Friday, February 10, 2017

Torontohenge 2017

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 it perches on the horizon between the canyon walls of buildings on either side of the street. 

Pedestrians pose for a photo during Manhattan-henge. (Michael Loccisano/Getty)

(Photo credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty)

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.

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

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Sun Glare While Driving – January 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

Wet roads can make sun glare even worse, and visors do little to help.  @UnionLeader

Seniors more sensitive to headlights and sun glare, eyes need more time to recover |  via @ithacajournal

“Helping seniors understand and recognize how age-related changes in mobility, touch/grip, vision, hearing and cognition can affect driving is key for the driving fitness assessment provided by Occupational Therapy at Cayuga Wellness Center’s Brentwood clinic.”…

“Most of the sensory information needed for driving comes from vision.  Do have your eyes examined annually. Changes in vision that can affect driving safely include but are not limited to:

Peripheral vision narrows with age making it harder to see signs, vehicles and pedestrians on the edge of our visual field.

Low-light conditions hamper vision at night, at dusk and dawn and during inclement weather.
Increased sensitivity to bright light from oncoming headlights makes seeing difficult at night or during the daytime from sun glare and slower recovery time from glare.”…

Trial set for city worker charged in fatal collision | Lethbridge News Now

“A city worker charged in connection with a deadly crash on Whoop-Up Drive in 2015 is heading to trial.

Following a plea of not guilty to dangerous driving causing death in December, a lawyer appearing for 32-year old Scott Edward Erickson had the matter set for trial Friday (Jan. 13). The five-day trial will run September 6-12, 2017.

On November 13, 2015, a 72-year-old man died when his Pontiac Montana collided with the rear of a front-end loader that was being used to clear snow in the westbound lanes of Whoop-Up Drive near the University Drive exit.

Following an investigation, Lethbridge Police said sun glare, the driving pattern of the loader and a lack of safety equipment were contributing factors in the collision. They cited warning signs and a pilot vehicle as the type of equipment not being used at the time.”…

Another left turn + sun glare crash >

Blinding sun blamed after woman and baby hit by truck in Langford | Goldstream News Gazette

  - File photo

“A woman carrying her five-month-old baby was struck in a crosswalk in Langford on Thursday.

West Shore RCMP Const. Alex Berube said the two were crossing at the lights at Veterans Memorial Parkway and Hoffman Avenue at about 3:30 p.m. when they were hit by a white utility truck making a left-hand turn off of Hoffman southbound onto Veterans.

The driver, who said he was blinded by the sun, was issued a ticket for failing to yield to a pedestrian.”…

RT @FresnoBee: NTSB report: Sun glare in pilot's eyes contributed to fatal crash of law enforcement plane

Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Ballantyne and Sheriff’s Pilot James Chavez pose for a photo with Sheriff One. The two men were killed when the light sport aircraft crashed into the side of a mountain along Highway 190 near Lake Success just after 4 p.m. Feb. 10, 2016.

“The crash of a law enforcement plane that killed both the pilot and a deputy sheriff in Tulare County last year was partly caused by sun glare in the pilot’s eyes, according to the final accident report by the National Transportation Safety Board.”…

…“What we did learn that was new to us was the glare of the sun,” Boudreaux said. “We had no idea about that.”…

“The accident happened at about 4:17 p.m. when the sun was not far above the horizon.

The Flight Design light sport aircraft was on a low-altitude observation flight, the report said.”…

“Another pilot who flew in the vicinity right after the accident said that due to sun and haze, “he could not distinguish the tops of the hills to the left of the highway from the sky,” the report states.

“It is likely that the accident pilot was partially blinded by sun glare and did not see the hills arising above him on his left,” the report states.”…

Driver's view blocked by sun glare >

Crossing guard at A&M Consolidated hit by truck | via @theeagle

“A 58-year-old crossing guard at A&M Consolidated High School remained hospitalized late Monday after the driver of a large truck hit him, saying his view was blocked by the glaring early-morning sun.

No citations had been issued by late Monday, according to police, who said an investigation was ongoing into the 8 a.m. accident at the crosswalk on Nueces Street between Grace Bible Church and the school.”…

“The driver of the Ford F-150, whose two juvenile passengers are students at the high school, told police he was driving southbound on Nueces Street when the glare from the sun prevented him from noticing the man.

