Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sun Glare While Driving – November 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:

RT YoungDriversofCanada @YoungDrivers The Fall Back time change can cause traffic collisions. Read more at

A study conducted by the Insurance Bureau of British Columbia (ICBC) revealed that the two weeks following the end of daylight savings time resulted in a 16 per cent increase in the average number of vehicle collisions in the late afternoon commute of motorists...

> @YoungDrivers Plus, sun conditions will be quite different after the time change. Anticipate and adjust.

RT Shane O'Connor @oconnorshane Bowie Patch: Schools Ban Bus Drivers From Texting While On Road

> @oconnorshane  seriously? It's sad when the only way to stop texting is by banning it.

Prince George's County Public Schools bus drivers now face the loss of their jobs if they use cell phones while driving.
Prince George’s County school officials have changed policy to make texting while driving a school bus an infraction that could result in a driver’s firing.
The change was made this week after NBCWashington recently shared video of a county school bus reportedly texting while driving students…

Reminder to drivers - due to the time change , sun conditions will be completely different this week from what you're used to.

RT PennDOT ?@PennDOTNews Keep your visors clear of clutter!  Sun glare can blind you in an instant.  See for more fall safe driving tips. > Safe driving tips for Fall from @PennDOTNews      

PennDOT reminds motorists that wet leaves, fog, sun glare and frost are a few driving hazards that they will encounter this fall but there are steps drivers can take to help make their commutes safer…
Sun glare can be most problematic during sunrise and sunset which coincide with morning and evening rush hours. The intense glare from the sun on the horizon can blind a driver, causing an unexpected traffic slowdown…

RT Scott Marshall @SafeDriver  Driving into the sunset (or sunrise) isn't always romantic. Here's a few tips to help drivers with the glare;

image via


Driving toward the bright sun isn’t always relaxing and driving into the sunset isn’t always romantic. Sometimes it can be blinding. Even though that’s the case there are a few things we can do to help make driving safer in those conditions.
The most common thing drivers do when they’re faced with bright sunshine are sunglasses. Wearing a pair of sunglasses will help to block the glare, not just the brightness. They help you focus on the things you need to while driving, including the traffic lights, pedestrians, road signs and other road users….
Other than sunglasses, don’t forget about the sun visor to help block the sun...
Sometimes the sun can be high enough to not really bother us, but the added glare from the sun can make it difficult for us to see properly while driving. To help reduce this glare, ensure you clean the inside of your windshield regularly. Using a glass cleaner will help get rid of the grime that seems to gradually build up over a period of time. If you allow smoking in your vehicle, cleaning the inside of each window every few weeks will make a huge difference.
Here’s the second worst case scenario. You’re heading toward the sun with sunglasses on, the sun visor lowered and the inside of the windshield clean, but the sun is below the visor and it prohibits your view, what can you do? If you always keep a hat with a brim, such like a baseball hat it can help to shield the sun while you drive…
Regardless of all the things you’ve done to help keep your visibility while driving toward the bright sun, it’s getting tougher to see clearly from that glare, what do you do? Pull over to a safe place and wait for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until the sun has gone behind the buildings or trees. Once that happens, you know you’re good to go again…

> Thank you to Scott Marshall for the great tips.

Time change hazards for driving -

Every year when the time changes occur, in the spring and fall, the risk of commercial motor vehicles being involved in a crash increases. The change in sunlight hours can be disruptive to a driver’s routine and increase the likelihood of a crash, such as a rear-ending or lane change crash.
Two hazards associated with the time change season are sun glare and reduced visibility. During these periods, the angle of the sun changes which can create sun glare that is problematic to all drivers. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, sun glare contributed to 16.4% of crashes…

Sun glare partially responsible >

Car accidents on Grand Island Bridge cause severe delays - via @WGRZ

Some people’s already busy morning rush was delayed even further after several car accidents on the I-190 Monday morning.
State Police say there were at least six car accidents on the Southbound South Grand Island Bridge. The accidents caused both lanes to be closed and severe backups.
Three of the accidents involved multiple cars. They took place about a quarter of a mile from the base of the bridge.
Police say the sun glare was partially responsible…

RT @NHTSAgov cautions clock adjustment may catch drivers by surprise - sun glare or darkness at different parts of familiar drive.

