Saturday, November 18, 2017

Sun Glare While Driving – October 2017

The following relate to the dangers of sun glare while driving, and traffic safety in general. They were derived from our twitter feed @SunPosition and include a brief synopsis of the news story and a link to the original article.

One person injured in Keene crash today via @keene_sentinel

7:45 AM crash.

Early morning sun glare caused one vehicle to sideswipe another at the intersection of Route 12 and Wyman Road in Keene NH.

Blinding sun contributes to N. Cornwall crash via Lebanon Daily News

Westbound vehicle crashed at 5:42 PM.

A line of stopped vehicles was rear-ended by a westbound car on Wilhelm Avenue in North Cornwall Township PA.  Sun glare was blamed for the 5:42 PM crash.

October Is Now The Second Deadliest Month On The Roadway. Why?  via Alexandria News

This deviates from the pattern of the past 30 years or so.  With the sun  rising and setting along east-west streets, commuters face the sun during either their morning or evening commutes in many cities.  Not that this is any different from what is was 30 years ago.

There are a lot of interesting crash stats in this article.

Patches of dark shade and bright sun >

NHP identifies Carson City man in fatal pedestrian accident  via Carson Now

Struck by eastbound vehicle at 7:30 AM .

An eastbound food truck struck and killed a pedestrian near the intersection of Long and State Streets in Carson City NV. Sun glare is thought to have contributed to the 7:30 AM collision.

Cycling: 'Light up' your bicycle this fall season  via

Changing sun and weather conditions can affect rider safety during the Fall. Your after work ride may now be in the dark; your morning ride might be during low sun conditions when it may be difficult for drivers to see you.

Speed and sun glare being looked at >

Woman and child seriously injured in southwest Calgary crash via CBC News

Struck by eastbound vehicle at 9:00 AM.

Sun glare is one of the factors being looked at after a grandmother and her 3-year-old granddaughter were struck and seriously injured in SW Calgary.

Driver said sun glare was cause >

Police investigate 3-way crash on Boulevard  via @6abc

A cab driver is alleged to have run a red light causing a chain reaction collision on Roosevelt Boulevard at Front Street in North Philadelphia.  The driver said sun glare was the cause.

Sun glare doesn't excuse hit and run >

Police Seek Driver in Apparent Hit and Run  via East Hampton Star

Sun glare with pedestrian in shade.

A seriously injured senior was found on Farm Lane in East Hampton, an apparent victim of hit and run.  A neighbour said that sun glare was very bad around the curve where the victim was hit and that the victim may have been in shade from foliage. Sun glare was noted the following day at around the same time.

Sun glare cited as cause >

Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle Near Medford Acme  via Pine Barrens Tribune

Left turn + sun glare.

An elderly pedestrian, crossing Jennings Road in Medford NJ, was struck by a left-turning car coming out of a parking lot.  The driver said that sun glare prevented him from seeing the pedestrian.

Drivers, extra caution needed at this time of year >

Pedestrian Hit by Car in Reno NV  via KTVN-TV

Early morning collision - 7:15 AM.

Driver said he couldn’t see pedestrian due to sun  glare. "

Motorists urged to be alert, deer mating season gets underway, days get shorter  via @LakewoodScoop

Apparently there are 1000’s of deer/vehicle collisions in New Jersey each year.  Most occur during the fall mating season, and activity peaks during the early morning and around sunset – when driving visibility may be poor due to sun glare.

Be aware. Be prepared. sun glare at this time of year can be deadly.

Aware of the glare. #roadsafety #driving #sunglare #AwareOfTheGlare

Great article, with stats, on sun glare and driving >

Sun glare warning to Hampshire drivers  via Daily Echo

A survey of over 9000 drivers has shown that a certain stretch of the M27 is one of the worst roads in the South of England for sun glare during rush hour. 

Keep sunglasses handy.

Sunrise and sunset are now during rush-hour. #AwareOfTheGlare

Collision at Tower Hill, sun glare a factor for elderly man  via @WboolStandard

Westbound at 6:45 PM.  Sun glare after cresting a hill.

Stopped and waiting to turn left off Princes Highway into the Tower Hill State Game Reserve in Victoria (Australia), Canadian tourist was hit from behind by driver claiming sun glare.after cresting a hill.

Police: Sun glare causes crash involving truck, school bus in Waterville  via

8:00 AM collision.

A box truck slammed into the back of a stopped school bus picking up students.  Police acknowledged that visibility was very difficult due to sun glare.

Wow, interesting >

New York State Senator George Latimer in Serious Undisclosed Car Crash  via Talk of the Sound

Westbound 5:00 PM.

Latimer allegedly ran a red light on Wilmot Road in New Rochelle near the Scarsdale border and struck another vehicle.  He claimed he couldn’t see the colour of the light due to sun glare.  The author of the article (Robert Cox) questions the validity of the claim.

@Ari_Traffic @norm And to make matters worse, sunrise and sunset are during rush hour now.

Why wearing sunglasses in the car can help cut the risks of winter driving  via

Low sun corresponds to commute times at this time of year and renders visors pretty much useless.  This can make for dangerous conditions when rounding a corner and is worsened if the road is wet.

Read full article (link below) for tips on safe driving at this time of year.

RT @SF_KevinG:  Sun in your eyes during the morning & evening commutes lately? That's a seasonal road hazard. RT @SunPosition

Lucky driver >

Car collides with backhoe in Hingham  via The Patriot Ledger

Turned onto eastbound street at 8:15 AM.

A car turned right onto eastbound Beal Street in Hingham MA and struck a backhoe stopped on the road. The driver didn’t see the backhoe due to sun glare.

Police proactively issued sun glare warning >

Kudos to UMass Police >

Student critical after struck by car  via @MDCollegian

Westbound at 5:48 PM.

Despite the police having issued a warning via flyers about sun glare in the late afternoon,  a UMass student was struck by car while crossing Eastman Lane in Amherst MA

Driver error, sun glare appear to be factors >

Manchester crash hospitalizes two  via @AsburyParkPress

Left turn + sun glare.

A vehicle driving west on Route 70 in Manchester NJ turned left onto Manchester Boulevard in front of an oncoming vehicle and collided with it. Police believe sun glare contributed to the crash.

Sun glare thought to be cause >

Six-car crash involves Semmes Fire-Rescue truck  via

7:00 AM crash.

A 3-car crash in Wilmer AL was being protected by a fire truck which was in turn struck by two more vehicles. A witness believed sun glare was the cause.

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – October 2017

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 and include a brief synopsis of the news story and a link to the original article.

Take our Survey: How Important To You Is Sunshine?...

File:2016-10 Maple tree autumn Quebec.jpg

Photo: By 0x010C (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Albion proposes new step design for downtown Oak Park tower via Chicago Tribune

Albion Residential have re-designed their proposed building at 1000 Lake St. in an effort to obtain approval.  Building will be stepped to reduce shadow impacts on Austin Gardens park to the north.

Photo: By Daniel Schwen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Old South Church puts a $19 million price on sunlight  via @BostonGlobe

The historic 142-year-old Copley Square church wants $19M from developer Boston Properties as compensation for shadows from a planned tower at Back Bay Station.  The fear is that the shade will potentially cause moisture damage to its masonry and darken its stained-glass windows.

