree line and a glare. They said the Monte Carlo had a green light only, not a green arrow.

Troopers are continuing to investigate the crash…

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Sun glare possible cause >

Two hurt when Jeep collides with Gainesville school bus | AccessNorthGa via @accessnorthga

GAINESVILLE, GA - Two people were injured when a Jeep struck a Gainesville City school bus Monday morning just before 8 a.m.

Sgt. Anthony Coleman with the Georgia State Patrol said the accident happened on EE Butler Parkway at the intersection with Summit Street when the Jeep ran a red light and hit the bus.

"The driver of the Jeep stated that the sun was in his (sic) eyes - there was a glare - didn't see the traffic light," said Coleman.

He said witnesses to the accident confirmed there was a glare from the morning sun that could have contributed to the crash…

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Blinding sun causes school bus collision | The Durango Herald

DURANGO, CO - A Durango School District 9-R school bus ran into the rear of an SUV at 7:39 a.m. Friday on Hesperus Hill, just east of Hesperus on U.S. Highway 160…

Colorado State Patrol Trooper Stephanie Guilfoil said bus driver Santha Huntington, momentarily blinded by brilliant sunlight, didn’t see the SUV driven by Curt Grimes of Mancos.

The SUV and the bus were traveling eastbound directly toward the rising sun when the bus rear-ended the SUV. Grimes’ vehicle was pushed to the right side of the road. The school bus came to a stop about 300 feet ahead on the right side of the highway…

The accident was one of four similar two-vehicle crashes that occurred within a distance of 500 feet, at almost the same time for the same reason, Guilfoil said…

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Sun glare suspected >

Killer crash: 3 die, 10 injured in Westmoreland collision | Jamaica Observer

FARM, Westmoreland - Three people were killed yesterday when the minibus in which they were passengers crashed into the back of a parked truck in this Westmoreland district… 

The ill-fated Toyota Hiace minibus, which started its journey in the Westmoreland capital of Savanna-la-Mar, was en route to Kingston.

The police said that about 7:15 am the driver of the minibus was attempting to overtake a slow-moving truck along a stretch of the recently resurfaced main road, but slammed into the back of an International truck after the driver was forced to cut back in the left lane to avoid colliding with an oncoming motor vehicle…

"Some people seh a sunlight (glare from the sun) mek him don't see the truck. But mi don't see it like that, because any conscious person who know seh, yow, yuh a monitor your unit and yuh don't see where yuh a go, cut your speed," added the injured passenger…

Yesterday morning's crash pushed the number of road deaths for the year to 324. The parish of Westmoreland has accounted for 42 of the total…

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Help stop 3D driving - drink, drugs, distracted. Safe night all. Happy New Year.
Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – December 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

Congratulations to @CanderelRes on their @YCcondos ground-breaking today (Dec 5)!  Honoured to be there. Thank you for the invite.

Those affected by shadowing understandably compare proposed to existing but true test compares proposed to as-of-right >

Metlifecare building consultants say plan to have 'minor' residential effect | via @nzherald

TAURANGA, NZ - Residents living next to a planned two-storey rest home development at Bayfair will lose about two hours of late afternoon midwinter sun from overshadowing. 

But the developer Metlifecare argued that the impact on the Marwood Place homes would have been much worse from a building that went to the limit of what was permitted, as of right by council planning rules…

The building's 3-metre distance from the boundary with Marwood Place was twice the legal minimum, with the 5.6m high external walls about the same height as a typical suburban two-storey house.

Mr Neill said the shadow line from the building would reach the houses between 2pm and 3pm on the winter solstice, depending on their distance from the boundary. Sunset was just after 5pm.

He said it was important to compare the size and siting of the proposed building with the 9m height and 1.5m boundary distance permitted by the City Plan. The legal limit would generate a significantly worse shading situation.

He said it could not be concluded that the development would cause colder houses and higher power bills, when they had demonstrated that shading would be significantly less than an "as of right" development.

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Bringing the city's canvas to life | via @torontostar

TORONTO, ON - The Art Shoppe has been something of an institution in Toronto’s Yonge St.-Eglinton Ave. neighbourhood for decades.

Its longevity notwithstanding, however, the monolithic, brutalist concrete building that occupies the entire block of Yonge, between Soudan and Hillsdale Aves., has done little to enhance street life along this stretch through the years, with no front entrance and showcase windows featuring furniture.

