Monday, December 5, 2016

Sun Glare While Driving – November 2016

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

Patrol: speed and sun glare may be to blame >

Motorcyclist Killed in Collision Near Lander | via @kgabradio

“A Lander man is dead after his motorcycle collided with a pickup about six miles south of Lander Saturday. 

The Wyoming Highway Patrol says 60-year-old Ryck Pederson was headed west on County Road 414 around 5 p.m., when he crossed the center line and collided with an eastbound pickup.”…

“The Patrol says speed and sun glare may be to blame for the crash.”

When the clocks strike back | Safer Driving

“Clocks go back and we can all look forward to an extra hour in bed. However, what we don’t think about is how this will have an effect on our driving routine. Whether you’re an experienced driver or this is your first time driving in the darker months, at insurethebox we want to make sure your experience is as pleasant, easy and safe as possible. 

At this time of year, it starts to get dark earlier and the conditions can become busier and more difficult to drive in, particularly during rush hour. At the end of October and into November, as we adapt to the arrival of early darkness, it can become more dangerous to drive as well with the risk of you having an accident whilst driving increasing by 10%.  More so, if you are driving between 5pm and 8pm, when it’s both dark and busy on the roads, the risk of having an accident rises dramatically by 30%.”…

RT @PaulaStei: @insurethebox warns: young drivers are 30% more likely to crash after Autumn clocks change!

Motorists should be warned about blinding sun | Lethbridge Herald

“Letter to the Editor on October 29, 2016.

With reference to the traffic fatality on Whoop-Up Drive involving a city snow-removal vehicle.

I was travelling west in the centre lane and passed the accident scene seconds after it happened. At the time, I was facing directly into the sun and my forward vision was completely blinded. I was creeping forward afraid if I stopped, this would cause a chain reaction.

The driver of the other vehicle would also have been blinded by the sun and would have never seen the city tractor nor would he have seen pylons or signs.

Every year on this date the setting sun is perfectly aligned to shine directly into the eyes of motorists travelling up the westside hill.

I would suggest the city make a notation of these dates and place a warning sign ahead of time warning motorists of the possibility of a total blinding situation.

Mel Godlonton


After time change this weekend be aware of sun glare 'surprises' while driving as sun rises/sets 1 hr earlier.

After the Time Change be prepared for driving conditions that you may not be used to on your daily commute.

‏RT @JodiesJumpsuit:  In 2007, we lengthened Daylight Savings Time. How has that impacted the health, awareness, and response time of both drivers & pedestrians?

@snobiwan:  @JodiesJumpsuit You know who might know, is @SunPosition

> Tx Andrew @snobiwan. Many articles about effect of time change on drivers, not much about changes in sun angles and glare. @JodiesJumpsuit

@JodiesJumpsuit:  @SunPosition @snobiwan Hi Ralph, thanks! Do you know offhand of any studies that compare pre-2007 effects to post-2007 DST change, if any?

> Not offhand sorry. Have you tried Google?  @JodiesJumpsuit @snobiwan

@snobiwan:  @SunPosition @JodiesJumpsuit Studies on the change in sun angles / glare would be difficult to get a large sample size in, I imagine.

> Correct. Stats on crashes involving sun angles / glare are hard to come by, period. @snobiwan @JodiesJumpsuit

@JodiesJumpsuit:  @SunPosition @snobiwan I think we're at a misunderstanding as to what I was inquiring about but I'll continue my googling. Thanks!

@snobiwan:  @JodiesJumpsuit @SunPosition That may be my fault!

> No worries Andrew, interesting discussion regardless. @snobiwan @JodiesJumpsuit

> Came across this article the other day. @TweeetLorraine @JodiesJumpsuit @snobiwan 

“Could the clocks going back make you crash? Drivers 30% more likely to have an after work accident in month after hour change”

@JodiesJumpsuit:  @SunPosition @snobiwan Thanks for all your assistance, Ralph. I appreciate your courtesy.

> My pleasure. Hope the link I sent you helps a bit. @JodiesJumpsuit @snobiwan

> Here's another article I came across the other day. It may be more to your point, or not:) @JodiesJumpsuit @snobiwan

“The dazzling sunsets that kill 36 drivers in 12 months: Glare contributes to 3,000 accidents and is particularly dangerous at this time of year…”

@TweeetLorraine:  @JodiesJumpsuit @SunPosition @snobiwan I write about this a lot, can I maybe help?

> I'd love to hear your input Lorraine. @TweeetLorraine @JodiesJumpsuit @snobiwan

@JodiesJumpsuit:  @SunPosition @TweeetLorraine @snobiwan I'm looking for anything that compared rates of DST accidents on the old schedule used up to 2007..

@JodiesJumpsuit:  @SunPosition @TweeetLorraine @snobiwan ..and ones after that schedule was changed, if there was anything that +/- from the date change.

@TweeetLorraine:  @JodiesJumpsuit @SunPosition @snobiwan Okay, that I don't know. But it's an interesting topic. I'll look at it. Thank you.

@JodiesJumpsuit:  @SunPosition @TweeetLorraine @snobiwan thanks everyone so much!

@MaxontheCoast:  @SunPosition Thanks for your great tweets. I was rear ended by a sun-blinded driver in 1993 - it hurt. I'm more aware of this phenomenon now.

> Thank you kindly Keith. Glad you're OK. @MaxontheCoast

Note what is NOT visible in this photo... approaching ambulance turning left....

...and a Stop Sign!!

photos by Ralph Bouwmeester

Kudos to @Acura - black tops of dashboard and door panels, which cut sun glare - 2017 Acura MDX >

Ratings and Review: With the updated 2017 MDX, Acura takes a new path on its long quest to redefine itself | New York Daily News

“Every interior color also includes black material for the tops of the dashboard and door panels, which cuts sun glare.”…

Saving lives is more important than blaming "petextrians" | via @drivingdotca @TweeetLorraine

“Instead of buying into the blame game, we all need to take responsibility for each other's safety – and, of course, our own.”…

Oh my.  “Distracted walking is actually one of the joys of city living...” >

Drivers need to take responsibility for safer streets: Keenan | via @torontostar @thekeenanwire

“Be careful out there. Motorists of Toronto, I’m talking to you. Someone needs to, because we drivers are maiming and killing people at a pretty shocking rate.

Between sunset Wednesday and just after sunrise Thursday, for instance, 14 pedestrians were struck by motorists on the streets of our city — that’s roughly every hour.”…

Changing Your Clocks Means Changing Your Driving Habits | WTCA FM

…”The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reminds us that the seasonal shrinking of daylight hours means that darkness falls at least one hour earlier. 

Sun glare and darkness will now occur during different parts of your familiar driving or walking routine. And since sleep patterns are also affected by seasonal changes, INDOT and NHTSA warns drivers to be aware of their need for rest and the effects that a loss of sleep can have on driving attention and fatigue.

What does that mean for drivers? The pedestrians you’re used to seeing on your drive home from work will still be there, but they will be more difficult to see. During evening hours, you simply need more time and alertness to see nearby pedestrians.

So, please, as you adjust to the new visibility conditions, slow down and exercise greater caution.

For pedestrians, seasonal changes mean that you also need to be more careful. Take steps to make yourself more visible, and always give the traffic an extra look before crossing the street– even when the crosswalk signal indicates it is okay to proceed.

INDOT and NHTSA offer you these tips. We urge you to give them a look and share them with your loved ones:


Slow down. During the evening hours, you need more time to see a pedestrian in your path.

Don’t drive distracted or impaired. Any behavior that slows your reaction time, increases the risk of a crash.

Keep in mind that pedestrians who are wearing headphones, hats or earmuffs may not hear your vehicle as it approaches.

Keep your windshield, windows, and mirrors clean.

Make sure your defrosters and windshield wipers are working properly and that washer fluid is replaced as needed.


Carry a flashlight or attach reflective materials – such as fluorescent tape – to clothing, backpacks, purses, and briefcases. These materials reflect light from headlights back to drivers, making it easier to see you.

Don’t depend on the traffic signal to protect you. Motorists may be distracted, especially when adjusting to the nighttime travel environment.

Avoid jaywalking and crossing between parked vehicles. Crosswalks offer a safer alternative.

Walk on sidewalks whenever possible.

If you must walk on the street, face traffic.

When crossing the street, look left-right-left for cars from the curb.

Do not cross the street if a car is coming, and always use a crosswalk if available.

Watch out for cars at every driveway and intersection.

Stay completely focused on the road and avoid distractions like smartphones and tablets when walking.”

Safety Tips for Pedestrians, Bicyclists, and Drivers as Daylight Saving Time Ends | via @BikePGH

…”Allegheny County crash data shows an increase in pedestrian crashes in the City of Pittsburgh during the months with the shortest days of the year.

Shorter days and daylight savings time mean more of us are commuting during times when visibility is especially bad. Here are some safety tips for everyone – people who walk, people who bike, and people who drive.