File:Old South Church, Boston, Mass, by Soule, John P., 1827-1904 2.jpg

Photo: By Soule, John P., 1827-1904 -- Photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Developers battle minister over shade in city park via @smh

Melbourne developer Salta Properties and Malaysian developer Asia One plan to appeal a decision by the Victorian Planning Minister to reduce the height of their proposed tower in an effort to mitigate shadowing on a riverside park.

File:Melbourne pedestrian bridge birrarung marr.jpg

Photo: By Drastic draper (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

OPINION: Cast a Giant Shadow?  via WEHOville

The “Sunset Tower”, at 9034 Sunset Boulevard, is the latest hotel proposed for the Sunset Strip.  It is proposed at 19 storeys, almost 200’ tall, while the permitted height is 60’, about 6 storeys.

Based on the comments, there is not much public concern about shadowing.

Sunset Tower, 8358 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood 2370.jpg

Photo: By MikeJiroch - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Pitched battle in Dunbar Ryerson United Church (45th and Yew) rezoning?  via @CityHallWchVAN

Affordable housing advocates vs. community residents.  Concerns include shadow impacts on homes in this Vancouver neighbourhood.

File:Vancouver full moon.jpg

Photo: Thom Quine, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Do homeowners have a right to light on their solar panels? via @lloydalter

Toronto City councillor Joe Mihevc has asked City staff for a report on residents’ “right to sunlight” as it relates to solar panel installations affected by proposed developments. 

Note: The principle of the “right to light” in Canada was lost in a 1880 court case.

File:Fußballplatz Freibad von Großarl.JPG

Photo: By Usien (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Ladner Trunk Road townhouse proposal to proceed despite objections via @DeltaOptimist

20 townhouses and four garden apartments have been approved by Delta council despite objections from area residents.  A shadow study was produced.

Photo: By CanucksWhitecaps - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – October 2017

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.

A few of the samples include:

Torontohenge October 2017 Best Photo Ops > @shawnmicallef @glynbowerman

Photo: By Sevtibidou (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Final Torontohenge of the year coming up...   @shawnmicallef @glynbowerman

When does it get dark on Halloween? Sunset Times >

2017 Halloween Sunset Times

2017 Halloween Sunset Times

Halloween Sunset Chart: © Ralph Bouwmeester

Final Torontohenge of the year tomorrow > @shawnmicallef @glynbowerman

.@shawnmicallef @glynbowerman @adamstiles @AnthonyFarnell Final Torontohenge of the year tonight. #Toronto

RT @shawnmicallef: Final Torontohenge of the year tonight - look west, look straight

Torontohenge promises spectacular sunsets for the GTA via @weathernetwork

Toronto sunset is at 6:18 PM tonight

RT @nchessin: I feel very fortunate to be in Toronto today. Will see how Torontohenge compares to Manhattanhenge

@blogTO The next Torontohenge sunset is Feb 15/18 with great views available for a week or so after.

2017 Halloween Sunset Times here >

The darkest Toronto morning of the year, next week Saturday November 4, as the sun rises at 07:58. A good day to sleep in.

Cheers, Ralph

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Sunrise and Sunset Times - November 2017

Sample sunrise/sunset tables for November 2017 have been posted. The tables include the times of rise and set as well as the time of solar noon and the total number of daylight hours for each day of the month.  Note: All times are given in Standard Time; adjust for Daylight Saving (Summer) Time if in effect.

The sample tables are updated each month and include:
Canada - Barrie, Calgary, Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg
USA - Chicago, Denver, Houston, Miami, New York, San Diego, San Francisco
Middle East - Baghdad, Kabul, Kuwait City

Click here to view or print the samples or to order a free table for your location.

Cheers, Ralph

Thursday, October 26, 2017

2017 Halloween Sunset Times


Calgary AB 6:11 p.m. MDT
Charlottetown PEI 5:59 p.m. ADT
Edmonton AB 6:02 p.m. MDT
Halifax NS 6:04 p.m. ADT
Ottawa ON 5:51 p.m. EDT
Quebec City PQ 5:30 p.m. EDT
Regina SK 5:35 p.m. CST*
St. John NB 6:13 p.m. ADT
St. John's NL 5:45 p.m. NDT
Sault Ste. Marie ON 6:23 p.m. EDT
Toronto ON 6:09 p.m. EDT
Vancouver BC 5:52 p.m. PDT
Winnipeg MB 6:07 p.m. CDT

* no Daylight Time observed in SK



Chicago IL 5:46 p.m. CDT
Denver CO 5:59 p.m. MDT
Houston TX 6:35 p.m. CDT
Miami FL 6:40 p.m. EDT
New York City NY 5:53 p.m. EDT
San Diego CA 5:58 p.m. PDT
San Francisco CA 6:12 p.m. PDT

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Torontohenge October 2017– Best Photo Ops

The last Torontohenge of 2017 is coming up…

Torontohenge is the name given for the phenomenon that occurs when the sun rises or sets in line with Toronto's major east-west streets downtown, giving photographers a great opportunity to capture the sun as its top edge grazes the horizon between the canyon walls of buildings on either side of the street. 

Photo: By Sevtibidou (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Although Torontohenge technically falls on the dates given below for 2017, great photos can be taken for about a week before the August and October dates and a week after the February and April dates as the sun hovers directly above the street.  Not great for driving, but quite a sight just the same.

Best Photo Ops in October
In October, great photo ops will occur before the 25th.  For example, the sun will cross, and be perched above, the street at about 6:12 PM on the 21st and 6:15 PM on the 23rd.
In a nutshell, there will be opportunities for great photos between now and the official Torontohenge date of October 25th.

The Torontohenge dates for 2017 are:

Sunrise Sunset
Feb 15           5:48 PM
Apr 19      6:28 AM
Aug 23      6:31 AM
Oct 25           6:18 PM

Cheers, Ralph

Monday, October 9, 2017

Sun Glare While Driving – September 2017

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

School Bus Crash In Berlin, authorities say it appears that sun glare was a factor | CBS Connecticut

“BERLIN, CT – No injuries are reported after a car slammed into the back of a stopped school bus in Berlin Friday morning.

Police say the crash occurred on Middletown Road just west of Renee Drive shortly after 6:30 a.m. There were three students on the bus at the time, said police.

The driver of the car was cited for following too closely, said police. Authorities say it appears that sun glare was a factor in the crash.”

Sun glare a factor >

Trial Pushed to 2018 for City Employee Accused in Fatal Whoop Up Drive Crash | CJOC-FM 

“Scott Erickson, 32, was supposed to go to trial on Wednesday (Sep. 6), but it has now been moved to March 5 and 6 of 2018.