U.S. Department of Transportation officials said sun glare -- at its worst just after sunrise and before sunset -- can make it much harder to see the roadway and potential hazards, which is why police caution motorists to slow down and use extra care when driving through school zones.

Lt. Steve Brock, spokesman for the police department, said the intersection where the wreck unfolded has a well-marked crosswalk. He said he encourages drivers to know their daily routes.

"If you are going be driving on a clear day facing a sunrise or a sunset, you need to think about that and be wearing sunglasses, use your sun visor and do what you can to be as safe as possible," Brock said. "But that's just nature, and you are going to have to take that into account and do the best you can."…

Blinded by sun glare >

Dad's lucky escape after 100ft air crash in Wishaw | Daily Record

“A thrill-seeking paraglider told this week how his life flashed before his eyes as he plummeted out of the sky and hit a tree at 100ft before crash landing in a Wishaw park.

The 53-year-old man, who only wanted to be named as Richard, is lucky to be alive after crashing his paramotor in Greenhead Moss Community Nature Park.

The father-of-two suffering difficulties at around 3.30pm on Saturday when sunglare caused him to crash to the ground from 100ft.

He sustained a broken pelvis, a fracture to his right arm and dozens of cuts and bruises to his face and body.

The experienced pilot of four years told the Wishaw Press from his hospital bed that the low sun glare temporarily blinded him causing him not to see three high tension power lines until the very last minute.

He added: “I was on a social flight with a friend and we were getting ready to land.

“The wind was coming from the north, which is very unusual for that area, so I decided to turn around and land from the other side.

“The sun glare was very strong and I couldn’t see anything for a few seconds.

“Before I knew it I was seconds away from hitting the powerlines.

“I had to make a decision whether or not to hit the lines or make a crash landing so I decided on the latter.”…

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – January 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

RT @FortPointer: Meeting re. shadow impact of Winthrop Square proposal on Boston Common and Public Garden is coming up on Jan 5...

RT @FortPointer:  Thanks for the RT, @SunPosition. Come on down to Boston and help lend insight re. USA's first public park! @FOPG

> My pleasure @FortPointer. Good luck at the meeting. @FOPG

Shadow impacts a concern >

Public comment period nears end for massive One Oak development | The San Francisco Examiner

A rendering of the entrance to One Oak (Image courtesy Build, Inc)

“A large mixed-use development planned for the corner of Market and Oak Streets is nearing the end of its public comment period. One Oak, a 40-story luxury residence building, is on the Planning Commission’s agenda for Thursday where a public hearing on the massive development’s 475-page Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be held.”…

“Designs for the tall building were in the works for several years, while first Richard Meier & Partners and then SCB and Snøhetta architects tried to figure out how to create something that was luxurious in nature, but could also withstand the strong winds that blow through the Market, South Van Ness and Oak Street intersection. The final design has curves and “cuts” across the building to mitigate the gusts.

According to the EIR the final design, shown above, will contain wind canopy structures to offset winds at a pedestrian level, which will naturally increase in speed once the tower has been built.

The project has not come without opposition: the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association (HVNA) penned a letter to Planning last year, opposing what they called “excessive off street parking at this transit-rich and walkable location.”

The design was criticized, with HVNA preferring the original design by Richard Meier, calling it “a remarkable and elegant landmark tower.” The new design was parodied by local illustrator Susie Cagle after being released.

Shadow impact for the large tower is also a concern, with evidence in the EIR that the project would cast shade as far as Patricia’s Green.”…

Shadows and our Parks: Make your voices heard | via @wordpressdotcom

“The last few weeks have seen a significant increase in publicity around the proposed Winthrop Square development and its potential impact on Boston Common and the Public Garden, with four articles in The Boston Globe alone. The more light shed on this potential dimming of our parks, the more people will understand the importance of this issue.”…

“As you know, Millennium Partners’ proposed 750-foot tall building would violate the shadow protection laws during most of the year – some days casting a mile-long finger of darkness from the financial district down the middle of Boston Common, across the heart of the Public Garden and into the first block of the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. To “solve” this problem, the city of Boston has signaled it will file legislation giving Millennium an exemption from the state laws.”…

Tower project might cast shadow on Boston development | via @BostonGlobe

“Let me get this straight. Millennium Partners proposes a billion-dollar redevelopment of the shuttered Winthrop Square garage and then forgets to check whether the project might violate the state’s shadow laws?

