Monday, February 2, 2015

Sun Glare While Driving – January 2015

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

Read our weekly news summary “Sun Glare and Driving” at:

Three Colorado Springs police cars hit minutes apart (via @FOX21News)

 COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. - Three Colorado Springs police cruisers were hit in traffic crashes minutes apart Friday morning (ed. Jan 2/15). 

Police said the first crash happened around 8:00 a.m. on southbound Interstate 25 just north of the Tejon Street exit. A CSPD officer was on the shoulder with his emergency lights activated, responding to a traffic assist. As he came to a stop, he was hit by a car that was traveling southbound on the interstate. A second CSPD unit responded and got into position for traffic control, with his emergency lights activated. That cruiser was hit by another vehicle traveling southbound.

The officers involved were taken to Memorial Hospital for evaluation, and were treated and released.

Police said some of the drivers involved reported wet and ice-packed roads and limited visibility due to sun glare.

The second crash happened around 8:30 a.m. in the 6000-block of North Academy Boulevard. Two officers were stopped in the left lane behind a vehicle that had hit a curb and become disabled. The officers were sitting in a marked CSPD cruiser waiting for a tow truck when they were rear-ended by a 2007 Hyundai Tucson. Police said both vehicles sustained heavy damage, and were towed from the scene.

Police said one officer sustained a minor injury that didn't require medical attention. The driver of the Hyundai, 18-year-old Leah Coate, was cited for careless driving. Police said icy roads, speed, and sun glare were contributing factors in the crash.


Sun glare cause >

Oaklyn School Crossing Guard Struck by Motorist | NJ Pen

OAKLYN, NJ - A crossing guard at the Oaklyn School allegedly was struck by a taxi driver Monday morning while in the process of crossing children in the middle of Kendall Boulevard. 

The incident occurred at 7:55 a.m. at “very slow speed,” said Oaklyn Police Chief Mark Moore…

The driver apparently “didn’t see her at all,” Moore said.

“There’s definitely bad sun glare as you approach the school,” the chief said, while noting that the crossing is clearly marked; even preceded by “flashing lights half a block before the intersection.”…


RT Observer-Reporter @oronline: Two school buses collided in the Peters Township high school parking lot.

PETERS TOWNSHIP, PA - A fender-bender between two Peters Township High School student transport vehicles resulted in no injuries, a district spokeswoman said. Both vehicles, a bus and a van, had minor damage after the crash around 9 a.m. today.

“This morning as the bus arrived in the high school parking lot, bus 417 bumped a district van as it was coming to a stop. This issue was not weather-related, but rather a visibility issue from sun glare…


RT Ocean Police @OceanTwpPolice: Here are some tips for driving into sun glare from @AAASafety.

Dangers of Driving Into Sun 

Driving on a beautiful sunny day can provide stunning scenery, but it can also create a hazard if the driver’s view is compromised by a glaring sun.

Just after sunrise and before sunset the sun can shine directly into drivers’ eyes, leaving many motorists driving with a glare. This glare can make it much harder to see the road ahead and potential hazards creating an added risk to drivers. When sun glare is an issue slow down and use extra caution especially while driving through school zones.

So how can you protect yourself? AAA offers these tips for motorists when driving into the sun:

  • Invest in polarized sunglasses – they can help reduce glare.
  • Utilize your sun visor – it can help to block out the sun.
  • Leave more following room – when the sun is in your eyes it can be hard to see what the car ahead is doing. This is one more time when it pays to leave more room between you and the next vehicle.
  • Drive with your headlights on to increase your visibility to other drivers

Additional tips:

  • Keep your windshield clean, inside and out
  • Check your windshield for pitting and cracks
  • Avoid storing papers or other items on the dashboard
  • If having a difficult time seeing the road, use lane markings to help guide you.

Rarely will visibility be absolutely perfect while driving, but if motorists know this and make the proper adjustments, you can minimize any additional risks that come with less-than-optimal visual conditions…


Watch for sun glare rounding curves >

Five people injured in Pulaski County crash | WKYT

PULASKI COUNTY, KY - The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office says that five people were injured in a crash on Ky Hwy 80. 

Deputies say Billy Kelley, 77, of Faubush, was driving his Kia Soul along an uphill curve when a sun glare blinded him on Friday. They say his car veered over the center line and he crashed into a Toyota Camry…


Sun glare can be made worse by a dirty windshield.