The trial for a City of Lethbridge employee accused in a fatal collision from 2015 has been moved back by a few months. Scott Erickson was supposed to go to trial on Wednesday (Sep. 6), which would have run through to September 12. However, it will now only last two days, over March 5 and 6 of next year. The 32-year old pleaded not guilty to a charge of dangerous driving causing death late in 2016, also electing for trial by judge alone at that time. In November 2015, a 74-year old man was killed along westbound Whoop Up Drive when his minivan hit a front end loader that was clearing snow on the road. Police allege that a lack of warning signs and pilot vehicle, as well as the driving pattern of the loader and sun glare were all factors in the collision.”

Sun glare cited >

Marlington school bus struck; no one injured | Canton Repository

“A vehicle crashed into the rear of a Marlington Local Schools bus shortly after 8:30 Wednesday morning.

No one was injured, according to Police Chief Ron Devies.

He said the driver of a Honda Element cited sun glare, in not seeing the bus, as it prepared to stop on Smith Kramer Street NE, west of Miller Avenue.”…

Be mindful of sun glare >

Lyndhurst Boys, 13, Struck By Car Headed To School | Lyndhurst Daily Voice 

“LYNDHURST, NJ - Two 13-year-old Lyndhurst boys on their way to school were struck by a car Thursday morning, minutes before an elderly crossing guard was clipped on the hand by a hit-and-run driver, police said.

The boys were crossing Page Avenue to Ridge Road when they were struck by a vehicle driven by a 47-year-old Lyndhurst woman who was turning left in the same direction, Capt. John Valente said.”…

"The accident is still under investigation, but it appears that several factors may have contributed to the accident," Valente said.

"Sun glare may have been an issue for the vehicle operator," the captain said.”…

It's that time of year again, please watch for sun glare >

Teenager hit by car at Carisbrook | via @BgoAddy

“Police say the driver involved in an incident in which a teenage girl was hit by a car will not face any penalties at this stage, describing it as an accident.

First Constable Jude Sproull said the 16-year-old’s dog had gotten away from her and she darted across the road chasing it, coming into the path of a car.

She said it appeared sun glare was a factor.

The girl sustained minor injuries and was taken to hospital for observation.

The incident occurred at Victoria and Smith streets shortly after 8am on Friday.”…

Fall road conditions can be dangerous for drivers |

…”As the mornings grow colder, drivers are more likely to experience fog, which can limit visibility. It can also distort their perception of distance, making them more likely to become involved in an accident that they would have otherwise avoided. Similarly, sun glare in the mornings and evenings can make it difficult to see pedestrians and other vehicles. In some cases, it can even be temporarily blinding.”…

>Leigh Buchan‏ @lives2talk:  Sun glare at this time of year is the worst, especially for those travelling west in the late afternoon!

>Yup, the sun is rising/setting more in line with E-W roads these days. Plus, clear skies with less humidity and smog...

Sun glare a factor >

Bicyclist Struck By Car During Morning Rush | NewsRadio 1110 KFAB

“A bicyclist is in the hospital with serious injuries after being struck by a car at 80th and Pacific Monday morning.

Sergeant Doug Klein says 55 year old Charles Manzitto was northbound on 80th around 6:40 a.m.  As he was crossing Pacific an eastbound car came over the hill and hit him.  Manzitto was taken to Bergan Mercy Hospital with a head injury, but he is expected to survive.

Klein says speed does not appear to be a factor in the crash and they are trying to determine if sun glare contributed to the accident.”…

Safety Tip: Battling Sun Glare | Automotive Fleet

“Driving while you’re struggling with sun glare can be maddeningly frustrating — and dangerous. Here are some tips from AAA Exchange you can pass along to fleet drivers:

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

Driver did right thing and pulled down visor, but... >

Norma driver cited for careless driving | via @theDailyJournal

“A 25-year-old Norma woman was cited for careless driving and driving on a suspended license after a rear-end crash Monday evening along Almond Road, near Mill Road.

Louise A. Harris told police she was headed west on Almond Road and was pulling her vehicle's sun visor down due to "heavy sun glare" and didn't see a Ford pickup truck had stopped, waiting to pull into a driveway, according to police reports.”…

Fall Driving Safety Tips | TMA Bucks

“Sun glare can be most problematic during sunrise and sunset, which often coincide with morning and evening rush hours. The intense glare from the sun on the horizon can blind a driver, causing an unexpected traffic slowdown. Drivers can prepare for the glare by keeping a set of sunglasses handy, removing clutter from sun visors and keeping the inside of their vehicle’s windshield clean.

Morning frost and icy spots on the road can also cause problems as overnight temperatures drop toward freezing. Motorists should pay particular attention to bridges, overpasses and shaded areas on roadways where icy spots can form on the pavement. Motorists should always completely clear their vehicles’ windows of frost before travel.”…

Glare of sun blamed in accident on County Road 466 at Belvedere entrance |

“The glare of the evening sun is being blamed for an accident that sent two people to local hospitals.

A vehicle had been traveling west at about 7 p.m. Saturday on County Road 466 and making a left turn into the Village of Belvedere. The sun was in the driver’s eyes and he did not see an eastbound vehicle on County Road 466, according to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.”…

Solar Glare Blamed For 10-Car Crash On Route 128 In Beverly | CBS Boston

“The bright sun appears to be the cause of a 10-car crash that shut down part of Route 128 in Beverly Friday morning.

State Police said it started at about 7 a.m. in the northbound lanes near exit 19 when solar glare became a problem for several drivers.

There was a crash just north of the rest area and another collision followed that one.”…

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – September 2017

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

Take our Survey: How Important To You Is Sunshine?...

Pro-Housing Urban Millennials Say 'Yes In My Backyard' | @Sierra_Magazine

…”Pittsburgh and other cities are taking a leading role in the fight against global warming—and growth and prosperity are part of the plan. Standard efforts include negotiating with local utilities to switch to renewable energy and beefing up green infrastructure like mass transit. In addition, a new movement, composed largely of millennials, is pushing hard on city leaders to make their cities denser and more walkable and bikeable, with green infill development, more affordable housing, and transit-oriented centers. In a twist on the popular label of those skeptical of urban development, these new activists proudly adopt the mantle of YIMBY—"Yes In My Backyard."

“Studies have established a clear correlation between urban density and reduced carbon emissions. A 2014 report from the University of California, Berkeley, analyzed population density in more than 30,000 zip codes in all 50 states along with 37 variables, including household income, transportation, and census data. It found that families living in denser urban cores had a carbon footprint that was half that of families living in suburbs.

But density by itself doesn't necessarily reduce carbon emissions. The key factor, says Daniel Kammen, professor of energy at UC Berkeley and one of the study's principal investigators, is the relationship between urban density and smart growth. "We found that if you integrate living and work and services, you benefit hugely by smart densification," he says. "But if you have huge high-rise blocks that are totally disconnected from shopping and downtown services, then you don't benefit much at all."”…

“"If you can create a land-use configuration that will encourage people to take transit more often, to bike, and to walk, you're really making an improvement as far as reducing congestion, reducing vehicle emissions, and reducing energy use," says Andrew Goetz, a professor of geography and the environment at the University of Denver.”…

“"This isn't about my backyard," says Bernstein. "It's about all of our backyards, and how we are going to sacrifice and be innovative together."”

