Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sun Glare While Driving – August 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

Shane O'Connor @oconnorshane:  Be especially careful in work zones. Road Safety. No distractions.

> @SunPosition:  @oconnorshane I hope they have a similar ad showing guys shaving behind the wheel.

TWC News Rochester @TWCNewsROC:  Deputies say sun glare potential factor in Perinton NY crash—man on bike hit by 1 vehicle, then another

Sun glare believed to be a factor: Sheriff >

Man Struck by Two Vehicles in Perinton | TWC News

“A man riding his bike Thursday evening on Whitney Road was struck by two vehicles and taken to the hospital, where he was placed in a medically-induced coma.

Vincent Jacobs, 22, is in critical condition, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said Jacobs was using the crosswalk from the Pines of Perinton when he was struck by a car driving west. The impact left Jacobs in the eastbound lane, where he was stuck again by another vehicle.

The sheriff's office believes sun glare could have been a factor in the crash.” … #ROC

Rescuers unable to see them due to sun glare >

2 Pilots Survived 21 Terrifying Hours in the Oceans of Hawaii | Newser

“David McMahon says he wasn't terribly afraid in the first minutes after the two-engine plane he had been flying crashed in Hawaiian waters en route from Oahu to the Big Island. After all, the 26-year-old tells Hawaii News Now of the July 13 accident, he and the plane's co-pilot, 23-year-old Sydnie Uemoto, had survived the crash and had called for assistance before they bailed out of the plane. Help would soon arrive, he thought. But what the pair ended up going through in the ocean soon brought his fears to the forefront, notes the , with a 21-hour ordeal that included McMahon's life vest getting punctured (meaning he had to tread water and swim), jellyfish stings, and being circled by a shark as rescue choppers and search planes passed them by, unable to see them due to the waves and sun glare even though they flew over the two at least 10 times…”

Sun glare suspected in left turn crash >

Victims in Two Separate Fatal Motorcycle Crashes Identified | TWC News

“Around 7 p.m., crews responded to Trimmer Road near West Ridge Road for a car and motorcycle accident.

Deputies say Joseph D'Agostino, 54, of Spencerport was driving his motorcycle east on Route 104 when a car turned in front of him. D'Agostino was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The driver of the car said she never saw the motorcycle. Deputies believe sun glare may have been a factor in the crash…”

Driver claims sun glare made traffic light hard to see >

Pastor killed, wife critically injured in motorcycle crash |

“A pastor of a Bordentown Township church was killed and his wife critically injured Sunday night when their motorcycle collided with an SUV in Eastampton, police said.

The 7:55 p.m. crash occurred when Larry and Leslie House, both 57, were riding a motorcycle through the intersection of Woodlane and Smithville roads, police said.

Police say the investigation is ongoing, but it appears Susan Deserio, 62, of Pennsylvania, failed to stop at the red light and struck the couple with her Subaru Forester.

She told police she could not see because of the sun glare. Charges have not been filed yet…”

Good tips here >

DriveTeam, Inc.@DriveTeamInc:  Dangers of driving into the sun. @AAANews

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

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

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

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

Additional tips:

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

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

UPDATE: Police issue sun glare warning with pics of crunched-up car after crash in Witney | Oxford Mail

A car and bin lorry crashed in Witney

“POLICE officers urged drivers to take care in the sun's glare after a crash in central Witney this morning.

Thames Valley Police released dramatic images showing the crunched-up car, which appeared to have crashed with a Biffa lorry in Langdale Gate.”…

“Make sure your windscreens are clean inside and out with the low morning sun. Costly for this motorist.”… 

Grey Cells @greycells:  It's that time of year again. The most predictable object in the solar system but still confounds some drivers.

> @SunPosition:  The sun may not seem so predictable in a dynamic environment such as driving. @greycells @vanpdf

Vancouver Pedestrian @vanpdf:  @SunPosition @greycells then blame driving for crashes instead of sun. Why design cities & roads to be "dynamic" if low sun happens 2x/day?

> @SunPosition:  @vanpdf @greycells Curves, corners, hills, shadows, etc., all play into the dynamics of driving in low bright sun.

Vancouver Pedestrian @vanpdf:  @sunposition @greycells These are driving problems, not sun problems. Sun isn’t the problem. Driving is.

> @SunPosition:  @vanpdf @greycells When you can see one second, and not the next, I would suggest it's the sun creating a driving problem.

