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