Safety Tips for Everyone

  • Danger zone: Know that this is a more dangerous time of year for using our streets and keep that in the front of your mind. Be extra vigilant and cautious.
  • Plan ahead: Commuters, as always, give yourself extra time to get where you need to go so that you won’t feel rushed.
  • Enhance your vision: Although this time of year is often dreary, you should still prepare to deal with sun glare. Have sunglasses with polarized lenses at the ready, or wear eyeglasses with an anti-reflective (AR) coating.”…

Read on for specific tips for:

  • Pedestrians and Transit Riders
  • Bicycle Riders
  • Drivers
  • City Planners and Engineers (and Elected Officials)
  • Police

AAA's Time Change Safety Tips for Drivers and Pedestrians | ARLnow

…”Time shift safety tips for pedestrians:

  • See and be seen – drivers need to see you to avoid you.
  • Make eye contact with drivers when crossing streets.
  • Wear bright colors or reflective clothing and/or accessories at night.
  • Carry a flashlight when walking in the dark.
  • Cross only at intersections or crosswalks. Look left, right and left again and only cross when it is clear.
  • Do not jaywalk or cross between parked cars.
  • Evaluate the distance and speed of oncoming traffic before you step out into the street.
  • Avoid walking in traffic where there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. If you have to walk on a road that does not have sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
  • Do not let umbrellas or jacket hoods block your view of approaching traffic.
  • While walking, pocket the cell phone and avoid listening to your music player at a volume that prohibits you from hearing approaching danger.

Time change tips for drivers:

  • Pay attention and eliminate all distractions including cell phones and car clocks that are off an hour!
  • Remember to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. Do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.
  • Watch for children and families in neighborhoods and along school bus routes, at intersections, and when backing out of driveways.
  • Turn on your headlights. Make yourself more visible during early morning and evening hours.
  • Keep vehicle headlights and windows (inside and out) clean.
  • Do not use high beams when other cars or pedestrians are around.
  • Teen drivers should exercise extra caution.
  • Inspect all lights and bulbs and replace burned out ones. Clean road grime or clouding from all lenses.
  • Slow down during rain and fog.”…

2 accidents prompt LAPD to caution about sun glare | Los Alamos Monitor

“Two accidents this week attributed to sun glare prompted the Los Alamos Police Department to issue a warning Thursday. 

Drivers should slow down, use common sense, sunglasses and use their car’s visors to keep them from getting into car accidents, LAPD spokesman Preston Ballew said.

The department is especially urging drivers to use caution around the intersection of Trinity Drive and Oppenheimer Drive, where sun glare is more prevalent.

Ballew said the LAPD had to respond to two accidents Wednesday that were directly attributed to sun glare at that intersection.

“The Los Alamos Police Department has responded to two different traffic crashes at the intersection of Trinity and Oppenheimer in the last two days. The times of these crashes occurred at 8:05 a.m. on Wednesday and 7:47 a.m on Thursday. The sun played a contributing factor into both of these crashes which resulted in two people being transported to the hospital with injuries.”

The most dangerous time at that particular intersection is between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.  Ballew also warned about other intersections, and reminded residents that the hours when sun glare is strongest will change when daylight savings time arrives Sunday.

“We urge residents and commuters to use extreme caution when approaching this intersection between 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. due to the position of the sun in relation to the traffic control devices at this intersection. There may be other intersections that are affected as well,” Ballew said. “Daylight savings time will change (Sunday) so the times of concern will be from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. LAPD will contact Los Alamos County Traffic Engineering to advise them of the situation.” “…

Drivers, sun glare conditions will be completely different after the time change. Be prepared and anticipate.

Worst sun glare during 1st and last hr of daylight. Toronto rush-hour drivers take extra care this week to 8am and after 4 pm.

Toronto drivers, be prepared for sun glare this week before 8 am and after 4 pm.

Toronto drivers, watch for sun glare today as the sun sets at 5 PM roughly in line with Gardiner btwn Strachan and Dunn. @TrafficServices

Ottawa drivers, watch for sun glare on W/B 417 today at sunset 4:41 PM btwn Preston and Parkdale. @ottawastart @Ottawa_Traffic

@THINKgovuk Great message! And many sun glare related crashes occur 'just around the corner'.  >

RT @THINKgovuk You never know what’s around the corner. Find out more about the #THINK #Brakebeforethebend #Roadsafety campaign

Police: Sun glare factor in deadly crash | KKTV

“A roofer died in a crash Wednesday afternoon after being pinned between two vehicles, police said.”… 

“Amaya was reportedly standing next to the trailer when a SUV crashed into it. Police do not think the teen driver was speeding, but do believe sun glare was a factor in the crash.

"It does appear there were some sun conditions with the sun setting in the west, with the driver heading in that same direction," Morgan said.”…

How do the sun angles change at @PhoenixRaceway this weekend?

Sun glare tough in late stages at @PhoenixRaceway according to @JimmieJohnson 

Google Earth image annotated by Ralph Bouwmeester

JJ reply

Safe Driving at Sunrise and Sunset / Dusk and Dawn | Arrive Alive South Africa | via @_ArriveAlive

“We strive to keep road users safe 24/7. Our drivers, bikers, cyclists and pedestrians are challenged daily by other road users, traffic, road and even weather conditions. 

We share information on safe driving techniques in bad weather, snow, rain, mist but should not neglect to recognize that even in perfect weather there may be rather unique challenges brought about by the time of travel!

It is not only during the dark of night that driving becomes more dangerous but also when driving at sunrise and sunset / dusk and dawn.

Rarely will visibility be absolutely perfect while driving, but if motorists are aware of this and make the proper adjustments, they can minimize any additional risks coming with less-than-optimal visual conditions.”…

Great advice here from @_ArriveAlive for driving with sun glare.

Read on for many many great points and advice…

Great article by @jim_kenzie >

'PRNDL ' why mess with it? | via @torontostar

“PRNDL ain’t broke. 

So why are so many car companies bent on fixing it?

PRNDL — pronounced ‘prindle’ — is an acronym for ‘Park-Reverse-Neutral-Drive-Low,’ the sequence of the shift pattern on 100 per cent of automatic-equipped cars since, well, maybe the last Ice Age.”…

“Still, there is no reason for the pattern for ratio selection to be anything but what everyone in the bleedin’ world understands — PRNDL.

But, oh, no. Some engineers don’t get it that ‘progress’ means ‘making things better,’ not ‘making things different just because we can.’

So, many of them have eliminated the Park position altogether, and replaced it with a push button.

This is not old-fartism on my part; this is simply wrong.

With something as important to your personal safety as making sure your car is in Park before you leave it, you want — you need, you deserve — a positive reinforcement that you have selected that secure position.

So, instead of a solid chunk of tactile feedback that your car is secured against rolling away and killing you or your family, you have to rely on a button, which may have a whopping two millimetres of travel, offers no tactile feedback at all, and maybe, just maybe, offers a warning light of some sort.”…

“No, no, no, no, no.

There is no need to reinvent this particular wheel.”…

Sun glare didn't help >

@KyleBusch on @MattKenseth crash: 'Essentially, I guess I wrecked a teammate' | via @FoxSports

Matt Kenseth watched his championship hopes go up in smoke as he made contact with Alex Bowman heading into Turn 1 after the overtime restart on Sunday in the Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

With two laps to go, Kenseth had a comfortable lead and appeared to be headed to Homestead-Miami Speedway with an automatic berth until Michael McDowell brought out the caution when he lost a tire and pounded the wall.

On the overtime restart, Kenseth had the high line heading into Turn 1 and believed he was clear of the No. 88 driven by Alex Bowman. He wasn't.”…

“In Kenseth's post-race interview, he remained calm for someone who just saw their championship hopes disappear within two laps of the finish, but said he needed to see the tape before making a decision on what happened.

"I looked back and it looked like (Bowman) had a little run, shortly after I got cleared and started looking into the corner with the glare, and approached the corner down to the white line and I heard ‘inside’ right about the time I got turned backward and headed into the fence." Kenseth said in his post-race interview. "I really don’t know what happened. I was going off of the information I had to make the corner and make the best two laps I could."”…

Sun glare may have been factor in @mattkenseth crash in CanAm500 @PhoenixRaceway with 2 laps to go :(.

Make sure of colour of traffic light >

Man says sun glare led to fatal crash | via @rtv6

“A man claims the glare from the sun caused him to be unable to see an intersection, leading to a crash that killed a woman. 

The crash happened around 8 a.m. Saturday, near the intersection of State Road 32 and Gray Road.

Police say a red GMC Sierra pick-up truck was traveling eastbound on State Road 32 when it ran a red light and crashed into a silver Honda Accord, driven by Jennifer Grillo, 45, Fishers.

The driver of the Sierra told police the sun glare was in his eyes, and he couldn't see the Accord, nor the color of the light at the intersection.”…

RT @DerbyshireRPU: Langley Mill. Low Sun, skip not seen, no injuries. Collision report completed on scene whilst waiting recovery.