RT @LititzDaily  Was End of Daylight Saving Time a Factor in Lititz Pedestrian Fatality? 

The accident came one day after the end of Daylight Saving Time, during what is reportedly the most dangerous week of the year for pedestrians.  Just two days prior, there was still waning daylight at 5:45 p.m along Woodcrest Avenue.
But after the abrupt end to Daylight Saving Time early Sunday morning, the sky would be dark along the popular street for joggers, bike riders, and pedestrians when Grover and her canine companion crossed the road Monday night.
Could the sudden end to Daylight Saving Time have been a factor in the accident? Tonight, the sun will set at 5 p.m. in Lititz, as family and friends of Karen Grover grieve her passing…
The NHTSA also cautions that the clock adjustment could catch some drivers by surprise – with sun glare or darkness occurring during different parts of their familiar driving routine.
According to a 1995 study, a change from daylight to twilight was associated with about a 300% increase in fatal pedestrian crashes. Based on their findings, the authors of the study predicted that retaining Daylight Savings Time year-round would save an average of 180 pedestrian lives each year…

According to 1995 study, a change from daylight to twilight was associated with about 300% increase in fatal pedestrian crashes.

Sun glare being investigated >

One woman killed, another injured in South End crash - Boston News |  

RT antoinette antonio @antoinetteA Driver says sun blinded her just before she hit two women, one died.

Sun glare may be to blame in fatal crash | WCVB Home via @WCVB

BOSTON - Two older female pedestrians were hit in the South End Wednesday afternoon, and one of them has died.
Police said the two were hit at Tremont Street and West Brookline Avenue...
Now investigators are trying to figure out if it was sun glare that caused the crash. No charges have been filed against the driver...

Sun glare + frost on windshield >

High-collision location - Williams Lake Tribune via @BlackPressMedia

RT Today's Country 95-5 ?@country95 Driver involved in Whoop-Up collision in critical condition. Sun glare may be contributing factor in crash...

Emergency crews respond to a two-vehicle collision at the intersection of Western Avenue and Johnson Street Tuesday morning. Williams Lake RCMP Staff Sgt. Del Byron said the motor vehicle incident occurred at approximately 8:15 a.m. when a southbound driver on Western Avenue ran through the stop sign obscured by frost on the windshield and the morning sun’s glare and T-boned another vehicle...

NASCAR drivers planning for sun glare @PhoenixRaceway need to know this -

Jimmie Johnson:  “The late stages at PIR are tough with the sun in your eyes.”

PIR sun angles

Environmental conditions, including sun glare, are believed to have contributed to crash in Lethbridge -

On Nov. 13, 2015 just after 3:30 p.m. police and paramedics responded to a report of a collision in the westbound lanes of Whoop Up Drive near the University Drive exit. Investigation determined a Pontiac Montana collided with the back of a wheeled loader that was in the process of removing snow from the roadway. The 72-year-old male driver of the mini-van sustained life-threatening injuries and after being extricated from his vehicle he was transported to Chinook Regional Hospital. He is currently in critical condition and not expected to survive. The driver of the loader was not injured.
Speed and alcohol are not considered factors in this collision, however environmental conditions, including sun glare, are believed to have contributed to the crash...

