Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sun Glare While Driving – June 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:

Dead giveaway you're on phone in car behind me - light turns green & you stay put. Dangerous and bogs down traffic.

Officials suspect captain blinded by sun glare >

4 killed in #Nepal rescue mission helicopter crash

KATHMANDU, JUN 03 - Four people, including a foreigner, were killed in a helicopter crash in Sindhupalchok district on Tuesday afternoon.

The aircraft belonging to Mountain Helicopters was returning to Kathmandu airport from the earthquake-affected Dolakha district, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (Caan)...

Caan said the chopper, which had headed for Bolde village in Dolakha at 2:25pm on a rescue and relief mission, crashed at 3:45pm. Eyewitnesses said the 9N AJP Ecureuil AS 350 helicopter, flying at low altitude, made a contact with high-tension power line and burst into flames at Sila Parbat, south of Yamuna Danda village.

However, Caan officials who reached the crash site, suspect that the captain might have been blinded by the sun glare and caught unawares by some object in front of him...

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Deer looking for food create collision concerns this time of year - usually at sunrise/sunset

Motorists might not think of June as being a high-risk time for running into deer. But, Kevin Baskins, with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says this is one of the more dangerous months of the year for car versus deer collisions…

According to Iowa Department of Transportation statistics, most car/deer crashes happen during harvest season in October, November and December. The month of June is usually fourth on the list. Baskins says deer are usually on the move at daybreak and sunset — so those are the times when most crashes occur.

“And sometimes the lighting conditions can be a little more difficult for motorists too. That setting sun and rising sun can create a glare that makes it a little harder to see,” Baskins says. “So, those are times when people want to be more cautious.”

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Temporary blindness! Essential tips to survive driving in sun and headlight glare

It’s happened to every driver. You’re driving along a roadway when you round a bend or come to a clearing from the trees and boom, it hits you: blinding sun glare in your windshield. 

The phenomena also happens at night when a car coming the opposite way has its high beams on and hits you just the right way, causing a halo-like affect that can make it difficult to see where you’re going.

Whether it be sun or headlamp glare, these phenomena contribute to thousands of accidents every year across the U.S. and elsewhere, according to a number of published sources. In the UK, sun glare contributed to 3,000 accidents and 36 deaths in 2013 alone. In 2008, a U.S. government report estimated that 16.4 percent of all “atmospheric condition” crashes (including fog, rain, snow, and other weather) were caused by sun glare…

Automobile Club AAA recommends drivers handle sun glare in the following ways:

  • Account for time of day: Sun glare tends to be the worst in the early morning and late afternoon. Drivers should recognize these times as the periods they are most likely to deal with this situation.
  • Purchase polarized sunglasses: These glasses have been popular for years among boaters and fishermen who need to reduce the glare from the water, according to Polarized sunglasses offer less eye strain and strong protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use the vehicle’s built-in sun visor: It sounds basic but you can block out the harshest rays of the sun. Just be aware that a visor can also reduce overall vision.
  • Slow down and leave more room: Your visibility and reaction time will decrease so it’s important to give yourself a greater gap to react and avoid a potential accident.
  • Use your headlights: This makes you more visible to other drivers.
  • Clean your windshield: Spots and debris on your windshields make it even more difficult to see in sun glare situations.
  • Follow the marked lanes: Pay attention to lane roadway markings to ensure that you’re at least in the correct lane…

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Happy Fathers Day to all paramedics police and fire dads working today. Thank you all. Stay safe.

Texting while driving is not only dangerous, it messes up traffic flow adding to congestion esp at traffic lights and in stop & go traffic.

Texters are the ones slow out of the gate when the traffic in front of them starts moving again. Really messes up traffic flow.

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – June 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

Shadow concerns in Palo Alto >

Homeowners protest 50-foot office building proposed next door

A planned 50-foot-high office development with a shadow that neighbors said would plunge their home into darkness could receive final approval by the Palo Alto City Council on Monday night, June 1.

The proposed building at 2555 Park Blvd. would tear down an existing 10,800-square-foot two-story office building and build a new 24,466-square-foot three-story building. But Jared and Alice Jacobs, whose Sherman Avenue home is next door, said the Architectural Review Board and the Planning and Transportation Commission erred when they recommended approval of the building, parts of which would be 13 feet higher than the city's 37-foot limit…

The Jacobses' home is located in a mixed-use neighborhood that includes largely multi-unit housing and offices. Their single-family home was zoned as a "nonconforming use" when it was built in 1990 by a previous owner, they said.

But that fact does not disqualify them from city zoning protections, including rules that require projects to limit sun and shade impacts on abutting properties, they said. The project would darken most of their large first- and second-floor southeast-facing windows, including their kitchen, living room and master bedroom, for most of the year, they said…

The city's Architectural Review Board and Planning and Transportation Commission have already voted to support the development, which also has the blessing of the city's planning staff. City planners also recommend granting the developer, Tarlton Properties, the height exception. The extra 13 feet would allow the developer to include in the design two stair towers and a "tensile roof" structure that staff argues would "add a visual element to the building."

The roof structure would be "set back from the edges of the building, to avoid adding to the perceived height and massing and to protect privacy," according to a report from the Department of Planning and Community Environment.