Driver blinded by the light hits skip in Langley Mill | Brief Report

“A driver hit a large orange skip at the side of a Derbyshire road this morning - because they could not see it due to low sun glare, according to police.”…

RT @ReconGeniTPS: So what exactly does a Recon do in the 6ix @TorontoPolice @metromorning ICYMI

> Keep up the good work Geni. @ReconGeniTPS @TorontoPolice @metromorning @cbcradio

@ReconGeniTPS:  @SunPosition @TorontoPolice @metromorning @cbcradio Thanks Ralph, same goes for you too!

RT @BethesdaBeat: Chain reaction collision caused by unexpected sun glare.

2 Whitman Students Injured in Crash on River Road Near Site of February Fatal Collision | Bethesda Beat

“Two Walt Whitman students were injured Thursday morning in a four-car collision in a left-turn lane on River Road at Braeburn Parkway, the site of a February fatal collision that killed three members of a Bethesda family. 

According to Montgomery County police, a Whitman student driving an eastbound car on River Road was entering a left-turn lane when the driver was blinded by the sun around 7:45 a.m., causing the car to rear-end another car stopped in the lane. That resulted in a chain-reaction collision involving two more cars also stopped in the lane.”…

Norfolk school bus flips over with students onboard; some taken to hospital | The Virginian-Pilot

“A bus carrying around 30 Granby High students flipped on an interstate ramp Tuesday, sending several to hospitals with minor injuries. 

Around 7:45 a.m., on the eastbound Interstate 64 ramp at Thole Street and Tidewater Drive, the sun blinded the driver , and the bus hit a wall and flipped, police spokeswoman JoAnn Hughes said.”…

RT @TWCNewsROC: Authorities say the man was walking in the crosswalk on Latta Road in Greece when he was struck.

Sun glare possible issue >

Pedestrian Suffers Serious Injuries After Being Struck by Car on Latta Road | TWC News

“Greece police say a man suffered serious injuries after he was hit by a car.

It happened Thursday morning on Latta Road near West Bend Drive.

Authorities say the man was walking in the crosswalk when he was struck.”…

“Authorities say sun glare may have been an issue.”…

The sun was within about 10 deg of Airport Road direction at the time. @PeelPoliceMedia

Another left turn and sun glare crash >

Glare from sun causes accident involving motorcycle | WBKO News

“A motorcycle rider was taken to the hospital Thursday after a collision on Louisville Road. 

When deputies arrived at the scene, they determined Hailey Hayes, of Keithville, LA, was making a left turn from Louisville Road into Warren Heights Apartments when glare from the sun caused her view to be obstructed.

Hayes’ Jeep struck a 2005 Kawasaki motorcycle ridden by Jeffrey Sebaugh of Park City.”…

Kudos to @TxDot for installing barrels marking s-curve and changeable message sign warning of sun glare.

S-curve plus sun glare led to crashes >

@TxDot fixing local highway after two recent fatalities | KAUZ News

“If you have ever driven westbound on highway 277 in the afternoon, you might know just how bad the sun glare can be.

That combined with an s-curve through Dundee has led to two fatalities this past week.

TxDot officials are aware of it and are working to fix the problem.
"We are installing barrels today with chevrons on top of them," Adele Lewis, TxDot P.I.O. said. "They point and let you know there is a curve and it is delineating the curve for you. We also have a changeable message sign board being installed for the westbound travelers to remind them that there is an immense sun glare going on," Lewis said.”…

Sun glare cause of four crashes this morning, traffic backup on I-91 south | MassLive

“A traffic backup after a two-car accident on Interstate 91 south caused several more crashes Wednesday morning.

Massachusetts State Police reported minor injuries resulting from the first collision, which occurred around the 20 mile marker at around 7:19 a.m.

The combination of a sudden slow in traffic caused by the first accident and "sun glare" resulted in three more drivers striking the cars in front of them”…

Family believes student, 23, who died in crash possibly blinded by sun | Irish Examiner

“Twenty-three-year-old Sean Madden’s car struck a pole on a slipway onto the M50. Mr Madden, from Old Court Road, Bray, Co Wicklow, sustained multiple injuries in the crash, which happened shortly before 9am on July 30, 2014, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard. 

An inquest into Mr Madden’s death heard he had been out with friends, in a club on Harcourt Street, in Dublin, the night before. He had a blood alcohol level of 121 mg per cent and coroner, Dr Myra Culllinane, said that the alcohol was leaving his system at the time of the crash.”…

“PSV inspector, Garda Alan Quinn found the car was roadworthy and Mr Madden was wearing his seatbelt. Forensic collision investigator, Sergeant Paul Kearney, said the car sustained a substantial impact with the four-metre pole.

From the public gallery, the student’s mother, Monica Madden, said she believed her son was blinded by the glare of the sun as he travelled down the slipway onto the M50.

“The sun catches you there,” she said.”…

Stop signs hard to see in sun glare >

Multiple injuries reported following two-car crash in Riverhead | Riverhead News Review

“Six people were injured after two vehicles collided Wednesday afternoon at an intersection in Riverhead, authorities at the scene said.

A Ford Explorer traveling north on Horton Avenue rolled over after it was hit by a Toyota RAV4 heading west on Reeves Avenue, Riverhead Town police said.

As the Toyota entered the intersection after running a stop sign, it “broadsided” the SUV, police said.”…

“Police said sun glare may have been a factor in the crash. The driver of the Toyota is expected to receive a traffic summons, police said.

“The sun was so bad you couldn’t even see the stop sign,” Sgt. Tom Lessard said.”…

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – November 2016

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

Very cool >

Watch these Toronto developments come to life in this render to reality photo tour | via @buzzbuzzhome

“We’ve all seen the fancy building renderings and computer generated images that developers use in their marketing materials and sales centres. But just how close are these renderings to the real thing? We photographed several recently constructed Toronto condos to compare the renderings with the finished product.

Have a look at the interactive sliders below and watch these developments go from rendering to reality!”…

Tall tower is planned in Boston. What shadow will it cast? | via @BostonGlobe

“There could be a new hurdle in the saga to redevelop the defunct Winthrop Square Garage: The 750-foot skyscraper planned for the site would cast long shadows over Boston Common and the Public Garden.

And the shadows would violate state laws.

The tower Millennium Partners wants to put up would extend shadows for as long as 90 minutes in the morning over the beloved parks, perhaps reaching the start of the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, a mile away, at certain times of year.

To move the billion-dollar project forward, the Walsh administration wants to tweak quarter-century-old statutes governing shadows cast over the two parks. But parks advocates and some key lawmakers are concerned, saying a change in the law could encourage construction of more towers darkening the two historic public spaces.”…

Very cool (pun intended:) >

10 Real Estate Developments Utilizing Designs To Block Desert Heat | ULI

“As of midsummer, 2016 was on track to be the hottest year on record worldwide. As global temperatures rise, the passive and active design strategies used in the hottest parts of the world to keep buildings habitable, reduce the money spent on air conditioning, and conserve water resources become relevant in more regions than ever. 

The following ten projects—all completed over the past five years—represent a variety of approaches to blocking the heat, including concrete domes modeled on palm trees, building forms borrowed from Arabian tents and Arizona canyons, motorized louvers controlled by sensors, solar chimneys tucked behind recycled copper panels, and a veil of twisted white fabric sunshades.”…

I've got relatives in the Netherlands who own 2 bikes, one at each end of their daily commute by train.

Councillor: tall residential buildings moratorium for downtown Toronto draws sharp critics | via @BuzzBuzzHome

“UPDATE November 15th, 2016: Councillor Wong-Tam has withdrawn her request for the Director of Community Planning for Toronto and East York to report on the feasibility of the one-year tall residential building moratorium for Toronto’s downtown core. 

Original story: A Toronto city councillor has submitted a letter proposing a one-year moratorium on the development of new tall residential buildings in the city’s downtown core.

Ward 27 Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam submitted the letter, dated October 27th, 2016, to the Toronto and East York Community Council, requesting that the council’s community planning director report to the council on the “feasibility of implementing a one-year moratorium on new tall building residential re-zoning applications.”

The councillor’s arguments supporting the moratorium are wide-ranging, from concerns of housing oversupply in the city to inadequate city infrastructure that has not kept up with “intense growth in the downtown.” Gridlock, pedestrian and cyclist safety issues and disruptions to business owners caused by construction were also mentioned in the letter.”…

Shadow concerns may doom plans for Boston's second-tallest tower

Proposed Winthrop Square tower’s shadows cast doubt on 750-foot plan | Curbed Boston

 “Plans to plunk a 750-foot, 55-story tower where the city-owned Winthrop Square Garage now looms have been cast into doubt. Why? Because of concerns over the shadows that the building—the tallest primarily residential one in the city—might throw over the Public Garden and the Common.

Specifically, some lawmakers and locals are upset that the years-long negotiations over the sale of the site to developer Millennium Partners, and that developer’s plans for the tower, did not include much discussion about the potential shadows.