Deer season. Sun glare can make it very difficult to see deer that are about to cross the road >

Morris County Motorists Should be on the Alert During Deer Rutting Season -

State wildlife officials are reminding motorists from across Morris County, from Lincoln Park and East Hanover to Jefferson and Long Valley, to be alert for white-tailed deer crossing their roads with the arrival of the fall breeding season, a time of year when deer may unexpectedly dart onto roads and cause accidents.
Motorists are urged to be especially attentive during morning and evening commutes when visibility may be poor, according to experts from the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife...
During rutting season, deer are most active in the very early morning hours and around sunset, when visibility conditions can be very difficult. This is when bucks are most actively pursuing does thus aligning commuting times with periods when deer are most active.
Low levels of light and sun glare can make it very difficult to see deer that are about to cross the road. Moreover, multiple deer may cross the road at any given moment, usually in a single file…

Plan to remove crosswalk with sun glare problems >
LAH City Council addresses traffic safety concerns

Days are potentially numbered for a contentious crosswalk used by some Gardner Bullis School students to cross Fremont Road.
During their monthly meeting Thursday, Los Altos Hills City Councilmembers voted unanimously to instigate a 30-day public notice period announcing their intention to remove the crosswalk, located on the east side of Fremont Pines Lane in front of the school. The crosswalk is the site of at least one vehicle-versus- pedestrian accident and several near misses.
Sun glare obscuring eastbound motorists’ visibility is a likely cause of the traffic incidents, according to a city staff report. Last year, an accident involving a student cyclist struck by a car prompted city officials to relocate the crosswalk from the west side of Fremont Pines Lane to the east side and to install a flashing crosswalk sign, but accidents persist. Councilmembers Thursday indicated that removing the crosswalk would force pedestrians to cross Fremont at nearby intersections marked by stop signs...

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – November 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

What are your thoughts about shadowing from proposed buildings?
Take our survey -

Which cities are in housing bubble territory? New index tracks international markets via @buzzbuzzhome

Given all the talk of housing bubbles in some of the world’s hottest real estate markets, it was only a matter of time before economists developed an index geared toward tracking them.
With UBS CIO Wealth Management’s first Global Real Estate Bubble Index, released yesterday, the global financial services firm has looked for signs of housing bubbles in 15 major financial centres…

Houston residents sue over planned assisted living development, claim shadow could threaten pool >

When people own property, they often want to do everything they can to protect its value. In some cases, the value of the property is effected by the area surrounding the property. A park, lake or public amenity, for example, might increase the value of a person's property. Whereas, a highway or high crime venue might lower the value. When something threatens the value of a person's property, legal action might be required.
In a recent case, residents of an affluent high rise in downtown Houston have filed a suit against a developer. In this real estate litigation case, the owners of luxury condos located on South Shepherd have filed suit against the developer of an potential senior living center. The residents are located in two buildings -- the Renoir Lofts and the Gotham Lofts. The planned development would be placed in between the two high-end buildings.
In the suit, residents are claiming that the senior living center threatens the value of their property…

How tolerant are homeowners of shadowing from proposed development?
Take our survey -

Central Park Shadow Talk Is 'Overblown,' REBNY Report Says via @CurbedNY

The Real Estate Board of New York has released a report based on a round-table discussion on the impacts of the city's latest group of sky-grazing towers. It should come as no surprise that the five panelists tapped to lead the discussion by the pro-development group ultimately found that accusations against the city's slew of new supertall development, especially concerning the buildings on Central Park South and the shadows they'll cast, "[ignore] the history of development and zoning in New York, [overlook] the zoning rules that applied to the building of towers, [dismiss] the economic benefits from these projects, and [are] in many instances misleading." To unravel these accusations, REBNY compiled the content of the discussion into a report arranged in the question and answer format… 

RT SoPlace ?@SoPlacers How Placemaking Is Becoming Indispensible For Developers.

As Australia’s population continues to surge upwards and higher density living becomes the norm, many architects and urban planners are focussing on ways to ensure that urban areas feel like real communities instead of concrete jungles.
This movement, which is known as “placemaking” is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces which aims to create public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well-being…

RT Puissant Dope ?@PuissantDope 72 Carlton - Core Architects. The curved surfaces of the tower is awe-inspiring

image via

> Proud to be part of this team.