Massive highrise moves ahead despite city staff recommendations | Global News

HALIFAX – “A vote by municipal councillors to move ahead with a 29-storey highrise proposal is being met with mixed reviews. 

“I’m deeply disappointed in council’s decision to move ahead with the proposed height of this building situated on the Halifax common,” said Kenna Manos, a Halifax resident who’s been actively engaged in public hearings on the development.”…

“When this building first came forward to council for consideration it came at a proposed 22 storeys, and then it came back again at 28 storeys, and then it came back again at 29 storeys,” Watts said.

The development proposal remained at 29 storeys, despite strong public opposition that came forth in hearings and through written submissions to council.”…

“A city staff report recommended the building be limited to 20 storeys because the extra nine storeys would be too much for the area.

Council voted against that report.”…

““It’s right across from the common, it will create huge wind and shadow problems, not to mention things like traffic, which will greatly be impacted by three parking levels for the building.”

Watts says from here staff will develop a land use bylaw for the site, it will go back to council after that and be followed by another public hearing where citizens will have the opportunity to provide comment to council again before a final decision is made.”

Millennium promises shorter Winthrop Sq. tower | CommonWealth Magazine

“THE DEVELOPER MILLENNIUM PARTNERS agreed on Monday to cut the height of its proposed tower in Winthrop Square from 775 feet to at least 702 feet to ease concerns raised about the building’s impact on flight patterns out of Logan International Airport. The lower height, presumably, will also reduce the building’s shadow impact on Boston Common.”…

The Winthrop Square tower has already stirred concerns about the building’s shadow impact on the Boston Common and the Public Garden. Indeed, a bill allowing the greater shadow impact on the two parks was signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker in late July.”

Millennium Partners Cuts Winthrop Square Skyscraper Height By 75 Feet | Biznow Boston

“A downtown skyscraper proposal scrutinized by Boston park advocates for the shadow it will cast will no longer be as tall as originally proposed, but it is not because of the city's green spaces.

Millennium Partners' 775-foot skyscraper proposed at 115 Winthrop Square exceeded recommended Federal Aviation Administration height limits that influence development surrounding Logan International Airport.”…

“The developer’s proposal, which was chosen from six contenders for the Winthrop Square project, was the tallest in the competition. Its 775-foot design exceeded the 710 to 725 feet recommended for the site on Massport’s airspace map.”…

Toronto urban planning: What is a shadow worth? | via @torontostoreys

“Municipal planners in Toronto face a multitude of dilemmas. When it comes to new housing, many of the suggestions and concerns from locals are completely justified, yet others are complete nonsense.

How does a planner, a policy maker and a city cut through the frivolous complaints and decide exactly where to split the difference between locals with justified concerns, the financial realities of the developer, and a desperate market need for new housing?

What is a shadow worth? What is privacy worth?

If a mid-rise building is cut down by one floor and loses 14 units, is that a fair trade if three single-family houses no longer have shadows on them and penthouse apartment dwellers can’t see into their backyard? If a proposed condominium tower needs further separation from the adjacent building and 35 units are lost, but 15 townhouse owners and 20 rental apartment tenants no longer have their south-facing city views blocked, is that a fair trade?”…

Read on…

Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – September 2017

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.

A few of the samples include:

12h 44m daylight in Houston on Sep 1st, reducing to 11h 53m by end of month. Sunrise sunset times here >

Sun glare and shadows are @TooToughToTame at Darlington Raceway.

When the sun crosses the equator at 1:02 PM PDT on Sep 22 it will be due south of San Francisco.

If you don't want to know how early the sun sets in Toronto by the end of Oct, don't look here >

Cheers, Ralph

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Sun Glare While Driving – August 2017

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

Three-car crash in Galena blamed on blinding sun | KWQC TV6

…”The accident happened shortly before 4:00 PM. The accident happened at US Hwy 20 West at Glen Hollow Road in rural Galena.

During the crash investigation, deputies learned a car traveling east on US Hwy 20 and was stopped waiting for oncoming traffic so she could turn onto Glen Hollow Road.

A second vehicle was stopped behind the first. A third vehicle driven by 85-year-old Richard Anderberg was traveling east on US Hwy 20 and he tells officers he was blinded by the sun and didn’t see the vehicles stopped. Anderberg hit the second stopped vehicle, pushing that vehicle into the first stopped car.”…

Driver 'blinded' by the sun before fatal collision | STV News

“Ho Cheng, 32, was convicted of causing the death of Patrick McCabe by careless driving following the crash on Scotland Street in Glasgow in March 2015.

Cheng, of Pollokshields, was ordered to perform 300 hours' unpaid work in the community.

Judge Johanna Johnston QC also banned him from driving for four years.

The High Court in Glasgow heard the Transit van hired by Mr McCabe had broken down and was being put on to a recovery vehicle when Cheng's BMW smashed into it.

Mr McCabe, who was standing in the roadway, died and the recovery vehicle driver, 51-year-old Martin Aird, was seriously injured.

The incident was captured on the dashcam of the car travelling behind Cheng.

It showed the sun was low in the sky and there was significant glare.”…

“He was originally on trial accused of causing death by dangerous driving but the jury unanimously cleared him of the more serious charge.”…

RT @the_DIA: Ever heard of the 'Dutch Reach'?  It could save lives! 

> Brilliant.


RT @_ArriveAlive: Safe Driving at Sunset  #ArriveAlive

(The following is an excerpt from the link in the original tweet.  Well worth reading entire article! (Ed.))

“Why is driving at Sunrise and Sunset an Increased Risk to Safety?

  • At sunrise and before sunset the sun can shine directly into drivers’ eyes, leaving many motorists driving with a glare.
  • This leaves the driver’s view compromised making it much harder to see the road ahead and identify potential hazards.
  • At dusk / sunset your eyes must adapt to the changing level of brightness and it becomes more difficult to recognise threats to safety.
  • Although the sky mat still be light, the road will be darker with deep shadows and there is less contrast in colours (eg the colour of oncoming cars).
  • It will leave the driver closer to any hazard and leave a much reduced stopping distance.
  • Visibility is particularly poor at dusk and dawn because natural light is reduced and it isn’t dark enough for your headlights to be 100% effective.
  • Driving at these times is often associated with tiredness among drivers who have driven through the night or are returning from a hard day of work.
  • Exhaustion severely affects focus and reaction time, so it is advisable to keep driving to a minimum in these circumstances.
  • It is especially dangerous for the elderly drivers experiencing natural, age-related changes in vision.”…

“Safe Driving Techniques when driving at Sunrise and Sunset

Preparedness of the Driver

An informed road user is a safer road user. We would like drivers to be alert of risks, to be well prepared and able to make the necessary adjustments when required.