Sun glare made worse by frosted windshield >

Woman Charged in Dayton Crash | WHSV

 DAYTON, VA - Police charged one woman after a crash temporarily shut down Route 42 near Dayton on Friday morning. 

Crews responded to a crash near the intersection of Main Street and Route 42 at about 7:30 a.m.

The crash happened when a vehicle pulled out into oncoming traffic onto John Wayland Highway from Main Street, according to Dayton Police Officer Jeremiah Nugent.

Nugent said that the driver, a woman, was taken to Sentara RMH with minor injuries and that police have charged her with failing to yield the right-of-way.

Nugent also said that sun glare on a partially undefrosted windshield contributed to the crash…


Sun blamed in 3-vehicle Winslow crash |

WINSLOW, ME - Blinding glare from the sun may have been a factor in a three-vehicle crash Friday afternoon at the intersection of Augusta Road and Carter Memorial Drive, according to police. 

Police Chief Shawn O’Leary said in a news release that police don’t think alcohol or a snow squall during the afternoon were factors in the crash.

“We believe that the sun had blinded one of the operators from seeing the light, which caused the accident,” O’Leary said in the release…


Police say sun glare likely contributed to the collision - CSPD Police Cruiser Hit During Accident Investigation | KKTV

 COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - A driver is facing a number of traffic violations after he allegedly side-swiped a police cruiser Saturday morning. 

The officer was investigating a traffic accident on North Academy near Union when CSPD says he unwittingly became involved in an accident of his own…

The officer was outside the vehicle at the time and not hurt…

Police say sun glare likely contributed to the collision…


Believe it or not, there's a stop sign in this picture. Did you see it? 

photo by Ralph Bouwmeester


Sun glare can hinder drivers from seeing traffic lights and pedestrians >

Stamford man hit in crosswalk |

STAMFORD, CT - A Stamford woman was charged with running a downtown red light and striking a man that was in a crosswalk during the Tuesday morning rush hour.

Tanya Fensore, 31, was charged with failing to obey a traffic light and failure to grant right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Just before 8:30 a.m. Tuesday a 25-year-old man was crossing from the west side of Summer Street to the east side near the intersection of Sixth Street when he was struck by Fensore, Sgt. Kelly Connelly said.

The man said that two other cars had already stopped at the traffic light and the signal for him to walk was up when Fensore, driving a 2009 gray Nissan Altima southbound on Summer Street struck him while he was crossing the street, Connelly said.

Fensore stopped following the accident and told police officers that there was a glare on her windshield and she did not see the man stepping off the curb.

The man was knocked to the ground and rushed to Stamford Hospital, complaining of pain to the left side of his body, where he had been struck by the Nissan. Connelly said the man did not have life-threatening injuries.


Sun's glare causes three-vehicle weekend crash in Farmington | Franklin Sun Journal

FARMINGTON, ME - Sun glare on Saturday was blamed for a driver on Fairbanks Road crossing the centerline, sideswiping one vehicle and crashing head-on into a second vehicle.

Scott Cochran, 37, Chesterville, was driving a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier south on Fairbanks Road just before noon Saturday. Blinded by the sun's glare, Cochran crossed the centerline and heard horns honking, MacDonald said.

Jennifer Davis, 49, of Damariscotta, driving north in a 2004 Subaru Legacy, drove off the road after being sideswiped near 321 Fairbanks Road.

Cochran then drove head-on into a 2006 Subaru Forester driven by Sharon Buzzell, 63, of Farmington…


Blinding sun behind Burnaby semi-truck crash | Burnaby Now

BURNABY, BC - The sun was to blame for a tractor-trailer jumping the curb and taking out a light standard by Byrne Creek Secondary School Monday afternoon, according to the Burnaby Fire Department…


A fresh warning for motorists - This time over intense sunshine (really) | Yahoo News UK

Careful of the intense sunshine if you’re behind the wheel this evening. 

That warning from the Road Safety Authority and the Gardaí may seem a little off season — but it’s not one they’re making lightly.

“The appeal comes as provisional crash reports suggest that drivers being temporarily blinded by ‘sun glare’ may have been a contributory factor in some fatal collisions in 2014,” the RSA said in a statement.

According to the body’s CEO, Moyagh Murdock:

“Because, at this time of the year, the sun sits so low in the sky, late in the morning and early evening, corresponding with the main commuting times, the sun visor on the car isn’t really much help at all.