That’s the policy that prevents new skyscrapers from casting long shadows for prolonged periods on the Boston Common and Public Garden.”…

“Larkin said the firm’s analysis found that any project taller than 365 feet would violate the shadow ordinance. All six proposals for Winthrop Square exceeded that height.

Millennium’s proposal, according to the developer’s analysis, would be out of compliance on average about 36 minutes a day over the course of a year on the Common and on average about five minutes a day over the course of a year on the Garden.

That doesn’t sound like a big deal until you talk to park advocates. The state shadow laws were passed to protect the horticulture in public parks.

“You can correct for water with irrigation. You can correct for nutrients with fertilizer,” said Liz Vizza, executive director of the Friends of the Public Garden. “You cannot correct when you lose light.”

But to Vizza, the laws are not just about the tulips, but the ability of thousands of people to enjoy the civic right of sunshine.”…

“The shadow laws, written in the early 1990s, have served the city well and remained intact through several building booms. The irony about asking for an exception to the rule is that the Winthrop project might get it, but at the cost of other development.

How so? By reopening the laws, I can see an effort to make the shadow laws more restrictive, such as covering a broader swath of Boston.

That’s something State Representative Byron Rushing, who coauthored the original bill, has been itching to do.

“We should take a look at the larger issue” of downtown open space, Rushing said. “If we do that, it might be easier to incorporate this tower’s silhouette.”

In the end, Walsh might get his way to have Millennium build sky-high on Winthrop Square. But the price might come at the cost of future development in Boston.”…

Stepping to reduce shadows >

8 Burnley Street 'A Place to Live' / SJB | ArchDaily

8 Burnley Street 'A Place to Live',© Peter Clarke

…”Occupying a site of approximately 810m2 the sculptural form of the 63 apartment, mix use building demonstrates a tailored response to key drivers inherent to the location: the busy intersection; and Williams Reserve. Pragmatic concerns, raised in shadow analysis, have been mitigated by a stepped layering of floors that ensures minimal shadow impact on the reserve. Additionally this has the benefit of increased sight lines, with no awareness of the upper floors from within 22 metres. And, while this solution is invisible by definition, what it achieves for the overall form is imparted as a sense of lightness a solid block cannot deliver. This is driven home by the extraordinary design that visually floats the whole building above a fully transparent ground floor.”…

The Fort Pointer ‏@FortPointer:  Winthrop Square meeting seems to be more of a decentralized presentation of the project than a public discussion of impacts. @BostonPlans

Timothy P Kirwan ‏@tkirwan:  @FortPointer @BostonPlans I think this is good.  Both formats have been used so those preferring either have their choice.

The Fort Pointer ‏@FortPointer:  @tkirwan Winthrop Square process had failed to consider shadow impact. A convo was expected, not a format favoring proponents. @BostonPlans

Timothy P Kirwan ‏@tkirwan:  @FortPointer I get it. As you know I'm on the Accordia team which had a hotel. Our team fully factored this issue in our design.

> Tim, good to hear your team took shadowing into account. Proper planning and design always does. @tkirwan @FortPointer

Proposed Stoney Creek highrise billed as solution to rental housing shortage | Hamilton News

Development site

“A new highrise development planned for the Queenston Road and Centennial Parkway area could be a model for fixing Hamilton’s rental housing crisis, according to developer Conrad Zurini.”…

“The proposed 19-storey apartment building would be one of Stoney Creek’s tallest structures. A zoning bylaw amendment is also required to change setback and landscaping requirements.”…

“Residents of Blanmora Drive, south of the proposed development, expressed concerns over traffic, noise and property values at the Jan. 5 open house.”…

“A sun shadow study was conducted which shows most of the shadows will fall north of the site.”…

Doug Roberts ‏@drobertsreorg:  @DaleCalkins @MajeauTyler @dnproulx Concerned that 21m high towards front & 56m high towards back will have big shadow impact on Whyte Ave ped realm & businesses on N side 1/2

Dale Calkins ‏@DaleCalkins:  @drobertsreorg @MajeauTyler @dnproulx Easy to set height limits so as not to shade Whyte's north sidewalk. Need shadow study to say more.