> @SunPosition:  @vanpdf @greycells The sun rises and sets in the same direction only 2 days out of 365 per year. Moving target.

Vancouver Pedestrian @vanpdf:  @SunPosition @greycells lower speeds solve safety with low sun quite nicely. Hard to kill at 20, even if blinded. At 60, killing is default.

> @SunPosition:  @vanpdf @greycells Couldn't agree more. Lower speeds is a practical solution in pedestrian zones, not so much on highways.

Vancouver Pedestrian @vanpdf:  @sunposition @greycells Lower highway speeds work fine.  A world of difference between 60 km/h on the highway and 130 km/h on the highway.

Grey Cells @greycells:  @SunPosition Light & shadows on new routes tell you what's coming. Drivers habitual routes would not surprise. Everyday Absolution @vanpdf

Anyone else have their Forward Collision Warning System triggered by sunlight? Scares the daylights out of me (no pun intended).

Police warn of sun glare >

RT TVP Carterton ‏@TVP_Carterton: Make sure your windscreens are clean inside and out with the low morning sun. Costly for this motorist

Don't mix gasoline and alcohol. Ruins your engine - and tastes awful.

That flip-down thing above your windshield isn't for holding CDs, papers, etc. Keep it clear so you can use it as intended.

Scott Marshall @SafeDriver:  Driving into the sunset isn't as romantic as many think it is. Here's how to safely deal with glare; 


“Like most people, I enjoy having the bright sunshine compared to an overcast day anytime. Feeling the warmth on my face relaxes me and makes me happy…well, most of the time. 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.”… (Read on at link below)

Blind leading blind >

Two vehicles leave highway at end of 103 near Yarmouth | NovaNewsNow 

“A blinding sun is being blamed for an accident early Monday evening in which two vehicles drove off the end of Highway 103 in Yarmouth County.”…

“The vehicles – one with Ontario licence plates, the other from Pennsylvania – were heading west on the 103 when they apparently were blinded by the sun and didn’t realize they were at the end of the highway, the chief said.

The sun was low enough that they didn’t see the signs and they just drove basically right off the highway,” he said.”…

Interesting "Smart Windshield" research >

University of Florida Transportation Institute

…”“Smart Windshield” – a windshield that becomes darker when is in contact with the sun’s ultra violet light. It will become part of the Automated Vehicle Technologies Implementation project. Sun glare has become a natural threat for all drivers by reducing their visibility and increasing their perception reaction time (interval of time between the appearance of an unknown obstacle and the driver’s initiation of action). This project focuses on reducing the vehicle crashes caused by sun glare by installing photochromic molecules (clear molecules that become darker when they are in contact with the sun’s ultra violet light) in the car’s windshield. The expected result of this project is to improve the driver’s vision by reducing the effects of disability glare (reduction in visibility caused by the presence of a light source in the eyes2,3) and improving their perception-reaction time”…

Pics obviously taken later, sunrise was at 6:40 >

Man dead, two injured, in TTC bus crash – CityNews | via @CityNews

TTC, crash, fatal

(photo source:

”One man is dead and two people are in hospital after a two-vehicle crash in the city’s northeast end.

A car rear-ended a TTC bus in the southbound lanes of Warden Avenue, near Finch Avenue, around 6:40 a.m. on Tuesday.

A 26-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. He was sitting in the backseat of the car at the time of the crash.”… 

DriveSmartBC: @DriveSmartBC @SunPosition Possibly rear seat passenger unbelted and collided with front seat passenger? Lifespace in car still intact...

> @SunPosition: @DriveSmartBC Sounds likely. Unbuckled passengers are a hazard to not only themselves, but to others in the car.

We're approaching that time of year again when low sun coincides with morning and afternoon commutes. Sunglasses & visors ready.

> @SunPosition:  Hey Kevin. Thank you kindly for the RT. @SF_KevinG

@SF_KevinG: You're welcome, Ralph! Thanks for such great expert content.

> @SunPosition:  Wow, thank YOU.

J. Peter Donald @JPeterDonald:  @NYPDSpecialops is at Pier 79. They have pulled numerous kayakers from the water after getting hit by a ferry

Police look into whether sun glare was factor in kayak crash | CNBC

“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."”…

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – August 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

Part of a massive proposed Toronto development at The Well to sell for $180 million | via @buzzbuzzhome


“A large portion of “one of the few remaining developable sites in downtown Toronto” is selling for $180 million, say the property’s current owners.