  • Think ahead of the planned drive, the potential threats on the road and be ready to adjust the way you drive.
  • Many drivers are able to self-regulate by limiting their driving in low light situations, such as at dusk, dawn or night.
  • Ensure alertness by avoiding driver tiredness, planning your rest stops and avoiding all driver distractions.
  • Be mindful of other drivers, and switch to your low beams if there’s oncoming traffic or if you’re following another vehicle.
  • Have good sunglasses available to you within easy reach.
  • Invest in polarized sunglasses – they can help reduce glare.
  • Avoid wearing tinted sunglasses at night, though they may be helpful during dusk and dawn when the sun is still out.
  • Utilize your sun visor – it can help to block out the sun.
  • Let your eyes adjust – The human eye naturally adjusts to the darkness, but it can take up to 30 minutes for your eyes to adapt to darkness fully and drivers should reduce speed during this transitional time.
  • Be conscious of vision changes. As we age, it is natural to experience vision changes that affect our visibility in low light situations, such as dusk and dawn.
  • A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see comfortably over a 30-year old driver.
  • Limited light can affect depth perception, colour perception, contrast sensitivity and peripheral vision.
  • Get regular check-ups for conditions like macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma.”…

Driver in fatal Shipshewana crash blames glare from sun | The Goshen News

“An official accident report released Friday by the Shipshewana Police Department provided more details into the death of a woman who was fatally struck on her bicycle Thursday morning.

According to Shipshewana police, Joyce Keim, 75, Elkhart, was driving a 2010 Chrysler Town and Country van south on Ind. 5, approaching the intersection of C.R. 345 North around 7:48 a.m. Thursday.

As Keim's vehicle approached the intersection, it struck the rear of Mahala K. Yoder's bicycle, police documented. Yoder, 34, Shipshewana, was stopped on her bicycle on Ind. 5 in the southbound lane waiting to make a left turn onto C.R. 345 North at the time of the collision, police said.

The collision caused Yoder to be pushed into the northbound lane, where she collided with the side of a passing Westview school bus, according to the police report. Keim told officers the glare from the sun in her left eye caused her to not see Yoder.”…

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – August 2017

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

Take our Survey: How Important To You Is Sunshine?...

Tower Wins In Brief Beacon Hill Battle Over Shadow Law | Bostonomix

A man walks by the now-closed Winthrop Square Garage in Boston, the site of a proposed $1 billion, 775-foot skyscraper.  (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Photo: AP /Elise Amendola

“Legislation that may literally lead to a new shadow being cast over the State House while also facilitating construction of a valuable high-rise building in Winthrop Square has been signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker.”…

“Secretary of State William Galvin, chairman of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, raised concerns about the bill throughout its brief journey through the branches and had urged Baker to veto it. Galvin said the bill would exempt the tower at the Winthrop Square Garage area from the city's shadow law.

A shadow from the Millennium Partners tower would fall on the State House for 120 days during fall and winter, "making the short days even darker for the occupants of the State House," wrote Galvin. The new shadow will darken the capitol in January, February, October and November, creating "permanent moist conditions" on State House walls and other Beacon Hill buildings and necessitating repairs to interior plaster and exterior mortar, Galvin wrote.”…

Boston shadows legal change doesn't mean Winthrop Square tower a done deal | Curbed Boston

Rendering via Handel Architects

“Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday signed legislation relaxing laws dating from the early 1990s that prohibit developments in downtown Boston from casting shadows over certain areas, including the Boston Common and the Public Garden, at certain times.

Baker’s move would appear to clear the way for the construction of a 775-foot tower on the site of the Winthrop Square Garage, the proposal for which spurred the very need for the change in the shadow laws.”…

“…but other hurdles remain.

For one, both the Boston Planning & Development Agency and state environmental officials are still reviewing the tower. What’s more, parks advocates have vowed to continue to campaign for protections from the tower’s effects, per the Globe’s Tim Logan.

And the Winthrop Square Garage proposal still has to get an all-clear from the Federal Aviation Administration because of the effects it might have on flight patterns in and out of Logan Airport.”…

Gov Baker Signs Bill for New Shadow Law |  Beacon Hill Times

“Gov. Charlie Baker signed a home-rule petition into law Friday that would allow Millennium Partners to build a 775-foot luxury, condo tower on the site of the shuttered, city-owned Winthrop Square Garage, thereby bypassing two existing state “shadow” laws protecting the Boston Common and Public Garden.

While the new building would cast new shadows on the parks on many early mornings, Mayor Martin J. Walsh introduced the bill in April for a “one-time” exemption to the state laws, citing the reported $153 million windfall that sale of the property would bring the city. The City Council approved the bill by a vote of 10-3.”…

“Meanwhile, the project, which is set to break ground next year, must still earn the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration before it can reach its proposed height.”…

RT @Sean_YYZ: Detroit's new streetcar. Runs without wires along much of its route.

> Nice clean look.

Photo: in tweet by Sean Marshall @Sean_YYZ 

‘Unique’ 40-storey building proposed on Rebecca Street | Hamilton Spectator


Photo: DPAI Architecture

“A new 40-storey tower with a "unique" design is being proposed for Rebecca Street.”…

“Part of what makes the design of this site unique is the city's plan to build a park in front of it, said architect David Premi of DPAI Architecture, who is working on the project alongside colleague Petra Matar.”…

“A summary from the July 13 design review committee at which the proposal was discussed calls the building "bold and interesting" but notes it will set a precedent for the area.

It calls the 40-storey height "excessive" and describes the tower as "too 'chunky'."

"In general, the massing and scale of the building needs to be refined," it says.

From Premi's perspective, height should be evaluated based on the impact it has on the surrounding area and the shadows it creates.

For this project, he said they have conducted extensive shadow impact studies and they exceed the criteria set out by other municipalities. He said Hamilton doesn't have firm standards in place.”…

Galvin says New Shadow Law Removes Layer of Protection for Historic Parks | Beacon Hill Times  

Gov. Charlie Baker recently signed a home-rule petition into law that would allow Millennium Partners to move forward with building a 775-foot tower on the site of the city-owned Winthrop Square Garage, bypassing two existing state laws that protect the Boston Common and Public Garden from new shadows.

Mayor Martin Walsh introduced this bill last April for a “one-time” exemption to the state shadow laws, citing the reported $153 million sale of the property would bring to the city. The Boston City Council approved sending the bill to the State House in a 10 – 3 vote.

“The bill passed removed a layer of protection for historic sites but it doesn’t mean the project is exempt from other processes,” said Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin. “Millennium wouldn’t be able to build this building without that exemption but it’s still fuzzy on how it’s going to go moving forward.”

Galvin said that although this project skirts around the 25-year-old state shadow laws that have shielded the downtown historic parks from excessive building shadows, there is still more to be done.

The project, which is set to break ground next year, is still under going the Article 80 process with the City, has yet to complete the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) report, and still needs to gain the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration before it can reach its proposed height.

In addition Galvin said there hasn’t been a wind study or a complete shadow study that goes beyond the downtown parks into the surrounding historic neighborhoods.