> @DaleCalkins Exactly, that's where ratio of maximum building height to r-o-w width comes into play. @drobertsreorg @MajeauTyler @dnproulx

RT @DaleCalkins: @SunPosition @drobertsreorg @MajeauTyler @dnproulx And other factors, yes. Whyte is very wide, if I recall correctly.

Planning committee approves Grimsby's tallest building | via @niagarathisweek

Condo Development

…”The town of Grimsby’s west end is no doubt growing and now it seems there’s no slowing down.

Just weeks after Grimsby council overturned the planning and development committee’s decision against the 12-storey LJM condos, the planning committee has approved the tallest building this town has seen yet.

Pending council approval, at the corner of Winston Road and Windward Drive there will be two towers. One will be a 14-storey condominium and the second 18 storeys, sitting on the former Planet Nightclub property.”…

“The blueprints are not the same as the initial plans. Last year, Rosebay Construction Inc. submitted its first proposal as two 16-storey towers connected by glass walkways.

The planning department had concerns about the shadows that the proposal would cast and suggested two leaner, taller towers, which would have a less significant shadow impact.

“The shadow at any particular area is there for a shorter duration,” said Kloibhofer. “That’s one of the benefits of going slimmer and taller.”…

Zeitgeist Possibly Winning Fight Over Neighboring Development's Potential Shadow | via @SFist

RT @chumpBOAT: Love than SanFran protects local private gathering spots NYC protects light sensitive buildings and parks Step up TO is way too bleak now


“A planned five-story condo development at 198 Valencia Street has been delayed after the Planning Commission found reason to sympathize with popular beer garden Zeitgeist, which sits across the street and which could be very negatively impacted by the shadow cast by the new building. Hoodline reports that commissioners reviewed shadow analyses commissioned by the developer and by Zeitgeist and has sent the developer back to the drawing board to analyze how the shadow impact of the building could be lessened if the building were shorter, even as little as five feet shorter.”…

Sounds like a bitter battle brewing in Boston >

Downtown View: Shadows vs. Money | North End Waterfront

“Millennium Partners beat out several other developers in a plan to demolish the city’s decrepit parking garage at Winthrop Square and build a 700-feet-plus skyscraper, paying the city millions of dollars to be spread around for park improvements, affordable housing and the like, all of which Boston needs. It’s a good project with a good outcome for Bostonians.

There is one problem, however. The project’s shadow would at times fall on the Boston Common and Public Garden, even though they are several blocks away. This means the building would violate the 27-year-old state law protecting the parks from shadows that can reduce plant health and people’s enjoyment. This law, as its advocates point out, has helped the parks and has not deterred development in Boston’s downtown. It should not be tampered with lightly.”…

City seeks exemption to allow shadow cast by Winthrop Square tower | via @BostonGlobe

26winthrop - Millennium Partners' proposal for the site of the Winthrop Square Garage. (Handel Architects)

“The skyscraper that Millennium Partners has proposed for Winthrop Square could be the last new building to cast a shadow on Boston Common, under a plan being floated by city officials to win support for the 775-foot tower.

The Walsh administration is willing to write tougher rules restricting the size of shadows that new buildings can cast on Boston Common, as long as there’s an exemption for Winthrop Square, said Brian Golden, director of the Boston Planning & Development Agency. That could effectively cap the height of future buildings in parts of Downtown Crossing.”…

“A 1990 state law governing shadows on the Common created a “shadow bank,’’ limiting the shade cast in the historic park by future buildings to about an acre. The Ritz-Carlton on Avery Street, also built by Millennium, used about three-fourths of the available shadow bank when it was built in 2001. About a quarter acre remains available.”…

Marty Walsh aims to get garage project out from shadows | Boston Herald

“The Walsh administration is committing to a planning study to guide future downtown development as part of efforts to win support for a state shadow law exemption for Millennium Partners’ proposed $1 billion redevelopment of the old Winthrop Square garage.

The study would look at “big-picture” planning and updates to antiquated zoning rules, according to Jonathan Greeley, director of development review for the Boston Planning & Development Agency.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh plans to file a home-rule petition which, if approved, would exempt Millennium’s up to 775-foot mixed-use tower from state laws governing new buildings’ shadow impacts on Boston Common and the Public Garden.