Such shadows lasting more than 60 minutes daily are not allowed under state law; and therefore the tower as currently imagined would require major legal changes at the state and city level to advance. Per Tim Logan in the Globe:

[The Boston Planning & Development Agency] and Millennium have released few details, but have acknowledged that preliminary building models show shadows for as long as 90 minutes in the morning during certain times of the year, reaching as far as the edge of the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, around three-quarters of a mile away.

There are a couple of ways forward on the development. One would involve changes to the tower’s design, but that might not be feasible because it has to be a certain size with a certain number of condos, etc., to make it financially worthwhile for Millennium. Another way forward would be to tweak the shadows law.

But that could take months, and the timeline’s pretty tight on this one. Over to Logan again: “The agency contract with Millennium, which a spokeswoman for Mayor Martin J. Walsh said should be signed within a few weeks, gives city officials 10 months to get shadow law changes approved. If they don’t, city officials face the prospect of giving back to Millennium a $10 million deposit.””…

58% of people consider 30+ minutes less sun per day OK due to building projects nearby…

Of those, 68% willing to give up up to 60 more minutes sun per day if development improves overall neighbourhood

Regulating Melbourne's Skyscraper Jungle | via @Sourceable

“Building height in inner parts of the City of Melbourne will be limited whilst mandatory setbacks and building separation will apply under new planning rules now in force as the state government moves to address growing levels of concern about overshadowing and excessive levels of density within the city’s centre.”… 

@CBCToronto Then what are property taxes for? And what about development charges? These are intended to fund capital projects, no?

Nice view... >

The sunlight and glare at the Cowboys' stadium wrecks the Redskins offense | via @CBSSPORTS

“The Cowboys pulled off an impressive 31-26 victory over the Redskins on Thursday, looking sharp in all phases of offense and better than expected on defense. Washington could have won, of course, but they didn't take advantage of some good field position and solid drives in the first half, coming away with field goals where they needed to get touchdowns.

The Redskins didn't get much help from the natural elements, though. During multiple drives and on one long field goal attempt, the sun was blinding multiple Washington players.

Kirk Cousins, who finished with a massive 449-yard game, was struggling staring into the blinding rays created by the monstrosity that is Jerry World.

Kicker Dustin Hopkins also dealt with the sun, staring straight into the rays during a 55-yard field goal attempt.”…

Sun issues don't stem from building flaw in Cowboys' stadium: architectural expert | via @sportsdaydfw

…”How could architects design a gorgeous, $1.15 billion glass structure and have one end zone face into the setting sun? Did this slip their mind? Why did the Cowboys sign off on it? 

The answers: “…

Shadow concerns >

Four-storey apartment by Central school opposed by Upper Grand board | Guelph Mercury

“The public school board is urging council to reject a city staff recommendation that a four-storey apartment building be allowed on a site next to Central school and near the Basilica of Our Lady.

The staff recommendation, which goes to council for a decision Monday, recommends a four-storey building instead of the five-storey building proposed by local developer Tom Lammer.

Trustees of the Upper Grand District School Board discussed the issue behind closed doors on Tuesday, and on Thursday the Toronto law firm of Papazian Heisey Myers sent a letter to city hall on the school board’s behalf.

The letter takes issue with city planning staff recommendations on several counts, including the shadow impact of a four-storey apartment building on the playground of Central Public School.”…

Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – November 2016

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.

You don't want to know what time sunset is in Toronto on Sunday Nov 6. But if you must...

DYK: Latest sunrise of the year in Toronto is not in the dead of winter. Because of time change it's tomorrow Sat Nov 5/16 at 7:59 AM.

Amy @amygrief, thank you for the shout-out in your Oct 25/16 Torontohenge article in @blogTO 


image via

“Toronto's home to some pretty spectacular sunsets. If you live in a west-facing highrise, you probably enjoy spectacular views and colourful skies on the regular. But today, everyone in the city will have a chance experience a marvelous show when the sun starts to go down.

That's because it's time for Torontohenge, that time when the sunset aligns perfectly with Toronto's east and west streets. This phenomenon actually occurs a few times per year, but if recent sunsets are any indication, this one could be special.

On Saturday evening, for instance, Toronto's skyscraper's were still bathed in gold even as it had become dark outside thanks to the last lingering effects of the sun and its ideal alignment. And often the scene is even more stunning at street level.

Make sure to head outside and take a look at 6:18 p.m.”…

RT @mark_tarello: PASS IT ON! Supermoon on November 14th will be closest to earth since 1948. It will appear 14% bigger & 30% brighter.

Cheers, Ralph

Monday, November 7, 2016

Sun Glare While Driving – October 2016

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

Roundabouts making their way to Ontario but do drivers know how to use them? | via @CityNews

“They’re popular all across Europe and now roundabouts are starting to make their way to Ontario.

The city of Clarington is among a growing number of municipalities adding two-lane roundabouts to their city streets.

“The biggest reason for the roundabouts is safety,” Ron Albright, Clarington’s assistant director of engineering services, explained. “When you have a green light, you’re going at the posted speed, which could be 60 or 80 kilometres an hour. For a roundabout, … essentially you’re slowing down to 20 or 30 kilometres an hour, so even if there is an incident, it’s less severe.”

Three new roundabouts have been installed on Holt Road at Highway 401 in Bowmanville to help keep traffic moving outside the Darlington Nuclear Power Plant.”…

A lot of nuts, bolts, rivets and welds hold a car together, but the least reliable is the nut behind the wheel.

Police: motorcyclist blinded by sun crashes into bicyclist |

“A bicyclist was taken to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington on Tuesday afternoon after he was struck by a motorcyclist who was blinded by the sun, police said.

The motorcyclist, Gary Fleury, 52, of Livermore, was riding a 2007 Harley-Davidson around 3:45 p.m., heading north on Pond Road, when the crash happened, according to Patrol Officer Derek Daley.

A bicyclist, a man whose identity and medical condition were not released by police, was traveling south on Pond Road.

Fleury turned into a residence off Pond Road and hit the bicyclist, whom he said he didn’t see because of sun glare, Daley said.”…

RT @DriveSmartVAU: Traffic deaths have reached 'crisis' level 1.25 million deaths a year globally.

“U.S. traffic deaths jumped 10.4 percent in the first six months of 2016 to a "crisis" level, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Wednesday.

NHTSA said road deaths in the first half totaled 17,775 and said the number was likely to be higher in the second half due to warmer weather and seasonal driving.”…

"sun glare may have been the reason" >

Daughter witnessed fatal crash in Garfield Heights |

“Tiffany Montgomery's 7-year-old daughter just missed being hit by a car when her mother and 5-year-old sister were fatally struck in a crosswalk in Garfield Heights Saturday.”…

Garfield Heights City Councilman Michael Dudley Sr. said the driver of the car appeared to be distraught and that sun glare may have been the reason for the accident.

"They were crossing in the crosswalk and appeared to have the right of way. The other vehicle stopped coming up on E. 131st, but the other vehicle came out of Rexwood and proceeded to turn. The video looked like there may have been glare by the sun," said Dudley.”…

It's that time of year again, be more careful >

Sun Glare Causes Wreck and Traffic Delays On I-80 | WYO4News

“According to Trooper Duncan with the Wyoming Highway Patrol, law enforcement was alerted to the crash at about 8:02 a.m. 

One fully-loaded commercial truck pulling a trailer was traveling slowly—around 30 miles per hour—in the right lane with flashers activated. Another truck came upon the slow traveling truck and was unable to see due to sun glare, causing a rear-end collision.”…

Sun glare prevented driver from seeing buggy >


“State Police in Punxsutawney say a passenger car-slash-horse and buggy accident last Thursday morning in North Mahoning Twp resulted in a 3 week-old-infant being transported to the hospital.

Investigators say the accident happened as 69-yr-old John Polling of Punxy was driving on route 954 North when sun glare prevented him from seeing the horse-and-buggy rig in front of him. Polling hit the back of the buggy, driven by 22-yr-old Ivan Miller of Smicksburg, causing the infant to be ejected from the rig. Another passenger in the buggy, 20-yr-old Sara Miller was not injured.”…

Another car-buggy crash due to sun glare >

State Looking to Increase Slow Moving Vehicle Awareness | Finger Lakes Daily News

“Last month, a Mennonite school teacher was seriously injured when the horse-drawn buggy she was riding in was struck from behind by a car traveling 45 miles per hour on Havens Corners Road in Yates County. The driver of the vehicle told law enforcement he was battling sun glare when he struck the buggy shortly after 7 the morning of September 19th.  Sheriff Ron Spike said they've had several similar accidents within the county this year.”…

> Perhaps avoid driving buggies during first and last hour of daylight. Not likely popular idea, but would save lives.

"can take 6 to 7 seconds to adjust to glare" >

Passenger says sun might have been factor in Monday crash | The Gadsden Times

“A Fort Payne woman was seriously injured in Monday morning’s crash on Meighan Boulevard at Henry Street, and the sun’s glare may have been a contributing factor, based on what a passenger told police.