The planning commission also requested that the applicant perform additional analysis on the building's shadow impacts. According to the staff report, the applicant studied shadow impacts at nine times of the day and year and concluded that the structures that increase the building's height "would result in a minimal shade impact on the residential neighbor's home." …

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Park Boulevard office building wins approval | Palo Alto Online

The three-story office building proposed for Park Boulevard in Palo Alto was, by all accounts, an exceptional project.

For opponents, that was precisely the problem.

Dozens of them flocked to the City Council meeting Monday to protest a request by Tarlton Properties to exceed the height limit for a proposed development at 2555 Park Blvd. Located in the California Avenue Business District, between Grant and Sherman avenues, the 24,466-square-foot project would replace an existing one-story building. While its commercial zoning allows for a height of 37 feet, the applicant proposed a roof terrace and two staircases that protrude over that limit, raising the building's height to 50 feet.

The council responded by denying this exception request, effectively killing the roof terrace idea. The council also voted 6-2, with Mayor Karen Holman and Vice Mayor Greg Schmid dissenting (and member Tom DuBois abstaining), to approve the project without the height-adding elements…

Jared Jacobs, who lives next door to the proposed development, argued that the new office building would cast a shadow over his home. Jared and his wife, Alice, each made a presentation to the council, urging it to deny the project…

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Recent CMHC updates on the Canadian housing market | Construction Canada via @ConstructCanMag

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released new data for the nation’s housing industry from the second quarter.

In its report, “2015 Housing Market Outlook, Canada Edition,” CMHC announced overall housing starts will remain stable through 2015 and moderate in 2016…

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Fort York community in Toronto frustrated with 32-storey condo proposal

More than 50 Fort York area residents came out to protest a development at 65 Grand Magazine Street that includes a 32-storey condominium and an attached residential building up to six storeys…

The maximum height for the area is 59-metres; this building comes in at 98.7m with an extra 7.8m for mechanical, bringing its total height to 106.5m to the discontent of many residents…

Ward 19 councillor Mike Layton was in attendance Monday night, and told The Villager he’s not surprised the community is upset about the proposal and voiced that disapproval forcefully at the meeting.

“I don’t blame them. With no retail and just additional height...A jump up to that height is too much and it’s out of character,” Layton said.

Farrell Llyod began a petition against the building a few days ago that has already garnered more than 500 signatures.

The residents in her building are upset and concerned about the impact of the shadow that will be caste on the building’s rooftop amenities, which include terraces and an outdoor pool.

“We bought this building with the amenities in mind,” she said.

“And this 32-storey condo is going to take away from the beauty of the building.”

As a councillor, Layton is concerned with the traffic issues, the lack of green space for the community and of course the additional height request. Many of the councillor’s concerns align with the city’s issues with conformity with the Official Plan, building height, massing, light, and impact on community services...

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Natick Planning Board discusses downtown development - Framingham, MA

Planners this week offered mixed reactions to a proposal to transform a vacant downtown hardware store into a five-story building featuring commercial space and apartments…

Planning Board Chairwoman Terri Evans said project officials need to be cognizant of shadows the building would cast on the Town Common.

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The Clover on Yonge Coming Soon by Cresford Development

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Aquarium firmly against waterfront tower plan via @BostonGlobe

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Developer Agrees To Reconsider Plans For Big Building in Historic Old City Location | CBS Philly 

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Glistening towers cast dark shadows via @amNewYork

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Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – June 2015

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 updated

@HealthyAudrey: @SunPosition Can you give me the position of the sun on August 1, 2014 at 8 am in Boston?

RB: @HealthyAudrey Alt 24.67d, Az 87.69d

RB: @HealthyAudrey Altitude 24.67 degrees (up from horizontal), Azimuth 87.69 degrees (clockwise from true north). Boston sun position Aug 1/14

Sun highest you'll ever see it in Baie-Laval and Saint-Simon-de-Rimouski PQ and Camden ME today @ 12:38pm. Solstice 2015

Longest day of the year is today, but latest sunset in Toronto is at 9:03pm on the 27th. Solstice 2015

RT Universe Today ‏@universetoday This Father's Day is One of the Longest Days in the History of the Earth - Here’s Why

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Jim Sobek ‏@ClearlyVis: @SunPosition The Universe Today article has an error.  Melting ice flowing to equator puts more mass there, and SLOWS rotation, longer day.

RB: @ClearlyVis  The paragraph that follows that statement seems to say the same thing again.

The sun sets the furthest north today (June 21) at 55.7 degrees west of north in Toronto. Solstice 2015

RT Shawn Micallef ‏@shawnmicallef This morning at 8:41AM (June 23), the 30th anniversary of the Air India bombing, the memorial sundial in Humber Bay marked noon at Irish bomb site.

RT Shawn Micallef ‏@shawnmicallef Should have posted this yesterday in case people wanted to go this morn. But a connection here, to where it occurred |

RT Shawn Micallef ‏@shawnmicallef The Air India memorial's sundial design the work of @SunPosition

RB: Shawn, thank you so much for the shout-out about the Air India Flight 182 Memorial in Toronto. @shawnmicallef

On Air India Flight 182 Memorial Sundial: "Time Flies / Suns Rise and Shadows Fall / Let it Pass By / Love Reigns Forever Over All"

RT Paschal Sheehy ‏@PaschalSheehy Ceremonial fly-past by Coast Guard Rescue 115 from Shannon at Ahakista. Remembering those who died in Flight 182

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Cheers, Ralph