RioCan, Allied and Diamondcorp announced today plans to sell most of the future residential elements of The Well — a major mixed-use community proposed for a 7.67-acre parcel of land at Front Street West and Spadina Avenue — to Tridel and Woodbourne.

The site’s development plans, which the City is still currently reviewing, include 1.43 million square feet of proposed residential space spread across both condos and rental apartments. In all, it will feature 3,000,000 square feet of mixed-use development with offices and retail units as well…”

Proud to be part this project team!

82-Unit Affordable Rental Development Planned Near Casa Loma | via @urban_toronto

“Almost 8 years after the City of Toronto's Planning Department recommended approval of an 82-unit affordable housing development located at 200 Madison Avenue in Toronto's Casa Loma area. To be called Madison View, revised plans for the site have been put into motion with a recent application for Site Plan Approval from Madison View Homes Inc., after funding issues scuppered the previous plan.

Vacant for nearly 10 years, the site was the location for an April 27, 2015 event attended by Mayor John Tory, who vowed to fast-track affordable housing across the city. A Request for Proposal for Development and Operation of Affordable Rental Housing was submitted a few weeks after that announcement, followed by an application last week for a new design by McKnight Charron Limited Architects…”

“The project is being funded by all levels of government alongside developer Madison View Homes, which was incorporated for the sole purpose of developing the site. Parent company Mahogany Management has been developing commercial buildings in Southern Ontario since 1990, and has now has 16 years experience developing affordable and supportive rental housing. It is contributing $7 million of the costs, which is being matched by the Government of Canada. The Government of Ontario is contributing $6.2 million, while the City of Toronto is contributing $5.5 million in the form of land and waived development fees and property taxes…”

Proud to be part this project team!

RT Mike CollinsWilliams @mikejcw Toronto's CBD continues to expand beyond traditional boundaries w future projects planned on King W by @AlliedREIT

Locals worry that Inwood rezoning will create permanent shadow | via @trdny


“Central Park is no longer the only place where locals fear that tall towers will cast long shadows. Shade is being thrown all over NYC. In Inwood, a new zoning proposal has residents fearful of new tall buildings creating a permanent shadow.

The city’s Economic Development Corporation saw opposition at a recent hearing to discuss the controversial plan to rezone Inwood.

According to DNAinfo, locals said the agency’s plans would allow new high rises to grow along Broadway. They say that if those buildings are developed it would plunge existing buildings along Park Terrace East into darkness because of the area’s steep grade…”

Residents fight to save schoolyard sunshine in condo battle | via @torontostar

Lyndon Morley, wife Susannah and son Rowan, 8, are among those opposed to a proposed 38-storey condo tower they fear will leave the nearby Church Street Junior Public School in the shadows.

A proposed development at 411 Church St., left, is shown in an artist's rendering, beside another tower on Carlton St. that has already been approved.

“Canada’s largest school board is fighting a proposed condo development in the downtown core that threatens to leave a local elementary school in the shadows.

The 38-storey mixed-use building slated to be built at Church and Wood Sts., at the southern end of the Church-Wellesley Village, would cast a shadow on the nearby Church Street Junior Public School, prompting the Toronto District School Board to join those battling to save the sunshine for the elementary school students…”

“The OMB, the province’s quasi-judicial body that handles land and planning disputes, will decide the fate of 411 Church St. in the coming months following a two-day hearing this week. The space is currently used as a parking lot.

At the hearing, the city, which is leading the fight to save the sun, put forward an altered, 25-storey design. Their model is intended to limit the shadow mostly within that of existing buildings and, notably, within the shadow to be cast by a 37-storey tower going up at 70 and 72 Carlton St. — next door to the proposed building…” (Proud to be part of the Carlton project team!)

Here is every GTA high-rise and mid-rise condo development launching in fall 2016 | via @buzzbuzzhome

See here for full list -

Excerpt below - 75 on the Esplanade by Carttera Private Equities and Harhay Developments - a project team we are proud to be a part of!


Shadow concerns >

New Shops and Apartments Planned for West Bridgford | West Bridgford Wire

“Plans to demolish the building for new shops and apartments have been lodged.

The plans propose nine (9) one bedroom flats/maisonettes and 125 square metres of trading space for retail use.