If a driver is driving straight into such a sun he or she can be completely dazzled by the sheer intensity and brightness of its rays.

“The situation is made worse if the windscreen is dirty or greasy or if it’s been raining, or the ground is covered with snow. In this situation the glare reflects off the wet or snow covered road to further dazzle the driver.”

The Gardaí provide some advice for motorists on the issue. Essentially…

  • Reduce speed — slowing down on the approach to junctions, corners and bends is critical.
  • Ensure your windscreen is clean inside and out. Add windshield washer fluid, and check that the wipers aren’t worn away or damaged. 
  • Buying polarised sun glasses, and keep them in the car.

“If you are heading East in the morning, the direction the sun rises or heading West in the late afternoon, where it sets, please be conscious of sun glare,” Murdock added.

By simply being aware of this problem, which we all need to take more seriously, we will be able to read the environment and conditions and make better decisions when we are driving.

“Importantly we won’t get caught out or blinded by the sun when turning the next corner.”


Motorists warned of Sun Glare dangers | via @theclareherald

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána are reminding drivers to be aware of the danger posed by ‘sun glare’, which results in drivers being temporarily dazzled or blinded by the intensity and brightness of a low sun on the horizon. 

The appeal comes as provisional crash reports suggest that drivers being temporarily blinded by ‘sun glare’ may have been a contributory factor in some fatal collisions in 2014.

Commenting on the issue Ms. Moyagh Murdock, CEO, RSA said “Because, at this time of the year, the sun sits so low in the sky, late in the morning and early evening, corresponding with the main commuting times, the sun visor on the car isn’t really much help at all. If a driver is driving straight into such a sun he or she can be completely dazzled by the sheer intensity and brightness of its rays. The situation is made worse if the windscreen is dirty or greasy or if it’s been raining, or the ground is covered with snow. In this situation the glare reflects off the wet or snow covered road to further dazzle the driver.

Chief Superintendent Michael O’Sullivan, Garda National Traffic Bureau, advises driver on what they should do, “Reducing your speed is the first and most obvious thing to do. Slowing down on the approach to junctions, corners and bends is critical. You simply don’t know what hazard may be up ahead at these potential risk spots, and one you certainly won’t be anticipating is being blinded by sun glare.”

“Ensure your windscreen is clean inside and out. Add windshield washer fluid to the water in the reservoir and check that the wipers are not worn away or damaged. Replace them if they are. Buying polarised sun glasses, and keeping a pair in the car is also a must. They will help greatly if driving into a sun that’s low on the horizon.” He added.

Concluding Ms Murdock said, “If you are heading East in the morning, the direction the sun rises or heading West in the late afternoon, where it sets, please be conscious of sun glare. By simply being aware of this problem, which we all need to take more seriously, we will be able to read the environment and conditions and make better decisions when we are driving. Importantly we won’t get caught out or blinded by the sun when turning the next corner.”


EB I-70 reopened at Floyd Hill after crash, sun glare issue | via @DenverChannel

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, CO. - Eastbound Interstate 70 has reopened at the base of Floyd Hill.

The highway closed at 8:02 a.m. because of a crash and sun glare…

CDOT issued a warning at 6:35 a.m. that slower speeds were recommended in the area due to sun glare…


Whippany Road motorist, blinded by sun, crashes into postal truck | via @dailyrecord

HANOVER, NJ – A motorist on Whippany Road, temporarily blinded by the late afternoon sun, crashed into a postal truck that was stopped in the right lane of Whippany Road Thursday, according to police… 

The driver, whose name also wasn't available, was travelling in a 1999 Nissan Altima sedan in the right southbound lane of Whippany Road about 4 p.m. when he was unable to see due to sun glare…


Fatal crash driver may have been dazzled by sun | Basingstoke Gazette

BASINGSTOKE, ENGLAND - Sun glare could have affected the driver of a car that fatally collided with a pensioner with a walking stick, an inquest heard.

James Jamieson was crossing Worting Road, near the Morrisons supermarket, when he was struck by a car driven by Baughurst woman Leigh Fuller…

PC Ed Wilson, a forensic crash investigator at Hampshire Constabulary, said CCTV cameras on a building in Worting Road captured the fatal collision on film.