The woman was driving a Chevrolet Suburban eastbound on Meighan, with her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend in the backseat. As they approached the intersection, the boyfriend heard her say, “I might as well be driving blind,” and she flipped the sun visor down. He did not know if the traffic signal was red or green. A few seconds later, the SUV collided with a box truck full of mail that had been traveling north on Henry Street. The truck driver told police the traffic signal turned green and when he pulled out, other vehicles had stopped, but the SUV collided with the truck.”…

“Gadsden Police Sgt. John Hallman said the crash report notes what those involved in the wreck told officers, but no determination has been made about what led to the crash.

Hallman said most people are aware of the potential glare problems on their daily commute.

“You know where the blind spots are,” he said. “When I crest a certain hill on my way to work, especially at this time of year, I’m fighting the glare.”

With the driver in the Monday morning accident being from Fort Payne, there’s no way to know how familiar the route and the effect of the sun would have been to her.

National reports indicate glare can be a prevalent cause of auto accidents, whether from sunlight or the lights of an oncoming vehicle.

According to research reported on, the average middle-aged person’s eyes can take 6 to 7 seconds to adjust to glare from oncoming traffic. At a speed of 40 mph, in 6 to 7 seconds, a driver and vehicle would have traveled between 354 and 414 feet.

That’s a long way to drive blind or seriously impaired.

According to AAA, the sun can hit drivers right in the eyes just after sunrise or before sunset, causing a glare that can make it harder to see the road ahead, or traffic signals and potentials hazards. When sun glare is an issue, AAA recommends slowing down and using extra caution.

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 you are having a difficult time seeing the road, use lane markings to help guide you.”

Be extra careful this time of year, another left-turn crash due to sun glare >

Minor injuries reported after four-car accident on Sound Avenue | Riverhead News-Review

“Multiple people were treated for minor injuries following an accident on Sound Avenue Tuesday that involved four vehicles, Riverhead Town police said. 

A car headed westbound on Sound Avenue attempted to make a left onto Northville Turnpike but the driver didn’t notice an oncoming car because of the late afternoon sun glare, police said. The cars collided at the intersection and two more vehicles rear-ended the cars, police said.”…

Avoid Crashes This Fall By Following These Safety Tips | Bernard Law Group

…”Another important safety step all drivers should follow during fall to avoid crashes is to avoid sun glare. After the autumnal equinox, the first 15 to 45 minutes after sunrise and before sunset can make it harder for drivers to see what’s ahead, mostly because of the sun glare. Have a good pair of sunglasses at hand for the daytime so the issues associated with sun glare are avoided. The National Weather Service also urges drivers to keep their windshield clean.”…

see more -

Sun glare a factor >

City worker charged in connection with fatal crash in Lethbridge | CTV News

“Lethbridge police have charged a city employee in connection with a crash that claimed the life of a 72-year-old man in November 2015.

At just after 3:30 p.m. on November 13, 2015, emergency crews were called to the scene of a crash in the westbound lanes of Whoop Up Drive near the exit of University Drive.

Upon arrival, they found a Pontiac Montana minivan crashed into the back of a City of Lethbridge case loader that was in the process of removing snow from the road.

The 72-year-old driver of the minivan needed to be extricated from the wreckage and was taken to Chinook Regional Hospital where he later died.

The driver of the case loader was not injured.

Alcohol and speed were ruled out as factors in the crash, but a further investigation found that sun glare, the driving pattern of the loader and a lack of proper safety equipment including signage and a pilot/block vehicle contributed to the crash.

As a result, Lethbridge police have charged Scott Edward Erickson, 31, with one count of dangerous driving causing death.”…

Pedestrians and cyclists, if your shadow points toward oncoming traffic, assume drivers can't see you. Better safe than sorry.

Sheriff's urges driver safety with season change | via @marthaeconway

…”Avoid Sun Glare:

With the end of Daylight Savings Time comes reduced visibility. Even on familiar roads, it is important that you use additional caution and adjust your driving habits to the different morning or late afternoon glare from the sun. It can cause reflections off vehicle windows and hoods and can decrease your visibility considerably.”…

see more -

Sun glare may have played role >

Woman hurt in collision with bus | The Westerly Sun

“A woman was taken to the hospital with injuries and several middle school students got a late start to the day Monday after a Chevy Sonic struck the back of a school bus along Route 3.

Westerly police, fire and ambulance officials were called to the scene just before 7:45 a.m. in the area of 47-49 Ashaway Road. According to a preliminary report, an unidentified woman was traveling north along Route 3 when she struck the bus as it was preparing to stop to pick up a child.”…

…”“We extricated one female passenger who was alert, but appeared to be pretty shaken up,” said Westerly Fire Chief John Mackay. “It appears sun glare may have played a role, but we are still investigating what happened.” “…

Allstate Burbank: Driving Safety Tips for Fall & Winter | Allstate Burbank

…”Sunlight Glare 

Days start to become shorter in the fall, and you may find yourself commuting during the sunrise on your way to work and during the sunset on your drive home. The glare from the sun will drastically impair your vision, putting you and other drivers around you in danger. Make sure you own a pair of sunglasses to keep in your car that will protect your eyes from any glare helping your own safety on the highway as well as prevent damage to your eyes. Your commute will also become noticeably darker sooner even before daylight savings time which means your car light’s need to be checked for maintenance and replacements as well.”…

see more -

Leave extra room in sun glare >

1 injured in car versus motorcycle accident | via @TheRecorderNews

 “One person was taken to the hospital after a motorcycle rear-ended a car on North Hillside Road Tuesday afternoon. 

Deerfield Police Sergeant Harry Ruddock said the accident happened just after 3 p.m., adding that the driver of the motorcycle had minor injuries, and the driver of the car had none.

He said both vehicles were traveling in the same direction down North Hillside Road toward Routes 5 and 10, when the driver of the car was blinded by sun glare, and rapidly slowed down faster than the motorcycle could stop.”…

Sun's Glare Contributes to I-24 Ramp Crash | West Kentucky Star

“A two-vehicle accident on the Exit 11 on-ramp to Interstate 24 was apparently caused by sunlight obscuring the vision of drivers.

A McCracken County Sheriff's Deputy responded to the accident on the eastbound I-24 ramp at Husband Road at 7:15 am, and found that traffic was stopped because the crash had caused a car to catch on fire. The car's driver, 29-year-old Haley Talbert of Paducah, was out of the vehicle and reportedly had only minor injuries. She said she was merging onto the interstate but the sun was in her eyes and she didn't see a pickup truck in front of her that was also merging into the eastbound lane. The driver of the truck, 74-year-old Jerome Weitlauf of Paducah, told deputies he was slow in merging because the sun was in his eyes, and he was struck from behind.”…

We have plane crashes and train wrecks - but car 'accidents'?? Stop using the A-word.

Halloween Safety Tip: Sunset on Oct 31/16 in Barrie is at 6:09 PM.

Motorists should be warned about blinding sun | Lethbridge Herald

“Letter to the Editor

With reference to the traffic fatality on Whoop-Up Drive involving a city snow-removal vehicle.

I was travelling west in the centre lane and passed the accident scene seconds after it happened. At the time, I was facing directly into the sun and my forward vision was completely blinded. I was creeping forward afraid if I stopped, this would cause a chain reaction.

The driver of the other vehicle would also have been blinded by the sun and would have never seen the city tractor nor would he have seen pylons or signs.

Every year on this date the setting sun is perfectly aligned to shine directly into the eyes of motorists travelling up the westside hill.

I would suggest the city make a notation of these dates and place a warning sign ahead of time warning motorists of the possibility of a total blinding situation.

Mel Godlonton


Happy Halloween. Here are some sunset times for tonight. Be seen, be safe.

image via

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – October 2016

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

Wow >

Galleria Mall developers file application for 12 residential towers | via @buzzbuzzhome

 “About a year after BuzzBuzzNews first reported Freed Developments and Elad Canada purchased the Galleria Mall, a development application for the 12-acre site in west-end Toronto has been filed to the City, the City’s planning department confirms. 

Galleria Developments, a joint venture between the two builders, filed the application today, a spokesperson for the developer says in an email.

The application proposes 3,416 residential units across 12 towers — these will also contain office and retail space — ranging from 10 to 42 storeys. Proposed residential space amounts to 222,895 square metres of residential space, BuzzBuzzNews has learned.”…

“Galleria Developments has hired on Hariri Pontarini Architects as the architecture firm for the project.”…

Toronto hospital wins architecture's highest honour | Construction Canada

“Bridgepoint Active Healthcare in Toronto recently received the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture, considered to be the highest recognition for architecture in Canada. 