One comment has been received against the proposals from a local resident – here is a brief summary;

‘The new build will be very over bearing to my property. The footprint of the new build is much larger than the current build extending out beyond the existing property boundaries. The proposed build moves closer to my boundary and consequently to my house, extends much further at the back of my property and will tower over my home. This will be an imposing building when compared to my home and the existing property and will negatively impact me in a number of ways.

The build will cast a shadow over my house for many more hours in the day than I currently experience depriving me of light and making the inside of my home darker. This will cause me to use artificial lighting for longer which will both cost me additional money and have a negative impact on the environment because of increased use of electricity…””

Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – August 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.

The science of shadows and solar panels | InfraCircle

The science of shadows and solar panels

“What happens when shadow falls on a solar panel?

Imagine a multi-lane expressway with automobiles moving at high speeds without any congestion. A solar panel consists of a number of cells, which are comparable to the expressway lanes. When solar radiation falls on these cells, free electrons are released because of the photovoltaic effect and move around in the circuit (like the automobiles) in the form of an electric current. These cells are connected in series to form a string and a number of such strings are connected in parallel to form a panel.

Now if an obstacle casts a shadow on one cell, the photovoltaic effect is cut off, blocking the path of all the electrons from all the cells in that string. This is similar to a large fissure appearing in one of the lanes on the highway. All the automobiles in that lane would create congestion similar to the entire string of cells rendered useless because of the shadow. This creates enormous stress on the entire panel as a hot spot is formed due to accumulation of electrons. This may have a propagative effect, if not rectified, and can destroy the entire panel over time. Similarly, if the crack is not repaired, it will propagate into other lanes and soon the cascading effect will lead to utter chaos on an impassable expressway. The actual physics behind this phenomenon is slightly more complicated, but the comparison above could give an idea of the same.

How do shadows affect RTPV systems?

After having interacted with numerous RTPV consumers, it was observed that most of the complaints were about systems generating less revenue than expected. Subsequent site visits showed that a majority of these RTPV systems were poorly designed and did not account for shadows. Consumers, who had not been informed about the adverse impacts of shadows, had been criticising the distribution utilities for foul play when in fact, their own RTPV systems were generating less electricity.

In India, RTPV systems should face true south and any nearby obstacle, including neighbouring buildings, trees, poles and wires, should be factored into the designing phase. Nearby objects such as water tanks, clothes lines, adjacent buildings and poles cast darker shadows compared with obstacles which are at a fair distance. Shadows from the latter category and thin wires do not cause much hindrance because sunlight tends to diffuse around them and compensate. However, caution should be exercised while designing a RTPV system. Another aspect of shadows is that they are not static. They follow the sun’s trajectory, thereby becoming shorter in their span during summer and longer during winter for any particular time of the day. Hence, it is essential to calculate the area covered by shadows throughout the year for optimal RTPV system design…”

Toronto dips to under 14 hrs of daylight after Aug 14. Still not too shabby.

Watch the sun rise in line with Toronto streets tomorrow morning. Torontohenge Aug 23 - 6:32 AM

To assist earthquake rescuers, we have posted a sunrise/sunset table for Amatrice Italy -

There are just over 13 hrs daylight available in the Italy Earthquake area to the end of this month. Rise ~6:30, set ~19:45 local time.

RT CanSIA @CanadianSIA Solar Power sculpture could desalinate 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water for California | Independent


“Is it public art, or is it a power station? This shimmering design for “The Pipe”, a finalist in the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), is intended to blur the lines between the two. Imagined here as a floating installation off the coast of Santa Monica, California, the Pipe is an electromagnetic desalination device, powered by the sun. It also looks great on the horizon…”

> Genius! Oakland California also saw a solar billboard / artwork designed for SunChips. @CanadianSIA -

time-lapse video here -

Industry groups call for national plan for energy-efficient buildings | Construction Canada

Eleven organizations urge the federal government to implement a national plan for energy-efficient buildings in Canada, which will see all new construction to be nearly zero energy by 2030. Photo courtesy Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)

“Eleven organizations, including the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), Passive House Canada, and the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance (CEEA), are calling on the federal government to implement a national plan for improving the energy efficiency of the country’s buildings…”

My twitter header photo is of the Air India Flight 182 memorial sundial in Toronto that I had the honour of designing.

Cheers, Ralph