He said as part of his investigations, he drove eastbound along Worting Road, just as Mrs Fuller had, in similar weather conditions and at the same time of day…

PC Wilson said he was dazzled by a low sun just before the crossing point where Mr Jamieson had entered the road which made objects ahead of him “extremely difficult to define”…

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Bradley called the crash “the most appalling accident”.

He said: “It’s quite clear that Mrs Fuller is driving along Worting Road, and she does so in perfectly normal fashion when she’s confronted by the sun. She’s dazzled by that and before she could do anything she strikes Mr Jamieson…


Bez ‏@beztweets: In which, yet again, the police find the well-proven excuse and the coroner duly records an accident.

NJ ‏@Defy_Rider: I've driven since 1981, never been so dazzled by the sun I couldn't see what was in front of me.

RB:  It's not necessarily a lame excuse, but reality.

Grey Cells ‏@greycells: Motorcyclists (frequent wet/dirty visor) *never* feel OK to ride blind. Yet drivers are OK with it...?

RB:  Sun blinding usually comes up unexpectedly, e.g. rounding a curve or corner. Not necessarily negligent.

Bez ‏@beztweets: The sun is shining, is low, and the road turns towards it. How unexpected is it to be dazzled, really?

Grey Cells ‏@greycells: It is difficult to be 'surprised' by the sun. It's the most predictable object in the solar system.

NJ ‏@Defy_Rider: when I turn into the sun I adjust my visor, slow down, put polarising sunglasses on.

NJ ‏@Defy_Rider: Again, I've never been unable to see what's in front. It's not an excuse to kill.

Grey Cells ‏@greycells: Most drivers take the same route every day. Familiarity breeds contempt for any possibility of change.

Grey Cells ‏@greycells: And it is that contempt that is negligent.

Fifth Gear ‏@GearFifth: The road is dead straight.

NJ ‏@Defy_Rider: good point.

RB:  I am speaking in general terms, not case specific. Every situation is different.

NJ ‏@Defy_Rider: The sun is never an excuse, if you can't see STOP!

Grey Cells ‏@greycells: You provide excuses for unacceptable behaviour to drivers on juries, desperate to absolve.

RB:  I look for possible reasons and causes, not excuses, that we can all learn from.

RB:  Continuing to drive into low sun on a straight road may be a cause, but not an excuse.

Grey Cells ‏@greycells: The law is abused to absolve people of their moral responsibility to not harm others

Grey Cells ‏@greycells: We don't learn. Unlike air/rail/sea, nothing changes on our roads. We continue to excuse.

Sun glare blamed, didn't see cyclist >

Attorney Darryl Isaacs seriously hurt in crash | via @courierjournal

LOUISVILLE, KY - Attorney Darryl Isaacs, who has marketed himself as the "Heavy Hitter" and the "Kentucky Hammer" and been described as Kentucky's most recognized lawyer, has been seriously injured in a bicycle accident.

Isaacs, 50, who was struck by a motorist Jan. 19, is recovering at University of Louisville Hospital, where spokesman David McArthur said Tuesday he was in fair condition…

Indian Hills Police Chief Kelly Spratt said Isaacs is lucky to be alive after a motorist hit him from behind on River Road as Isaacs was attempting to turn left on to Indian Hills Trail.

Two witnesses and Isaacs told police that he was signaling the turn with his left arm when he was struck, thrown back into the car's windshield and on to the pavement.

Spratt said the driver, who is identified in a police report as Michael S. Baumann, 20, of Floyds Knobs, Ind., told police he didn't see Isaacs because of the sun's glare. The accident occurred at 4:55 p.m…


Driver blames sun glare >

WAVE: Lawyer's crash fuels bicycling debate

LOUISVILLE, KY - He's one of Louisville's most recognized attorneys. Darryl Isaacs, also known as "The Hammer," is still in the hospital after he was hit by a vehicle while riding his bike on River Road. 

Isaacs told police he was stopped at the intersection of Indian Hills Trail with his left hand out signaling a turn when he heard a car behind him. He looked over his shoulder and was hit around 4:55 p.m. on Jan. 19.

According to a police report, Isaacs was hit by a 20-year-old man who had just left work and was driving down River Road. The driver told police he was blinded by the sun's glare when he hit a man riding his bike…


New push to drop Ontario residential street speed limit to 40 km/h | CBC News

There's a new push to lower the default speed limit on residential roads across Ontario.

The default speed limit in Ontario cities is 50 km/h where there are no posted speed limit signs.