Shadow impacts reduced >

Equity Residential Hoping Project Changes Will Secure BRA Approval -

BOSTON—Equity Residential reports that it has received neighborhood support from more than 1,100 West End residents on the latest revisions to its proposed $350-million tower project at the Garden Garage project site here…

Supes Vote Unanimously To Let 75 Howard High-Rise Move Forward via @HoodlineSF

Barring any further legal battles, the proposed luxury condo and mixed-use high-rise at 75 Howard St. will move ahead, after a unanimous decision by the Board of Supervisors in the early morning hours of Wednesday. The board voted to reject an appeal to an environmental impact review (EIR) of the project, which was brought by many of the same opponents who fought the proposed 8 Washington condos and have been involved in other waterfront development debates…
One of opponents' biggest objections to 75 Howard is that it will cast shadows on Rincon Park. They've asked for step-downs toward the waterfront to minimize the shadows, which they say will violate the Sunlight Ordinance. (The appellant letter from Rincon Point Neighbors Association suggests a "100-foot alternative.") However, no changes have been made to the design; Clemens said in an email that any further changes will be worked out collaboratively with the Planning Department.
Danny Yadegar, legislative aide to District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim, pointed out that any building higher than 100 feet tall will cast a shadow (the current garage is 91 feet). Also, he said the developer told Kim that the building's design includes a 20-foot parapet of glass, which isn't "as impactful" as if it were a solid mass…

Ryerson Names Health Sciences Complex for Daphne Cockwell via @urban_toronto

In recognition of an $8 million donation from Brookfield Asset Management's Group Chairman, Jack Cockwell, and his family, Ryerson University has announced that its coming Church Street development will be named in honour of Mr. Cockwell's mother, Daphne, for her lifelong commitment to helping others. Designed by architects Perkins + Will, the Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex will rise 27 storeys on Church Street just north of Dundas, replacing a surface parking lot with 18,600 square metres of new space. The building will be the new home of Ryerson’s School of Nutrition, School of Occupational and Public Health, the Midwifery Education program, the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, and others...

> Proud to be part of this team.

San Francisco Planning Department Proposes Increasing Heights in Neighborhoods via @planetizen

The San Francisco Planning Department is proposing a trade-off to neighborhoods to comply with a state density bonus law: Modestly increase height and density limits in exchange for more affordable housing…

Tower's profile reduces shadows >

The Clover on Yonge by Cresford Development -

The Clover on Yonge is a new mixed-use high-rise condominium development currently in pre-construction at 587 to 599 Yonge Street, 2 and 4 Dundonald Street and 7 and 9 Gloucester Street in Toronto, Ontario by Cresford Development Corporation.  It consists of a proposed 44 storey residential building with 420 dwelling units on top of a four-storey podium with retail commercial use space.
The Clover on Yonge Condos is located on the east side of Yonge Street and will occupy the entire block between Dundonald Street and Gloucester Street and will be approximately 148 metres (including mechanical penthouse) tall on top of a 4-storey base containing retail commercial uses.  "The site currently contains six buildings ranging in heights from one to three storeys and a mix of uses including residential, retail, and office.  Some of the buildings were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s, while two of the buildings were built in the 1970s.  None of the buildings are designated or listed on the City of Toronto's Heritage Inventory."
The original proposal was for a 49 storey (163 metres) condo with 514 units but the revised proposal now consists of a proposed 44 storey tower on the south end of the site stepping down to 18 storeys (61.4 metres) at the north end of the site.  The revised architectural drawing revisions improves the original proposal by having the tower design within the 75 degree angular plane, stepping the tower down to the north and reshaping and slimming the tower's profile to reduce the shadow impact on the low-rise buildings located within the neighbourhood to the east as much as possible… 

> Proud to be part of this team.