Designed by Stantec Architecture, KPMB Architects, HDR Architecture, and Diamond Schmitt Architects, the key principles of design for Bridgepoint include:

  • maximizing natural daylight and views;
  • using natural materials and elements that support individuals as they progress through a gradual rehabilitation process;
  • designing social and dining spaces that encourage interaction, good nutrition, and promote self-efficacy;
  • optimizing the therapeutic benefits of access to nature and landscape; and
  • connecting and integrating the campus with the community.”…

RT Elena Christpoulos ‏@Elenach Yes, all cities do have parking problems. #Amsterdam #dcp #theplansm @santamonicacity @SustainableSM @urb_mag

image via tweet by @Elenach

> Seems to be an epidemic of parking problems in Holland. I took this pic in Assen. @Elenach @urb_mag @santamonicacity @SustainableSM

image by Ralph Bouwmeester

> Lennart Nout ‏@lennartnout:  @Elenach @AxleRyde @santamonicacity @SustainableSM @urb_mag all *successful* cities have a parking problem :)

> Sacha! ‏@sachalovesyoga:  @Elenach @SaMoCole wowww! I've never seen bike parking like that!

RT SkyriseCities ‏@skyrisecities Concrete Core of Latest @KohnPedersenFox Office Tower in #CanaryWharf Shooting Skywards. #London #RealEstate #Design

Opponents play shadow card >

Neighbors Double Down Against Mission District Affordable Housing | Mission Local

“Some of the same neighbors who in May opposed a nine-story, fully affordable housing project coming to Shotwell Street have continued their opposition, saying at a meeting on Wednesday that the building was too tall, too dense, and had too little parking. 

“In this neighborhood we only have three stories,” said Lucy, a Shotwell Street neighbor who declined to give her last name. Lucy and seven other people attended a meeting at the Mission Cultural Center to oppose a 94-unit senior housing development coming to 1296 Shotwell St. near Cesar Chavez Street.”…

…” the conversation turned to shadow impact and wind tunnels.

The nearly two-hour meeting saw shadow impact projections, evidence that wind tunnels would not be created, and maps of nearby transit. All were presented in a bid to convince neighbors that the height of the building would contribute neither to the availability of sun, parking congestion, or fierce gusts.

That bid, however, was ultimately unsuccessful, as neighbors reiterated their demand for a “compromise” to allow for some affordable housing, but not nine stories’ worth.”…

New Trackside Center plans drop building from six stories to four | Davis Enterprise @Felicia__A__

“Developers have trimmed down their plans for the proposed Trackside Center, a mixed-use infill project that would sit on Third Street at the edge of downtown. 

The revised Trackside Center would see a 48-foot-tall, four-story building with 9,100 square feet of commercial on the bottom floor and 27 apartments on the remaining floors. A 3-foot-tall parapet would make the tallest spot on the building 51 feet from the ground.

By comparison, the original Trackside Center proposed a 78-foot tall, six-story building that would include 9,900 square feet for retail, 48 units and underground parking with 55 spaces.

The latest plans arrive almost one year after residents of the adjacent Old East Davis neighborhood turned out in force at city commission meetings to oppose the building.

The height of the original building fell under the most scrutiny last year, as neighbors said the building would overshadow the “small-town character” of the adjacent one- to two-story bungalows.

Signs protesting the height and potential shadow of the six-story building continue to dot lawns throughout Old East Davis one year later.”… 

5 of our Clients on list. Congrats! >

The top 10 Toronto developments on @BuzzBuzzHome in September 2016

Designing and Simulating Daylight | Construction Canada

“The benefits of daylight are well-documented. For building occupants, it offers a range of positive physiological effects, which, in turn, translates into tangible benefits such as higher productivity, reduced employee sick time, improved employee morale, and lower lighting costs for businesses. 

Building occupants, owners, and policy-makers are increasingly aware of these benefits and are asking for buildings to be well-lit by natural light. Daylighting design and simulation is the way to make this happen—to quantifiably understand how light enters a building and to determine how to achieve the project’s daylight goals.

Daylighting is emphasized in green building standards, such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Daylight targets based on LEED are even being included as requirements for projects not pursuing certification.”…

Urban Cayman‏ @ProjectEND Statistics and new image of 2 Carlton by @ibigroup:

 > Kyle Miller ‏@kyleplans: @ProjectEND @ibigroup I don't believe that's a position the sun has ever occupied in the Toronto sky 

> Shawn Micallef‏ @shawnmicallef:  @kyleplans @DSGcondos @ibigroup @ProjectEND ask @SunPosition about this

> Well, the sun might be a tad too close to the tower as it appears to be melting. @shawnmicallef @kyleplans @DSGcondos @ibigroup @ProjectEND

RT SkyriseCities ‏@skyrisecities Surpassing the Transamerica Pyramid, @salesforce Tower Becomes San Francisco's Tallest. #RealEstate #Architecture  

> 61 storeys, 326m tall. That's a massive floor-to-floor height. This 61-storey building is easily equivalent to 100+ storeys.

RT Shawn Micallef ‏@shawnmicallef  Neat condo!

image via tweet by Shawn Micallef

> RT Chris Drew ‏@chrisjamesdrew:  @shawnmicallef has a point tower so the shadow impact will move across adjacent sites quickly :)

> Quite a hefty podium though. @chrisjamesdrew @shawnmicallef

> Apparently you can tell the time from that point tower :) @chrisjamesdrew @shawnmicallef

Height reduction = shadow reduction >

BPDA Approves Twelve Residential Units for 171 Tremont St Boston | Beacon Hill Times

“Late last week, the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), formerly the Boston Redevelopment Authority, approved the proposed project slated for 171 Tremont Street, located next to the Boston Common.

This project will include the construction of a 13-story building with 12 residential units, a welcoming lobby, and a public park in the Mason Place pedestrian walkway. This new building will replace the current four-story office building.”…

“Due to local opposition, including to the possible effects the spire might have on shadows on the Common and traffic on the surrounding streets, a decrease in height from 355 to 175 feet including rooftop mechanical equipment has been approved.

Since the project will be built as-of-right dimensions in accordance with the Zoning Code, it will no longer exceed the restrictions of the ‘shadow bank’ created under Chapter 362 of the Acts of 1990, the Public Common Shadow Act.

Because the proposed project is being developed at an as-of-right height, it is no longer required to comply with the Public Commons Shadow Act.

Due to the slim massing form and diminutive floor plate, the resulting new shadows casts by the project continue to be slight and narrow according to the BPDA.

Additionally, the shadow impacts associated with the project have been reduced as a result of the reduction in building height. The most shadow impacts will occur before the noon hour.

The BPDA says these impacts are very small due to the sitting of the building in the path of shadow cast by the Ritz Carlton Hotel and Ritz Carlton Residences at 10 Avery Street.

During the remaining periods, new shadows either fall on the roofs of existing buildings, or within shadows cast by existing buildings. During these periods, no new shadow is cast on sidewalks or public open space.”

Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – October 2016

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.

Hope Found For Unrecognized Ancient Malady Affecting Hundreds of Millions Worldwide | PR Newswire

“Hundreds of millions around the world avoid the sun and bright lights due to a condition known as "Photophobia." These people feel lonely, ostracized, ridiculed, and misunderstood by their peers, relatives, and neighbors. They experience many social and emotional ill effects as a result of living in darkness. Today, a new nonprofit organization P.S.A. is championing their cause.”

> A few years ago I designed a new home layout and shade structures for a Client suffering from this (Photophobia)

Looks like he lost the ball in the sun shade transition. But we'll take it. #BlueJays #OurMoment

Hey Toronto, are you ready for Torontohenge?

Torontohenge Tuesday Oct 25, 2016, 6:18 PM. Toronto @glynbowerman @shawnmicallef

> Boris ‏@TorontoBoris:  @shawnmicallef @SunPosition @glynbowerman what do you think is the best streets for it?

> Toronto 's main east-west streets such as Bloor, King, Queen, etc. @shawnmicallef @glynbowerman

> Boris ‏@TorontoBoris: I figured but Im trying to think which 1 woidldnte make for the most dramatic photographic effect

> Pick a spot where the street wall provides a good 'canyon' effect. @TorontoBoris @shawnmicallef @glynbowerman

RT Spacing Radio @SpacingRadio Photographers and sightseers, hit the east/west thoroughfares for a truly spectacular sight! Only comes but twice a year.  (Ed. twice at sunrise, twice at sunset)

Shawn Micallef ‏@shawnmicallef:  Tonight is Torontohenge & currently the sky is clear.

>.@shawnmicallef Fingers crossed. 

Catch a glimpse of Torontohenge tonight at sunset | CP24 

“Attention photographers! Tonight is your last chance this year to catch the phenomenon known as Torontohenge. 

At sunset, which occurs at 6:18 p.m., the sun will line up perfectly with the city’s east-west streets.”

“The event, which occurs twice a year at sunset and twice a year at sunrise, is a big attraction for photographers.”

Torontohenge – Today's (Ed. Oct 25/16) sunset could be nicest of the year in Toronto | via @blogto

“Toronto's home to some pretty spectacular sunsets. If you live in a west-facing highrise, you probably enjoy spectacular views and colourful skies on the regular. But today, everyone in the city will have a chance experience a marvelous show when the sun starts to go down. 

That's because it's time for Torontohenge, (Ed. Thanks for the link to our blog)that time when the sunset aligns perfectly with Toronto's east and west streets. This phenomenon actually occurs a few times per year, but if recent sunsets are any indication, this one could be special.”