“The process is going to go on,” said Galvin. “A layer of protection has been removed, but the building is not exempt from the process.””…

RT @createstreets: Many of most popular terraced streets in London would not be permitted today if BRE daylight, sunlight guidance applied

> Interesting indeed. Luckily they are already built :)

> RT @PlanGinerd: Isn't particularly surprising. Most of the old inner cities could never be built now (even in TO)

Photo: in tweet by @createstreets

Proud to be involved >

101 Erskine Tops Off as Work Progresses on Townhomes | via @urban_toronto

101 Erskine Condos, Tridel, Beaux Properties, CS&P Architects, Toronto

Photo: by Jack Landau

Tridel and Beaux Properties' 101 Erskine Condos has reached a major milestone, as it has recently reached full height at 32 storeys. Completion of the mechanical penthouse and the final several levels have taken place since our last update earlier this year. Cladding and glazing has also been completed on several storeys in the past few months, with the project aiming for a completion next Spring. In the weeks since our last update, the CS&P Architects-designed tower has also begun balcony glazing installation as it nears the halfway point.

As the project has reached full height, its stepped-back form is now fully visible, and as cladding progresses, the contrast in black and white cladding and window tinting will emphasize the step back for the upper storeys.”…

Residents concerned about tall towers proposed in Oliver | Global News 

Photo: By Julia Wong Digital Broadcast Journalist  Global News

“Oliver residents are expressing concern after a public information session on Saturday gave them a glimpse at plans for two high-rises being proposed in their neighbourhood.

The proposed development by Greenlong Construction would see a 48-storey tower built along Jasper Avenue and 115 Street with a 37-storey tower to the north.”…

“Stantec will review and re-evaluate the height of the buildings and assess sun and shadow impacts.

“A lot of what I’m hearing… is concerns around parking, traffic, visitor parking. We need to look at how that’s going to work. Height has been an issue that’s been expressed, so we have to look at how height relates to the street and to the neighbourhood and to the shadow impacts. We definitely have to do that type of technical analysis as well.””…

Here is every single GTA condo development set to launch fall 2017 | via @buzzbuzzhome

“Developers in the Greater Toronto Area are gearing up for a busy fall season of condo launches.

How busy? Well, 28 condo projects are expected to launch before the year’s end…”…

peter pichler's looping towers will act as a residential hub with public facilities | @designboom


“peter pichler’s design for the new residential tower complex consists of approximately 260 apartments, parking garages, public facilities, gym and a running track on the roof. it is located in maarssen; on a main axis between amsterdam and utrecht, and should act as a social ‘engine’ in the area, which will undergo some major developments within the next years.

milan based peter pichler architecture‘s proposal for two looping towers is the result of an optimized geometry founded on views and sunlight. the starting point were the massing studies of straight extrusions that are moved towards the end of the plot to guarantee the view towards the river and the old city center of maarssen from the offices set behind. the special situation of the site and the unsophisticated orientation of the apartments within a straight extruded tower with a central core led to a slim L-shaped geometry that guarantees multiple views and sunlight.

while sloping back the L-shaped towers with the lower tower on the west side, better views are generated for adjacent buildings with a minimum shadow impact. the naturally formed terraces generate multiple views towards the old city and achieve a maximum sunlight during the day.”…

Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – August 2017

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.

A few of the samples include:

Torontohenge August 2017 - Best Photo Ops |
> No special glasses required. 
Torontohenge update posted in my timeline for you @shawnmicallef @glynbowerman
RT @glynbowerman: Photographers of Toronto. Get those pics.

Photo: By Sevtibidou (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

“In August, the best photo ops will occur before the 23rd.  For example, on the 22nd the sun will break loose from the horizon at about 6:33 AM and sit fully above the street. 

Similarly, the rising sun will cross the street and be fully perched above it at about 6:35 AM on the 21st, 6:37 AM on the 20th, 6:38 AM on the 19th, etc.

On August 16th, a full week before Torontohenge, the sun will cross the street at about 6:43 AM at a height of about 2.5 degrees above the horizon (i.e. about the width of your thumb at arm’s length).”…

“In a nutshell, there will be many opportunities for great photos between now and the official Torontohenge date of August 23rd.”
> No special glasses required. 
> Torontohenge update posted in my timeline for you @shawnmicallef @glynbowerman
> RT @glynbowerman: Photographers of Toronto. Get those pics.

How Canada will see the Aug. 21 eclipse | CBC News

Cheers, Ralph

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Torontohenge August 2017– Best Photo Ops

Torontohenge is the name given for the phenomenon that occurs when the sun rises or sets in line with Toronto's major east-west streets downtown, giving photographers a great opportunity to capture the sun as its top edge grazes the horizon between the canyon walls of buildings on either side of the street. 

Photo: By Sevtibidou (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Although Torontohenge technically falls on the dates given below for 2017, great photos can be taken for about a week before the August and October dates and a week after the February and April dates as the sun hovers directly above the street.  Not great for driving, but quite a sight just the same.

Best Photo Ops in August

In August, the best photo ops will occur before the 23rd.  For example, on the 22nd the sun will break loose from the horizon at about 6:33 AM and sit fully above the street. 

Similarly, the rising sun will cross the street and be fully perched above it at about 6:35 AM on the 21st, 6:37 AM on the 20th, 6:38 AM on the 19th, etc.

On August 16th, a full week before Torontohenge, the sun will cross the street at about 6:43 AM at a height of about 2.5 degrees above the horizon (i.e. about the width of your thumb at arm’s length).
Tomorrow morning, August 13th, the sun will cross at about 6:47 AM at a height of about 3.8 degrees.

In a nutshell, there will be many opportunities for great photos between now and the official Torontohenge date of August 23rd.

The Torontohenge dates for 2017 are:

Sunrise Sunset
Feb 15           5:48 PM
Apr 19      6:28 AM
Aug 23      6:31 AM
Oct 25           6:18 PM

Cheers, Ralph

Sun Glare While Driving – July 2017

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

Amid criticism, prosecutor's office details why no charges issued in motorcyclist's death | Michigan Live

“Facing a wave of criticism in phone calls and online about the decision to not charge an SUV driver in the traffic death of a motorcyclist, Saginaw County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Chris Boyd gave a deeper look into the police investigation and prosecutors' determination.

Some of the criticism online has characterized the decision as blaming the motorcyclist and letting off the driver because, under some of the reasons why charges were not brought, prosecutors listed the biker not wearing a helmet and the driver being affected by glare from the setting sun.”

“Neither of these were major factors in the decision to not issue charges, Boyd said.”

“Around 7:30 p.m. July 8, Terry Todd Jr. was on his motorcycle attempting to make a left turn into Sheridan Arms, a gun store and range at 8259 Tittabawassee Road, when the SUV behind him clipped him and sent him into oncoming traffic, police previously said.

An oncoming Chevrolet Suburban ran over Terry, causing fatal injuries, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Boyd said the police investigation shows Terry had likely attempted to beat oncoming traffic by turning into the store but realized he couldn't make it and rapidly decelerated.

The SUV driver behind him was unable to see Terry's brake light because it was obscured by two 3-foot-by-5-foot patriotic flags attached to the back of his motorcycle, Boyd said.

While the flags flapping at 55 mph are fully extended, they drape when speed is reduced, he said.

These factors, along with the contributing decrease in reaction time from the sun's glare, did not give the SUV driver sufficient time to avoid collision, Boyd said.