“It’s quite cold, and it doesn’t invite people in,” says Todd Cowan, a principal with CD Capital Developments, the firm partnering with Freed Developments to redevelop the Art Shoppe site into a mixed-use, condo project. Plans include a 28-storey tower on the north side of the property, stepping down to a 12-storey midrise on the south side, and six storeys on the eastern side. Unit sizes are planned to be bachelor, one- and two-bedroom suites with prices starting in the $200,000s.

The development, dubbed Art Shoppe Condos and Lofts in a nod to the site’s outgoing occupant (the venerable furniture store will be moving to a new location) includes a 12,000-square-foot linear park along its eastern side, connecting Soudan to Hillsdale and providing a buffer with the existing neighbourhood.

The project, at 2131 Yonge St. and now in pre-registration phase with tentative occupancy for 2019, will also have two floors of retail at its base, with lifestyle-focused shops and services, restaurants and cafes, and potentially a grocery store…

Sales on Art Shoppe are slated to launch early next year.

It’s taken a long time to get to this point, but project architect Peter Clewes, of architectsAlliance, notes the development will bring much-needed change to street life along Yonge, with two floors of commercial space at the base of the building offering the opportunity to create “large destination retail.”

That retail will help enliven Yonge, extend its commercial corridor south of Eglinton, and develop a stronger connection with the mom-and-pop retailers located south of the site toward Davisville, he says.

Most important, Clewes points out, the condo project will transform the block while still preserving the integrity of the surrounding area.

Call it an artfully executed compromise.

“I think the Art Shoppe development is a great example of how to do tricky intensifications on sites that are near growth nodes but then transition into avenues, and how you interface with neighbourhoods,” says Clewes…

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Allentown getting another new office building | WFMZ-TV / @69News

ALLENTOWN, PA - An eight-story-tall office building, billed as phase three of the Butz Corporate Center at Ninth and Hamilton streets in Allentown, narrowly was approved in a 3-2 vote by the city’s planning commission Tuesday afternoon.

The seven enclosed floors of the new building will stand on pillars over a street level parking lot behind the existing Butz building.

The unusual split vote by the planning commission was spurred by the concerns of several neighbors, primarily that their properties may be damaged during construction.

Some said their places already were damaged during the first two phases of the Butz building construction.

The owner of Fegley’s Allentown Brew Works objected to the possibility that the tall building will block the sun from reaching a solar energy system on the roof of his restaurant at 812 W. Hamilton…

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Proposed student residence raises concerns for south end Guelph neighbourhood | Guelph Mercury

GUELPH, ON - The newly-proposed "Solstice 3" building – a six-storey student residence projected for the corner of Edinburgh and Kortright roads – is causing concern for nearby residents.

On Tuesday evening, GSP Group and HIP Developments Inc. held an open house at the former St. Matthias Anglican Church building on the proposed site at 171 Kortright Road W. Ward 5 Coun. Leanne Piper was in attendance.

"They introduced the application or proposal last night as Solstice 3," she said, completing the trilogy with Solstice residences 1 and 2 along Gordon Street.

In the days leading up to the open house, the developers sent out invitations to residents living within a 200 metre radius around the site, she said. Between 75 to 80 people showed up to the meeting – most of them with strong reservations about the project.

"The majority of the attendees raised concerns and were against the proposal in its current form," Piper said.

Most neighbourhoods recognize the fact that Guelph is a university city and welcome students living nearby, but "where neighbourhoods get concerned, and rightfully so in my opinion, is when the balance is tipped."

When areas around the city develop a high concentration of students and lose their own sense of diversity, it's called neighbourhood destabilization, she said. Once a neighbourhood becomes known as a student area, it invites investors in to capitalize on the demographic and the feel of a neighbourhood can change completely.

"Once you begin a process of neighbourhood destabilization, it's hard to get it back," she said.

Ward 5 Coun. Cathy Downer was also at the meeting. She said she and residents shared similar concerns about the project. These concerns include the size of the shadow the propoed six-storey building would cast,..

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East Washington Avenue sees a smaller-scale development proposal at Few Street | Isthmus Daily

MADISON, WI - A few years ago, East Washington Avenue, often considered the gateway to the city, was a relatively empty and unremarkable street. 

Today, it is hard to miss the Constellation, a new 12-story high-rise apartment building. Several other developments are in the works, including a Festival Foods grocery store.

Rebecca Cuningham, an eight-year resident of the Tenney-Lapham neighborhood says new residential and commercial space is good for the neighborhood, as long as the developers take into account the concerns of area residents…

But a four-story structure concerned many residents at the meeting, who feared it would cast a significant shadow on the homes around it.