Four things to know about Tuesday's Torontohenge | via @torontostar

“When the clock strikes 6:18 p.m. on Tuesday (Ed. Oct 25/16), people will have the chance to watch the sun bathe Toronto’s east and west streets in warm orange and red light as the sun sets. The sunset lines up perfectly with east and west streets just twice a year, and Tuesday is the last chance in 2016 for observers to catch the unique sight.”…

Skygazers take in 'Torontohenge' | Toronto Sun

“Torontohenge came to pass Tuesday, leaving excited photographers and Instagrammers in its wake. 

The phenomenon takes place four times a year – twice for sunsets, twice for sunrises - and is a perfect photo-op for a sunset or sunrise aligned along the east-west streets of downtown Toronto.

“For the downtown, where all the tall buildings are and where the streets form canyons with walls on one side, that's where it's most dramatic,” said Ralph Bouwmeester, a civil engineer with a speciality in sun position modelling.

He gave followers a friendly heads-up on Twitter a couple days before Torontohenge came along.

“I usually try to get those dates and times for people, and let them know in advance so that the photographers can get their cameras out,” he said.

If you missed it, there will be other parts of the city where the sun will set directly down other east-west streets that are “aligned slightly differently,” Bouwmeester said, either Wednesday or next month.”

> Thank you @TheTorontoSun for the Torontohenge shout-out. Much appreciated. @MaryamShahLive

DYK: Latest sunrise of the year in Toronto is not in the dead of winter. Because of time change it's on Nov 5/16 at 7:59 AM.

Sunshine causes delay at Heritage Classic | Winnipeg Sun

“A bright and sunny Winnipeg afternoon was perfect for almost everything on Sunday, except for the Heritage Classic start time. 

The glare from the sun created unsafe conditions for the players, so the outdoor game at Investors Group Field between the Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers was delayed by nearly two hours.”…

RT @CP24 Walking on sunshine: Idaho company debuts solar sidewalks

What time will it get dark on Halloween? This may help >

image via

Cheers, Ralph

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Sun Glare While Driving – September 2016

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

Seeing a dog hang out a car window is cute. Jumping out, not so much. Happened right in front of me. Seemed to be OK.

RT Cellino & Barnes @Cellino_Barnes Sun glare may have been a factor in NYC accident where ferry struck kayakers 

“Authorities are looking into whether sun glare was a factor in an accident in which a ferry departing a pier slammed into a group of kayakers, critically injuring one and knocking some into the Hudson River. 

Ten people in eight kayaks were paddling down the river on Tuesday evening on a sunset excursion when they were struck by a NY Waterway ferry, New York Police Department Inspector David Driscoll said.”…

“Authorities don't know what caused the crash but said they were investigating whether sun glare played a role.

"When you're driving the same thing happens," Driscoll said. "When that sun is low in the sky you get a glare condition, and where you get blinded on the road sometimes the same conditions could exist on the water."”…

Police: Sun glare likely cause for Orange County crash as teenage driver was adjusting visor >

…”A two-car accident on Route 17K in the Town of Montgomery on Monday morning claimed the life of an 87-year-old man. He was identified as George Gisselbrecht of Salisbury Mills, who was a passenger in a car driven by his wife, Mary, 85. She was listed in Critical Condition at Westchester Medical Center.

The accident, just before 6:30 p.m., when a 16-year-old female, driving in the opposite direction near Berea Road, drifted into the opposite lane and crashed into the other vehicle. She was taken to Orange Regional Medical Center in the Town of Wallkill and listed in stable condition.

Police are listing sun glare as likely cause for the crash as the teenage driver was adjusting her visor.”

MidHudson News -

Watch for school buses and excited kids on their way back to school. They will be out during low morning sun.

RT planetizen @planetizen How U.S Road Safety Compares to Other Countries

“The Economist follows on recent news about a jump in traffic fatalities around the United States to offer some international perspective: "By most counts America has the worst road-safety record in the rich world."”…

Inquest hears Westport cyclist's death was instant - Verdict: accidental death | The Mayo News

…“The inquest into his death heard that the driver of the vehicle, Nicola O’Rourke was blinded by the glare of the sun and did not see Mr Walsh before the collision which occurred at approximately 11.30am.”…

“Ms O’Rourke told the inquest she had been travelling from Westport with her son, Oisín, and she remembered taking a bend and being ‘completely blinded by the sun’.”…

“Garda Denis Egan arrived on the scene around 11.57am and noticed a strong glare from the sun. At 12.55pm, Dr Jerry Cowley pronounced Mr Walsh dead.

A test for alcohol that was performed on Ms O’Rourke proved negative.

Audrey Ní Fhearghail, who came on the scene, said that while driving she had to put on her sunglasses because of the glare of the sun.”… 

Time of year for low sun on E/W streets >

Carbondale church-goer killed by neighbor's car | The Times-Tribune

“A 66-year-old woman on her way to church died Tuesday morning in Carbondale after a car driven by her neighbor struck her in a crosswalk.

Elizabeth Ann Tolan, of Green Street, died shortly after the 7:30 a.m. crash on Fallbrook Street, Lackawanna County Chief Deputy Coroner Jesse Van Deusen said. She was walking in the crosswalk on her way to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Police Chief Brian P. Bognatz said. An autopsy is scheduled today.

The driver, 61-year-old Joseph Masco of Hammond Avenue, told police that a sun glare hampered his vision.

Police still are investigating, but the chief said his statement seems to match up.

“The sun would have been directly in his eyes as he came down,” Chief Bognatz said.”… 

Sunglare reminder from the RCMP >

RT Adam MacVicar @AdamMacVic RCMP say time of day played a factor into the collision, and are reminding drivers/pedestrians to pay attention to sun glare on the road.

Sun Glare Blamed In Deadly Collision With Wheelchair | CBS Denver

 “Police blame sun glare for a deadly crash that killed a man in a wheelchair in Lakewood on Friday morning.

The collision between the man in a wheelchair and the SUV happened at West 14th and Reed Street.

Investigators said the man in the electric wheelchair was traveling westbound in an eastbound traffic lane.”… 

Sun glare one of the issues >

Middletown fire officials call for changes to intersection | WFSB

“People who live along Randolph Road and Lee Street in Middletown say the area is notorious for accidents. 

The fire chief, whose station sits along both roads, says it's downright dangerous; and while there have been calls for changes to the traffic light, one state agency has firmly said no.

Officials said there have been 15 accidents in the last six years, all in the area around Lee Street and Randolph Road, an area near two schools.

Middletown South Fire Chief Rob Ross has been sounding the alarm to get the Department of Transportation to change the flashing signals that are in the area.

“When you look at everything in the intersection, the angle of the side street, the proximity of the firehouse, the various times of year where the sun is either coming up in the morning or setting in the afternoon, I think there are a lot of things in the intersection that make it inherently unsafe,” Ross said.

Firefighters have control of the lights to stop traffic for emergencies, but drivers on Lee Street say they can't clearly see oncoming traffic without jumping into Randolph Road.

Then there's sun glare, which Ross says was a factor in a crash that happened in the area on Aug. 12.

The DOT did investigate the intersection in 2013, taking into account crash data, traffic, among other factors and denied the city’s request.”…

Rising or setting sun blinding your commute? Here's why | via @KIRO7Seattle 

…”The bright sunrises and sunsets have been blinding drivers — making it difficult for some to see during their commute. 

KIRO 7 meteorologist Nick Allard explains that as we approach the fall equinox — where night and day are nearly equal in time — the sun is getting lower and lower in the sky each day. This is why drivers going eastbound in the mornings and westbound in the evenings are noticing it.

KIRO 7 News contacted the WSDOT, asking what drivers can do to drive safely when they are on the commute.

Here are the tips they gave:

  • Do not follow the cars in front of you too closely.
  • Have sunglasses. Even on rainy days, during this time of year, rain can go away and the sun can come back and be bright.  
  • Use your sun shade.
  • Most importantly, slow down for conditions. For example, if it’s raining, leave extra distance so you'll have plenty of room to slow down.

For drivers looking for a less shiny commute: Daylight Saving Time ends on Nov. 6, meaning that it will be dark for early evening commuters.”

Low sun coincides with kids walking to school these days >

Girl hit by car near school | via @Q13FOX

“A 12-year-old girl had to be airlifted to the hospital after she was hit by a car Wednesday morning in front of Camelot Elementary School. According to the King County Sheriff's Office, the child suffered serious injuries and was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Few details about the crash were immediately released, but officials said the girl was about 20 to 30 yards away from the crosswalk when she ran across the street. She was on her way to Kilo Middle School when she was hit by a teen driver heading to high school.

King County Sheriff's Sgt. Jason Houck told Q13 News the "driver involved in the accident wasn`t doing anything wrong," and that the driver was not speeding in the school zone nor was she impaired.

However, some people do wonder if the sun's glare played a role in the crash.”

"I leave pretty early and the sun is coming up about that time," said Rebecca Richards who has a student at Camelot Elementary.”…

RT Scott Marshall @SafeDriver Should residential speed limits drop? The government thinks so. Are there pros & cons for this? This explains;

>Great article Scott.