Ottawa-Centre MPP and cabinet minister Yasir Naqvi is asking his government to amend the Highway Traffic Act to lower that speed limit to 40 km/h…


RB:  Lots of 40 kph zones on 4-lane arterials in Barrie. But you can turn onto side streets and legally speed up. Go figure.

RB:  40 kph means slightly lower traffic noise levels than 50 kph. Could result in fewer or lower noise barriers.

RT Steve Overend ‏@SteveOverend1: Lower speed limits on residential streets … via @CTVBarrieNews @TPSChrisBoddy My take on your question this AM 40Km

RB:  Steve, good job on the news clip tonight.

Steve Overend ‏@SteveOverend1: Thx Ralph!

It boggles the mind that you can turn from some 4-lane arterials onto residential side streets and legally speed up.

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – January 2015

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

Check out our weekly news summary “Sun, Shadow & Urban Development” at

Mexican Museum project clears shadow hurdle | via @apollo_lv 

RIGA, LATVIA - A slightly scaled-down proposal to house the Mexican Museum in a high-rise condominium building downtown cleared a major hurdle Thursday, but project opponents said their concerns about shadows means the battle isn’t over.

The Planning and Recreation and Park commissions agreed to exempt the construction of 47-story tower next to the 10-story Aronson building at Third and Mission streets from a city law limiting shadows…


Residents battle shadow flicker | Huron Daily Tribune 

HURON COUNTY, MI - They’ve seen the light, and the shadows.

It happens when the sun hovers low, casting rays toward wind turbine blades.

Then, a phenomenon called shadow flicker: churning blades slice the sunlight, creating shadows that fall on landscape and houses.

It’s an unwelcoming scene for at least two Huron County residents who say they don’t have turbines on their property, but do have the strobe-like interruptions from shadow flicker…


Berkeley residents denounce downtown high-rise plan | via @CCTimes

BERKELEY, CA - The Residences at Berkeley Plaza, an 18-story mixed-use complex proposed next to the Hotel Shattuck Plaza and near the downtown Berkeley BART station, was bashed by residents at a Zoning Adjustment Board meeting last week as a monstrosity that will forever alter the city's character while offering the community little of lasting value.

"Monster building," "sore thumb," "white elephant," "long-term degradation," "juggernaut of development," "shadow over Berkeley" were some of the terms and images evoked by the more than 20 speakers at a Zoning Adjustment Board meeting on Jan. 8…


RT Babak Eslahjou @babak_CORE: My north facing office is getting sunshine due to reflection off of new condo. A nice twist for shadow studies!!

Embedded image permalink


SF Parks Commission Squashes Building That Would Shadow SoMa Park | San Francisco Gate

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - The San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission has rejected a condominium project that would cast a shadow on a SoMa park — the first time ever the body has voted down a proposal based on the 1984 Proposition K Sunlight Ordinance. 

The commission voted 5-0 to turn down 190 Russ St., a proposed six-story, 10-unit development on the corner of Folsom Street. The vote followed two hours of testimony from residents who said the building’s shadow would have an adverse impact on Victoria Manalo Draves Park, South of Market’s only multipurpose public park.

While the building would increase shadow by only 0.07 percent a year, commissioners said the location of the shadow — the basketball court and a grassy knoll — would blot out sunlight for 42 minutes on summer evenings when the park is at its busiest.

“The community has put an exclamation point on the value of that sunlight,” said Commissioner Allan Low. “This is not just significant adverse impact on the park, it would be a significant adverse impact on the community that uses the park.”…


RT jennifer keesmaat @jen_keesmaat: *Small floor plates* for tall bldings lessen shadow, wind and skyview impacts. In @CityPlanTO we push for this.

Embedded image permalink


RT James Parakh, OAA @JamesParakh: Toronto skyline’s ‘absolute transformation’ captured by two photos taken 13 years apart

A recent Reddit post combined two Toronto snapshots from 2001, top, and 2014, capturing the rapid change the city’s downtown has undergone. The city’s skyline had largely been defined for decades by the CN Tower. Now, new office towers and particularly highrise condominiums offer some competition.