McGrath says his team will soon do a shadow study to predict how surrounding homes would be affected by the building. "I think the [shadows] won't be as dramatic as [everyone] thinks," McGrath adds…

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Redevelopment plan for Hotel Jerome advances to council | Aspen Times

ASPEN, CO - The Aspen City Council will soon review the Hotel Jerome’s redevelopment application as the Historic Preservation Commission approved the project with a few recommendations Wednesday.

Owners at 330 E. Main St. have proposed a fourth-story addition to the hotel’s three-story west wing, while adding a new three-story structure behind the historic Aspen Times storefront — a project that would net the 93-room hotel an additional 10 lodge units.

The applicant is requesting four variances, one being a height request for a 54-foot-tall west wing addition. The highest point of the hotel is currently 54 feet, 6 inches, while the commercial core zone district allows for 40 feet. Another variance request involves the construction of two 1,970-square-foot lodge units, which are beyond the 1,500-square-foot allowance.

Another variance request is the plan to increase the average unit size from 569 square feet to 619 square feet, when code calls for units smaller than 500 square feet. The applicant’s fourth variance request involves floor-to-floor heights that are between 6 inches and 18 inches smaller than what is required.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, resident Scott Davidson called the project “tasteful,” adding that hotel owners have a right to renew inventory in order to stay competitive.

“Let’s please help them to continue to maintain the most important building, from a community standpoint, in Aspen,” he said.

Representing himself and multiple neighbors who have concerns, resident Bill Baringer said the project increases the building’s shadow and creates safety issues at a busy Bleeker Street intersection. He encouraged further study and consideration for larger setbacks…

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Archicritic: Howard Hughes Seaport Tower Is a Bad Idea | via @Curbed

NEW YORK, NY - The neighbors hate Howard Hughes Corporation's plans for a 500-foot tower at the base of Pier 17 at the Seaport, and they're not alone. This week, New York's Justin Davidson weighed in, calling the SHoP Architects-designed tower "a neighborhood-killer" and "a Faustian bargain that the city must reject." Davidson concedes that the project would bring much needed improvements to the area including a middle school, a new home for the Seaport Museum, an extended esplanade, a food market, and some affordable housing, and that it would save Pier 17, currently crumbling into the sea, before covering it with the tower. But all this, he says, will still not be worth it in exchange for Howard Hughes opening the door to "wrap the curtain of high-rises around the neighborhood's fourth wall, erecting a new barrier between the seaport and the world beyond" and being allowed to "treat the neighborhood like a gated community." The model that Hughes has used on similarly large-scale community developments in Nevada and Texas, he writes, will not work "for the fragile, antique seaport. A certain judicious neglect is woven into the neighborhood's fabric, a ­benign shabbiness that the company and the architects need to respect."

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City Planning looks to lease 120k sf at 120 Broadway | The Real Deal

NEW YORK, NY - The Department of City Planning is eyeing a 120,000-square-foot lease in the building largely credited for the creation of the modern-day zoning laws administered by — yep — the Department of City Planning. 

The city is looking to consolidate offices at two separate Lower Manhattan buildings into 120,000 square feet at Silverstein Properties’s120 Broadway, according to an application filed by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services on behalf of City Planning.

Also known as the Equitable Building, the landmarked, 1.8 million-square-foot 120 Broadway was the largest office building in the world upon its completion in 1915. With its 38-story walls that rose straight up from the lot line without setbacks, the building enveloped its neighbors in shadow and incited civic fury that lead to the establishment of the city’s first modern zoning laws…

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Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – December 2014

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

Happy Winter Solstice. The sun is heading back north!!!

Sun delay a possibility for the 2015 Winter Classic | The Washington Post

 WASHINGTON, DC - Playing at their home ballpark , the Washington Nationals have grown accustomed to the blinding light produced by the sun setting behind home plate, once dubbed the “Sun Monster” by Bryce Harper because of how it can swallow fly balls and make routine plays a harrowing proposition. 

Now, in the thick of winter, as Nationals Park prepares to host the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, a sunny forecast could throw a wrench into the scheduled 1 p.m. start time…

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Sun Glare and Outdoor Hockey >

Players prepared for sun's glare to cause problems at Winter Classic | TSN

ARLINGTON, VA - Playing baseball growing up in Wawota, Sask., Brooks Laich and friends would light a wine cork on fire to make eye black and guard against the sun. 

That might not be a bad idea at the Winter Classic.

With plenty of sun in the forecast, Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks players must be prepared for sun glare to cause problems and perhaps even delay the start of Thursday's game at Nationals Park. Laich said players were warned about the possibility of the opening faceoff coming later than 1 p.m. because of the sun, and his teammates understand it's a variable they'll have to deal with…

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Cheers, Ralph