RT CAA @CAA Hazards like pets, sun glare, heavy traffic, and pot holes can cause distracted driving. Learn more here

Hang up, don't bang up!

No citations given for crash caused by blinding sun | The Argus Observer

“A setting sun was the cause of an accident on East Idaho Avenue Thursday evening as vehicles were stopped at stop light.

At 1998 Chevrolet Blazer was traveling west on East Idaho Avenue in the right lane toward the Interstate 84 overpass when driver Timothy Gallagher, 58, of Sandy, was blinded by the sun, according to an Oregon State Police report.

Some vehicles ahead of Gallagher were at a stoplight and Gallagher did not see them stop. He collided into the back of a 2005 Dodge Caravan, driven by Jovanna Vargas, 26, of Ontario, police said. The collision pushed the Caravan into the back of a 2013 Hyundai Elantra driven by Amber Suing, 29, of Payette, the report said.

All parties involved complained of pain, and Vargas was transported to Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Ontario by Treasure Valley Paramedics for observation, police said.

No citations were issued due to the circumstances. Consistent statements regarding the blinding sun were made by all parties involved in the crash, according to police.”… 

Simple, genius >

To avoid 'doorings' cyclist wants drivers to do the ""Dutch Reach"" via @BostonGlobe @jen_keesmaat

“Michael Charney wants you to do the Dutch Reach. 

The 70-year-old retired doctor, who lives in Cambridge, is spearheading a grassroots public information campaign to encourage drivers exiting their vehicles to use their right hands to open their car doors.

Charney claims that by doing so, it forces motorists to turn their bodies, and check their mirrors and look over their shoulder for oncoming cyclists. The method, he said, could help avoid what can often be fatal collisions referred to as “doorings,” or being “doored.””…

>And the Dutch know a thing or two about cycling @BostonGlobe @jen_keesmaat

>This is what a commuter lot looks like in Holland. How many acres needed if cars? @BostonGlobe @jen_keesmaat

image by Ralph Bouwmeester

>RT Howard Chang @adcycle: Spending time in Amsterdam and Copenhagen gave a glimpse of what we can be

Contrast between sun and shade is extreme these days. Pedestrians, assume drivers can't see you.

Drivers, watch for pedestrians in 'black holes'. Contrast between sun and shade is extreme these days.

Police: Use Caution When Driving Into the Sun | OzarksFirst

“An accident involving three students from Monett sent two girls to the hospital Monday morning. Police said a 16-year-old driver had turned East on Sycamore as the ten and 13-year-olds were crossing the road. Both girls were taken to the hospital but have since been released. The driver was not hurt.

The Monett Chief of Police said this should be a message to drivers because he said the sun is to blame for the accident.

"Almost everybody at some point at some time has been affected by sun blinding if you've been driving for a long time," said Chief George Daoud, Monett Police Department.

Daoud said sun blinding occurs frequently.

"That is when the sun is directly in the eyes of a driver and they cannot see what is going on in front of them for a very far distance," said Daoud.

Daoud said it happens often for a period of 15-20 minutes at a time during sunrise and sunset.

"Fall time of year and springtime is really bad because it's whenever everybody is driving to and from work, to and from school," Daoud said.

He said it can affect everyone.”…

“Daoud suggests adjusting to the environment that's around you and taking your time when the sun is blinding you.

"Through a combined effort of people taking their time during these periods of sunlight that's hitting them in the face and giving a little more space we can all have a more safe commute," said Daoud.

Daoud also suggests taking an alternate route or driving at a different time to avoid sun blinding. If you're unable to he suggests investing in polarized sunglasses to reduce glare, using your sun visor, keeping your windshield clean, and ensuring your windshield has no cracks. Also, he suggests refraining from storing papers or other objects on your dashboard.” 

Scott, do you have any advice for keeping other drivers from filling the gap? @SafeDriver

>RT Scott Marshall @SafeDriver:  @SunPosition Can't really keep someone from coming over, but you can see their movement sooner with these tips;

>Great advice once again Scott.  Thank you @SafeDriver

Drivers beware, time of year again when sun rises/sets along E/W roads >

Blinding sun to blame for Abilene accident, injuries | KTXS

“Abilene Police say a driver of a SUV heading east down North 12th Street was blinded by the rising sun Tuesday morning and ran into a parked pickup truck near the intersection with Grape Street.

The driver of that truck was outside of the vehicle at the time. He was standing between the truck and the flatbed trailer it was connected to, working on the break lights.

The driver of the SUV. says she did not see the truck as she was driving into blinding sunlight, and hit the pickup, which then pinned the driver between the back of the truck and the trailer.”…

Glare of sun causes accident on Windsor Lane | Leader & Times

“Two cars were towed away from Windsor Lane in Liberal as the result of a rollover accident Tuesday morning.

Responders were called to the incident at around 8:22 a.m.

“Emergency responders were dispatched to a rollover accident at the 2000 block of Windsor Lane,” a report from Liberal Police Department Captain Pat McClurg noted. The responding officers located a white 2010 Ford Fusion which had rolled onto the driver’s side,

“Investigating officers determined that the 20-year-old female driver of the Fusion was going east on Windsor Lane when she became blinded by the sun,” the report noted. “The vehicle sideswiped a parked 1998 Dodge Ram pickup, which caused the Fusion to roll onto the driver’s side.”

Both vehicles ended up with disabling damage. No injuries were reported.” 

RT Drop It And Drive @DropItAndDrive 9 Ways to Improve Your Focus Behind the Wheel

“Human error is responsible for the vast majority of vehicle crashes on our roads. While some of these errors are due to irresponsible or reckless driving, many of them are simply due to a lack of attention. When we operate a motor vehicle, we are responsible for the safety of our passengers and all of those who share the road with us. It can be difficult to be cognizant of that fact 100 percent of the time when we are behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, all it takes is a brief moment of distraction before we make a mistake that costs us or someone else dearly.”…

RT Eugenia Ambrozaitis @ReconGeniTPS Math don't lie. As a Recon expert in Court I use relatable terms to describe distances Don't drive distracted

image via

RT KIWA Radio @kiwaradio Drivers: Watch Out For Blinding Sun Straight Ahead

“Twice each year, with the arrival of spring and fall, Iowa motorists need to be particularly careful when driving at sunrise and sunset.

Gail Weinholzer with Triple-A-Iowa, says the sun could be blinding during the morning and afternoon commutes for the next few weeks, especially since the sun is lined up almost directly with east-west roads.”…

RT Katia Osokine @KatiaOsokine:  My anecdotal evidence: main cause of downtown rush-hour gridlock is drivers entering the intersection when they can't clear it

>@KatiaOsokine And the inability to turn because of pedestrian traffic.

RT CBC Toronto @CBCToronto 1,083 pedestrians and cyclists have been hit by vehicles since June, urban planner says

>@CBCToronto And that's only in Toronto.

“An urban planner says Toronto is facing a "public health epidemic," after 1,083 pedestrians and cyclists were struck by cars since June. 

Cars hit 542 pedestrians and 541 cyclists over 112 days — an average of nearly 10 collisions a day.

"Regardless of who's at fault, something has to change here," Kyle Miller told CBC's Metro Morning Friday..

Those numbers are higher than for the same time period last year, when cars struck 474 pedestrians and 525 cyclists, according to figures from Toronto police.”…

A factor maybe, but responsible? >

Sun Glare May Have Been Responsible After Teen Struck in Arlington | Patch

“Intense sun glare may have been to blame after a 15-year-old girl on her way to school was struck by a vehicle, police say. 

The girl, who was struck in the 5100 block of Lee Highway, was taken to George Washington University with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. She was in the crosswalk at the time of the accident, which happened at around 7:36 a.m. on Sept. 22”…

RT NRSPP @NRSPPaus Pedestrian safety needs to catch up to technology and put people before cars via @ConversationEDU

“One pedestrian is killed every two days on Australia’s roads, the majority in metropolitan areas. While advances in safety systems and technology over past decades have greatly improved driver and passenger safety, there has been relatively little new technology to ensure the safety of pedestrians. Even current innovations to improve pedestrian safety are still designed from a car-centric approach.

In many places walking is significantly more dangerous than travelling by car, despite mostly separated facilities and slower speeds than any other mode of travel. Worldwide, more than 270,000 pedestrians lose their lives on roads each year – 22% of all road traffic deaths.”…

Worldwide, 270,000+ pedestrians lose their lives each yr - 22% of traffic deaths. via @ConversationEDU

Sun glare reportedly caused truck crash that closed part of U.S. 24 near Peyton | via @csgazette

“The sun got in the eyes of a driver whose cement truck crashed into a cement barrier on U.S. 24 just east of Peyton, spilling about 50 gallons of diesel fuel on the road and causing major delays, Gazette news partner KKTV reported. 

The single-vehicle crash near mile marker 322 was reported just after 7 a.m., the Colorado State Patrol said.”…

Cheers, Ralph