"His reaction time was a little slower because of the glare of the sun, but it was significantly impaired by the lack of a brake light," Boyd said of the SUV driver. "He was driving at a responsible speed in a responsible manner and his reaction time was very limited."”…

Particular Chevrolet Bolt EV Interior Combination Shown To Create Blinding Window Glare | GM Authority

“There may be a very unfortunate problem for some 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EVs and it’s only now being discovered.

So the story goes, according to The Truth About Cars, Bolt EVs specced in Premier trimmings with the Light Ash Gray interior motif are plagued by near-blinding dashboard reflections. The angle of the windshield—combined with the light gray dashboard color—reflects the light gray color back and creates significant glare on sunny days. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received two complaints surrounding the issue.

Furthermore, it’s a well-known issue now. Bolt EV owners have discussed the interior glare problem at length on forums and many have resorted to makeshift remedies to ensure a safe driving experience. A sample of how intense the glare can become may be seen below.”…

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – July 2017

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

Take our Survey: How Important To You Is Sunshine?...

New study examines how sunshine affects house values | NZ Herald

“The more sun a house gets, the higher its value, according to a new study which suggests developers might need to compensate neighbours when they block sun.

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust has released what it calls the first research carried out anywhere in the world to specifically evaluate the extra value house buyers put on extra sunshine hours.

Arthur Grimes, a senior fellow at Motu and co-author of the study, said there was a direct correlation between more sunshine and higher values and the study was precise about how much extra value is added.”…

RT @regionomics: Home prices  increase with the quantity of sunshine received by a property #topoli

Developer plans seven-storey condo building in Nutana | Saskatoon StarPhoenix

“Meridian Development has purchased the corner lot occupied by the Faith Alive Family Church and is proposing to build a seven-storey condominium building.

About 35 people attended an information session about the proposed 45-unit development on June 28, according to Meridian’s Karl Miller, who says the developer has tried to design the building to fit into the neighbourhood.

“We’ve spent a tremendous amount of time consulting with the residents there,” Miller said in an interview Wednesday. “We’re listening and we’re trying to shape it to address their concerns.

“We’re always going to get a little opposition.”

Meridian has tried to address concerns about increased traffic and parking with an underground garage that will create nearly two spots for each unit.

The building is also set back from the street and is terraced to mitigate the degree to which direct sunlight will be blocked for houses on Saskatchewan Crescent.”…

The buildings got shorter and so did their shadows, controversial Distillery District condos approved | @torontostar  

“The Ontario Municipal Board has approved two controversial condo developments that will add around 1,000 new residential units to the Distillery District.

The decision, issued July 6, gives the final green light to two projects: a 12-storey renovation of the heritage-protected Rack House D, at 60 Mill Street and a 47-storey condo tower and five-storey “ribbon building” at 31A Parliament Street.

Both projects had originally been rejected by city staff over concerns they were too tall and — in the case of 31A Parliament — cast too much shadow over Trinity Square.

The municipal board approval upholds a city council decision from March to support shorter versions of both projects, with a $3.2 million contribution to the city from the developers. That money will go toward improvements to public space around the Distillery District as well as supporting the city’s planned Toronto Aboriginal Hub in the West Don Lands.

“Our clients, who are the Distillery District owners, are happy with the decision,” said Mark Noskiewicz, one of the lawyers representing Dream Distillery District Commercial Inc. and Cityscape Holdings Inc.

“They think the projects will be good for the distillery and good for the surrounding area,” Noskiewicz said.

But local residents are not pleased, saying the projects threaten the district’s heritage character.

“It’s a disappointing decision,” said Gooderham and Worts Neighbourhood Association president Michael Brewer, who fought against the proposals.

One of the most contentious elements of the proposal for 31A Parliament is the shadow it will cast over the district’s marquee Trinity Square.

A shadow study presented at an Ontario Municipal Board hearing on May 15th showed that at 2 p.m. on June 21, the tower will cast a shadow over about half of Trinity Square. At that time on that day of the year, the sun is near its highest in the sky — the further from that day the calendar gets, the longer the shadow cast will be.

Noskiewicz said the shadows cast by the reduced 47-storey tower at 31A Parliament won’t be significantly worse than those created by a previously-approved version of the ribbon building along the district’s southern edge.

“That was one of the issues that the city looked at, and I think at the end with the modifications to the proposal … the city was satisfied that there really wasn’t a material shadow impact,” Noskiewicz said.”…

Building Boom in Boston Casts Shadows on History and Public Space | NY Times

…”Boston is riding the crest of what city officials say is the biggest building boom in its history, with cranes lifting glassy towers into place and raising the city’s unassuming profile.

The surge of construction is also plunging some of its most cherished sites into deepening shadow, testing state laws that have long balanced economic development with protection of sunlight and open space.

The concern is not merely about preserving a glimpse of sky in the increasingly vertical downtown or about the risks of darkness to plants, historic buildings and even humans. It is also about whether the city is going down a road of no return by trading away, one piece at a time, its intangible assets, like sunlight on its signature parks and public access to its gleaming waterfront.”

“By the 1970s, as the city became denser and buildings rose higher, residents opposed a proposed downtown skyscraper that would have thrown long shadows across the Common and the adjacent and equally beloved Public Garden. That protest led to the state’s passage of laws in the 1990s that restricted new buildings, outside one downtown district, from casting shadows on the two parks for more than one hour a day.”

“For a quarter-century, those laws worked, allowing development while limiting shadow creep.

But now, as part of the city’s latest rush of construction, the developer Millennium Partners has proposed a $1 billion skyscraper that could soar 775 feet — and cast new shadows lasting 90 minutes or more on the Common and the Public Garden.

The tower, to be built in the financial district due east of the Common, would violate the shadow laws for 264 days of the year on the Common and 120 days on the Public Garden, according to the Friends of the Public Garden, which oversees both parks.

So the developer, in concert with Mayor Martin J. Walsh, a Democrat, is trying to change the shadow laws.”…

New photomontages show Gzira skyline under shadow of Metropolis and 14 East high-rises | MaltaToday

“The Superintendence for Cultural Heritage has declared that five new storeys on the 16-storey tower being built on the site of the former United Garage in Gzira, will have no impact on views of Valletta.

In May 2016, less than a year after they got approval for the 16-storey tower, ADMG Estates Ltd applied for the addition of eight new storeys, a proposal later downscaled to five.

But the photomontages submitted by the developers have revealed the massive visual impact of both the 21-storey tower in progress, and the already approved yet undeveloped 33-storey Metropolis development on Testaferrata Street.

The developers presented visuals of both the proposed development from Valletta, Sliema, Manoel Island, Gzira and Ta’ Xbiex and also of the cumulative impact of their project and the Metropolis development.”…

Winthrop Sq. tower shadows could cause ‘great damage to historic buildings’, Galvin says | via @BostonGlobe

Galvin throws shade on Millennium tower deal | CommonWealth Magazine

Long ago, Beacon Hill insiders used to call then-Rep. William Galvin the Prince of Darkness because of his penchant for intrigue and political machinations. But now Galvin is coming to be known as the Lord of Light, the guy championing sunshine, not shadows, on Boston Common.

As secretary of state and the overseer of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, Galvin is urging lawmakers to put off action on legislation that would allow a politically connected developer to bypass a state law and build a new tower on the site of the Winthrop Square Garage that would cast shadows on the Boston Common and Public Garden.