Why New York City Is Getting So Many 'Banal, Sheer Towers' | via @CurbedNY

NEW YORK, NY - The technology that allows developers to build the tall and skinny towers that are coming to dominate New York City's skyline is not new; what is new, though, is the seemingly ceaseless demand for the trophy spaces housed in these towers…

The Guardian reflects on skyscraper building practices in New York City throughout time, and how they have determined the sincerity of the skyline. (They, as a British publication, only mildly rub in that planning officials in London negotiate the size and shape of every building with developers.)…

Here are some excerpts related to shadowing from The Guardian's takedown of egotism in construction…

In 2013, Warren St John, a writer who lives near Central Park, began campaigning for a moratorium on new skyscrapers immediately south of the park; his concern was that playgrounds and ballfields would increasingly be in shadow…

The city was overtaken by banal, sheer towers set in plazas that offered very little to the public and, given the height of the new buildings, were often in shadow…

Not only are these new towers casting long shadows on Central Park; they are turning the New York skyline, for most of the 20th century a kind of ziggurat with the Empire State Building as its peak, into a jumble…


Housing loses to sunshine in a S.F. gentrification battle | via @SFGate

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Two ideals — more housing and sunny parks — are on a collision course in a San Francisco neighborhood primed for development. The city’s Recreation and Parks Commission is setting a possible precedent by blocking a small condo project that will shadow a prized outdoor parcel for nearly an hour on summer evenings.

The upshot is a win for a measure passed by voters in 1984 to protect parks against chilly shadows thrown by tall buildings. The decision will protect a basketball court and grassy hill at Victoria Manalo Draves Park at Sixth and Folsom streets.

It’s a modest and notable win for the South of Market neighborhood worried about losing ground to building plans around a popular gathering spot. But it raises another issue that underscores the problem with the motherhood issue of sunlight protection.

The rejected project totaled only nine units. But two others in the works total 92 and 116 units respectively, a sizable addition to the city’s costly housing market. These plans may also be stalled by the sunshine rule if a city commission decides the impacts are “substantial,” a decidedly vague standard.


Last year sets global record for number of tall buildings | Construction Canada

Last year marked the completion of a record number of skyscrapers around the world. 

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) released its annual “Tall Buildings Data Research Report,” listing 97 buildings with heights of 200 m (656 ft) or more completed in 2014, beating 2011’s record of 81 buildings.

Since 2000, the number of 200 m or higher buildings has grown from 266 to 935. Out of the 97 buildings built last year, 11 were deemed ‘supertalls’ (buildings of 300 m [984 ft] or more), bringing the worldwide total to 85. The tallest building completed in 2014 was One World Trade Center in New York City, standing 541 m (1775 ft) high.

CTBUH said 2014 was “the tallest year ever,” reporting the total height of all skyscrapers as a record 23,333 m (76,552 ft).

The report also stated 76 per cent of buildings were built in Asia, with China claiming 58. In Canada, three Toronto structures made the list:

  • The L Tower at 205 m (673 ft);
  • Aura at 272 m (892 ft); and
  • Ice Condos at York Centre at 202 m (664 ft)…


Commissioners discuss possible wind moratorium in secret | via @michigansthumb

BAD AXE, MI - After meeting behind closed doors Tuesday to hear legal advice on putting a halt to wind energy development in the county for the next six months, county commissioners plan to open the discussion to the public next week…

Both Commissioners Clark Elftman and John Bodis cited open dialogue as part of the reason why they voted no on going into closed session…

Bodis, along with other residents, commissioners and an acoustics firm hired to conduct sound testing for the county, say the county’s wind ordinance is deficient and should be revised. Setbacks from property, turbine noise and shadow flicker should be areas to revise, according to Bodis…


Shadow-reducing design >

MVRDV designs a tower with a twist | via @gizmag

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - MVRDV has good form for producing visually-interesting architecture (take the Glass Farm and Rotterdam Markthal, for example). The Dutch firm is set to continue this trend with a new tower in Vienna that twists dramatically, to produce an almost hourglass-like shape…

It will be located in vicinity of Vienna's historic Gasometers, and rise to a total height of 110 m (360 ft)…

MVRDV reports that the tower's twisting shape serves a definite practical purpose. Building regulations required a trapezoidal tower rising to no more than 75 m (246 ft) in height, but the firm pushed for a taller and more compact building. Apparently, the twisting form will ensure that nearby buildings won't be left in an undue amount of shadow despite the increased height.

"In exchange for these concessions in the building’s volume and plan, the impact of the building’s shadow on its neighbors was minimized by MVRDV," says the firm. "The solution was to parametrically shape the lower 10 floors of the building into a twist, to minimize the structure’s shadow cast onto the neighboring facades to only two hours a day."