Great-looking project >

DiamondCorp, Metropia to Intensify Underutilized Midtown Site | Urban Toronto

Developers Diamond Corp and Metropia will add a TACT Architecture-designed 28-storey, 94.25-metre tower with 315 residential units plus six integrated towns at the base, and 39 back-to-back townhomes on the west side of the site. 11 existing affordable housing townhouse units fronting onto Pears Avenue will be torn down to make way for a new three-storey residential building. The existing towns, which sit above the site's below-grade parking garage, will be fully replaced by new-built homes for TCHC residents in a new townhouse block on the east side of the existing building…
An initial concept was met with some resistance from residents of the existing apartment tower and representatives of the Annex Residents Association. A number of concerns were raised during pre-application community consultation meetings over the past year, including issues related to the loss of green space, tower separation, new building height, parking availability, improvements to the existing apartment building, relocation of existing townhouse units, wind conditions, shadow impact and views…
The developers have addressed the concerns in a revised proposal that shifts the new tower to the western end of the site, and modifies the existing parking garage to allow greening of the existing surface parking lot. Local residents will be given the opportunity to learn more about the proposal at a follow-up community consultation being planned for the first quarter of 2016. A Final Report by Toronto's Planning Department is expected to follow in the third quarter of 2016…

> Proud to be part of this team.

RT Construction Dive @constructdive Dubbed The Bride of the Gulf, this 3,780-ft skyscraper would dethrone the titleholder of world's tallest building:

World's tallest building and 'first vertical city' planned for Iraq | Construction Dive

The AMBS Architects group has proposed a 3,780-foot-tall skyscraper, dubbed "The Bride of the Gulf," for Basra Province, Iraq, according to Dezeen magazine. The building, at 230 stories topped with a 617-foot antenna, would be the tallest in the world. The world’s tallest building currently is Dubai’s 2,723-foot Burj Khalifa skyscraper.
The planned building in Iraq includes four conjoined towers with a glazed canopy on its south facade, a "veil" designed to provide shade to the complex’s low-rise buildings and public areas. The complex’s three other towers are 2,375-feet-tall, 1,588-feet-tall and 200-feet-tall…

Plans proposed for six-story building at Third and Walnut site in Lansdale - Montgomery News

Plans are taking shape for a six-story apartment building to be built on the site of the former Third and Walnut Street bar in Lansdale, and the developer behind it is hoping to make a statement…

Brilliant >

The London Borough of Camden goes live with Smart Parking tech | Smart Parking:

The London Borough of Camden goes live with Smart Parking technology transforming the parking experience in key on-street locations across the borough.
With over 500,000 vehicles traveling through the central London Borough of Camden on a daily basis the demand for the use of limited space - for moving traffic, for servicing and for parking - considerably exceeds capacity and finding a parking space is not always easy.
The stress this puts on the local area in terms of congestion requires Camden Council to take stock of parking conditions in the borough and respond to them proactively, balancing the needs of residents and businesses, and those of the many people who work, study and visit Camden.
With this in mind, this week will see Camden Council take an innovative approach to these issues by deploying Smart Parking’s SmartPark solution. The solution involves the installation of 367 RFID-equipped SmartEye vehicle detection sensors, linked via SmartLink data transmitters in and around Central Camden and Camden Town…

Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – November 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

‘Standard' Time applies to only 1/3 of the year??
RT Angeline Eriksson @angelinedesign  I don't know @SunPosition @shawnmicallef still looking pretty henge-y out there
> RB: @angelinedesign @shawnmicallef I'm just happy the sun didn't disappear altogether after Oct 26th. ;)

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RT antoinette antonio @antoinetteA Driver says sun blinded her just before she hit two women, one died. Story in NewsToGo 

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ICYWW, my twitter header photo is of the sundial I designed for the Air India Flight 182 memorial in Humber Bay Park East in Toronto

image via

RT The Weather Network @weathernetwork Winter blues already? Study finds light therapy may treat all depression, not just SAD.

Light therapy has long been used to treat the 'winter blues' or seasonal depression, but now a new study suggests the treatment could be used to ease symptoms of other forms of depression.

read more -

RT Mark Tarello @mark_tarello  WOW! Amazing sunset reflection tonight on the New York City Skyline. Photo: Inga Sarda-Sorensen.

source -

Sunset thru 'steam' rising from bay in Barrie ON in -22C weather -
photo by Ralph Bouwmeester

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Cheers, Ralph