Galvin is calling for a complete study of the building’s shadow impact on the two parks as well as the area’s historic buildings, including the State House. The 775-foot tower could do “great damage to historic buildings,” he said. “You can’t propose to do this without a complete study, but that’s what they’re talking about,” he told the Globe’s Tim Logan. “I don’t understand the rush.””…

Berkeley officials split over impacts of new zoning code proposals | Berkeleyside 

“The Berkeley City Council voted Tuesday night to embark on an intensive project to develop extensive new development standards to preserve the city’s discretion over land use decisions, and “the cost could be substantial,” staff said.

City attorney Zach Cowan, set to retire at the end of the month, told council the city has previously favored language about development that allowed for “maximum flexibility.” The new proposal, from Mayor Jesse Arreguín and Councilwoman Sophie Hahn, seeks to define density standards per parcel across the city; specify standards for views, shadows and “impacts that often underlie detriment findings”; and adopt new standards related to design review and health and safety issues.”…

South End residents fight latest Harbor Point high-rise | via @StamAdvocate

“Residents living in the heart of the development boom are feeling left out of a citywide conversation about the pace of development.

Members of the South End Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (NRZ) decided to make more noise after watching residents from Bull’s Head and North Stamford band together to successfully fight a proposal for 800 housing units on Long Ridge Road.

Susan Halpern, a longtime NRZ member, posted flyers around the neighborhood, hoping to attract a large crowd at a meeting this week when Building and Land Technology presented its latest high-rise project, this time on the old B&S Carting site on Woodland Avenue.

“BLT is just taking over down here,” Halpern said. “We’re glad they came in and started redeveloping some of this, because it really needed work, but we never expected all these high-rises.”

The latest BLT project includes about 500 housing units in a high-rise that could be up to 25 stories — although the proposal has changed shape at least once since the developer first presented a 15-story iteration to the city’s Land Use Bureau earlier this year.

The height caused some concern, but Land Use Bureau Chief Ralph Blessing said greater height would brighten the block.

“With the increased height, what we wanted to do is have skinnier towers and bigger distance between the towers,” Blessing said. “So, yes you have shadow, but tall skinny shadow wanders and there is less shadow in one place during the day.”

That’s a stark difference from what BLT initially proposed, Blessing said.

“In the original proposal, basically what you have is a 15-story wall on Pacific Street, so the other side of Pacific is in eternal darkness,” he said.

This “eternal darkness” is a phenomenon NRZ member Sheila Barney says she knows well.”…

RT @globeandmail: #ICYMI: Vancouver grapples with the ups and downs of increasing density | @GlobeBC

“A century ago, Vancouver was seen as a utopia of single-family homes with lots of space to spread out.

Now, it’s becoming a city where many of its residents are shuffling in together and squeezing in at a steady pace.

The region has the lowest proportion of single-detached houses of anywhere in Canada, with only 29 per cent of the nearly million homes in the Lower Mainland in that category. A study from Toronto’s Neptis Foundation has shown that, for every 1,000 new people who arrive in the city, Vancouver uses half the space Toronto does and a quarter of Calgary.

And it’s not just in the City of Vancouver. Contrary to the image of the suburbs as the domain of the quarter-acre lot with the big house, there are more multifamily homes built in the suburban communities surrounding Vancouver every year than single-family.

According to the latest census, a quarter of people in B.C.’s Lower Mainland live in low-rise apartments. Almost one in five live in apartments with more than five stories. And about one in six live in what are called duplexes, which, in the Vancouver region, are often homes that look like single-family detached but also include a basement suite.

That translates into less space, inside and out, for everyone. And not just the people living in downtown Vancouver, but people throughout the region who are moving into condo towers in Burnaby or Surrey, new mid-rise buildings in Richmond, townhouse complexes in Port Moody and low-rise apartments in Langley.

This slow transformation means having to get along with a lot more people in close quarters. It means planners and builders having to think ever more carefully about how to service these newly dense areas with parks, libraries, schools and transit. Builders are now experimenting with how to provide some of the benefits of single-family living – storage space, workshops, back yards, hang-out spaces – to people now living at densities as high as 350 people for every square kilometre in some clusters in the region.

It’s a profound change, say planners, that means more than just doing more of the same as cities such as Vancouver have become magnets, attracting ever more people who want the urban experience.

“There are enormous issues and it means thinking very differently. It’s not just about how tall buildings are,” says Ken Greenberg, an award-winning urban designer and architect in Toronto who has worked on city transformations around the world.

That means planning for whole neighbourhoods – not just their infrastructure, although that’s important, but about their social make-up.”…

City mulls plans for 3 'supertall' buildings in downtown core | CBC News

“Right now, the sky is the limit for developers vying to build Toronto's first "supertall" building.

But, as Gregg Lintern, director of community planning for Toronto and East York insists, the city does not give the green light to everybody — far from it.”

“Buildings more than 300 metres in height or 90 storeys are considered "supertall' and right now the city has at least three buildings in that range and other towering buildings just shy of the distinction in various stages of approval.

These buildings are all proposed:

  • The YSL building at Yonge and Gerrard Streets — 98 storeys.
  • 1 Yonge Street located on the site of the current Toronto Star building — 95 storeys.
  • Mirvish+Gehry building near King Street and John Street — 92 storeys.
  • ​The One at Yonge Street and Bloor Street — 82 storeys. 
  • A development under review at the LCBO lands on the Queens Quay — 80+ storey range.
  • A Great Eagle Holdings development at the site of the Chelsea Hotel — 46 to 80 storey range, with multiple towers proposed.“

“City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam has two of the above buildings proposed for her ward, the YSL and The One that will sprout from the site at 1 Bloor Street West.

She's concerned about the shadow that the YSL could cast because of its proposed height.

"That's a very tall building. All of a sudden from Yonge Street, it [could] cast a shadow that actually touches the green space known as Allan Gardens. That's how far the impact is."

Wong-Tam said she and her constituents are passionate about making sure developers give back space for the space they are trying to occupy.”…

Building that will cast shadow on Boston Common to move forward | via @boston25

“Gov. Charlie Baker has signed off on a law that changes the rules when it comes to buildings around Boston Common.

The law was passed after designs for a new building in Winthrop Square were unveiled for a building that will cast a shadow across the common and beyond.

"At its greatest extent, that shadow is cast from Winthrop Square almost a mile across the common, the garden and down the first block of Commonwealth Avenue mall,” Liz Vizza, from Friends of the Public Garden, said.

Millennium Partners is building the 775-foot mixed use tower on the site of the old Winthrop Square garage after paying $153 million for the site.

>>PREVIOUS: Boston looking to skirt ordinance against casting shadow across Common

The “shadow rule" was a 26-year-old law that protected historic parks from overdevelopment. As a bill, the proposal saw little resistance at the state house and was supported by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, though historic preservation advocates are not happy and neither are neighbors.”…

Baker signs bill to allow proposed 775-foot tower to cast shadows on parks | via @BostonGlobe

Cheers, Ralph