MVRDV further states that the twisting form of the tower helps to reduce the effects of severe winds common in the area, and that the design for the plaza around the tower serves like an oversized sundial, on which the shadow of the building will display the passing of time…


RT jennifer keesmaat @jen_keesmaat: The Dutch figured out how to build bikeable suburbs, and it wasn't easy there, either


I have family in Holland who own 2 bikes - 1 to get from home to the train, 1 to get from the train to work.

RT Babak Eslahjou @babak_CORE: If OMB is to go, so should the politics of planning and councilor influence. Without OMB, planning should be left to professionals only.

Proud to have prepared shadow studies for 4 of the 5 projects south of Eglinton >

Building on the allure of Yonge St. | Toronto Star

TORONTO, ON - City’s top condo builders discuss the appeal, the character and the transformation of Toronto’s main artery…

Historic Yonge St. was built by Toronto founder John Graves Simcoe as a strategic military and commercial route between Lake Ontario and Lake Simcoe.

More than 200 years later, the artery plays a central role in the city’s evolution…

In the past decade, a flurry of condo development has transformed the stretch of Yonge running through Toronto — and recently, beyond Toronto — into a highly desired residential corridor, from downtown to midtown to the suburbs, driven partially by provincial and city policies that encourage growth along existing transit corridors.

According to figures from market analysts at RealNet Canada, the period from January 2000 to October 2014 saw 135 condominium projects built along Yonge St. In those buildings, 41,923 condos were sold — almost 27 per cent of the total 155,845 units launched across the city.

The Star brought together seven executives of the city’s top development companies with condo projects along Yonge St. — Riz Dhanji of Canderel Residential; Marco Filice of Liberty Development Corp.; Peter Freed of Freed Developments; Anson Kwok of Pinnacle International; Jared Menkes of Menkes Developments Ltd.; Jim Ritchie of Tridel; and Chris Wein of Great Gulf Residential; along with moderator Danny Roth of Brandon Communications — to explain the historic, renowned street’s significance in the residential condo market and what it means to the city...


And likely the tallest sundial ever >

Shadow of Burj Khalifa, the tallest building


39,825 condos are under construction in Toronto, more than Vancouver, Montreal & Calgary combined | via @buzzbuzzhome


The Mid-rise Horizon | Construction Canada

TORONTO, ON - Within the next two decades, Toronto expects its population to grow by 500,000; the city’s plan is to accommodate half of these new residents in mid-rise developments. In light of the fact mid-rises—defined as between four and 11 storeys—are still often seen as an uneconomical mode of development, the city’s plan may seem overly ambitious. 

However, the playing field in favour of mid-rises is being significantly altered by provincial legislation (e.g. the Places to Grow growth plan and the Greenbelt Act), municipal official plan policies related to land use and densities, and, most significantly, building code changes at the provincial and national levels proposing six-storey combustible construction…


Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – January 2015

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

Hockey Central ‏@SNHockeyCentral: Little shade. #WinterClassic

I just hope they don't 'half delay' the game so they end up with both shadows and sun glare.

NHL ‏@NHL: To eliminate any advantage created by sun glare, teams will switch ends at 10:00 mark of the first period.

But sun conditions may be completely different for the 2nd half of the period. Still not fair, nor safe.

Hugh Burrill ‏@Snhughburrill: Just spoke with NHL Deputy Commish Bill Daly. Says the glare issues could push back the start of the Winter Classic to 2:30 tomorrow.

The @NHL could set the game time by modeling the sun glare and shadows long before game day. Months before.

Eric Vegoe ‏@evegoe: “You don’t know what the sun is in the winter time until it’s the winter time and you’re here,” said Daly. Unless you scout a year ahead...

Or model the sun and shadow patterns well in advance of game day.

Our monthly sunrise/sunset tables have been posted

more -

After Jan 2nd the sun starts rising a little earlier again each day in Ottawa

After Jan 3rd the sun starts rising a little earlier again each day in Toronto

Toronto is back to 9 hrs of daylight on Jan 1st and gaining about one minute per day

Ottawa will pass the 9 hrs of daylight per day mark on Jan 12th, gaining almost 2 minutes per day

RT Universe Today @universetoday: How Did We Find the Distance to the Sun?


Cheers, Ralph