It would also eliminate the remaining quarter-acre in a “shadow bank” that developers can tap for new Midtown Cultural District buildings that would cast shadows after 10 a.m.

The shadow law has been effective in guiding development, but Millennium’s project — which falls outside Midtown and has more stringent shadow limitations — “offers a unique opportunity for public benefits and capturing the value of the development site,” Greeley said.”…

Downtown Boston tower would fund needed local projects, darken Boston Common | The Bay State Banner

A soaring tower in downtown Boston would drape a shadow across the Boston Common, causing some residents and elected officials ...

“A soaring tower in downtown Boston would drape a shadow across the Boston Common in exchange for pouring millions of dollars of desperately needed investments into affordable housing and public parks, Boston Planning and Development Agency officials say.

A potential $153 million windfall for the city hinges on whether Millennium Partners can pull off its proposed tower project at the former site of the Winthrop Square garage, a city-owned parcel. The city would direct the money into renovations at Franklin Park and the Boston Common, completion of the Emerald Necklace and advancement of redevelopment projects at Orient Heights and Old Colony public housing.

One problem: Building the tower as planned is not actually legal, unless exemptions are made — requiring action by the state legislature and Boston City Council — or the developers agree to reduce the tower’s height.”…

“The final vision for the 60-story tower is so tall it violates laws governing how much shadow can be cast across the Boston Common and Public Garden.

Zakim said studies show the anticipated shadow could extend as far as the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. The longest period of shadow would last for one hour and 30 minutes, states a November 2016 report from Millennium Partners.

Local opposition has come from sources such Zakim, residents groups and the Massachusetts Port Authority.

In a Jan. 19 letter to BPDA Senior Project Manager Casey Hines, Zakim said the building would block enough sunlight to leave lasting damage on the Common and Garden.

“These new shadows would negatively impact our precious parks and greenspace for generations,” Zakim wrote. “There is no viable substitute for the natural sunlight that this building would block.”

In a Jan. 15 letter, North End/Waterfront Residents Association members objected that adding darkness to the parks devalues them as attractions. Granting a one-time exemption from the shadow law is a bad precedent that could lead to accusations that one company is being unfairly favored above others, NEWRA added.”…

Officials Outline Legislation to Allow New Shadow from Winthrop Square Tower | Beacon Hill Times

“If passed, the proposed 750 foot building slated for the Winthrop Square Garage could be the last to cast additional shadows on the Boston Common and Public Garden downtown.

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) proposed a plan to push legislation that would allow the building to use up the rest of the shadow bank, which is currently reserved for buildings only in the Midtown Cultural District. The Winthrop Square site sits two blocks away from the designated zone.

The current Shadow Laws created the shadow bank for new buildings in the Midtown Cultural District of one acre from which the City can allow developers to withdraw for shadows cast for longer than the two-hour exemption.

Just over a quarter of an acre is all that remains in the Shadow Bank today, according to the Friends of the Public Garden.”…

…“Shadow is important – it absolutely is,” said Golden. “It has real spiritual affects on the Common. We talked to stakeholders surrounding the new shadow and we believe the cost-benefit ratio is worth it. A whole lot of people benefit from it.”

Sara Myerson the director of planning at the BPDA said that is important to continue to be stewards of the open spaces in Boston and that they have evaluated the arrangement.

“It feels like the right trade-off,” said Myerson.”…

Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – January 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:

RT @PR_NHL: Due to sunlight on the ice surface and in the interest of Player safety, the start time of Centennial Classic will be delayed

RT Jim Russ ‏@JimRuss1:  NHL has delayed start of of Red Wings-Maple Leafs outdoor game 30 minutes due to sunlight issues. Faceoff now at 3:30 p.m.

> @JimRuss1 Are they predicting cloud at 330, or improved sun angles and less glare? If the latter, they could have done this months ago.

RT @theScore: The NHL is delaying the Centennial Classic puck drop due to too much sunlight. TOO MUCH SUNLIGHT???????

> @theScore The sun glare issue at the Centennial Classic could/should have been predicted months ago. @NHL @NHLPA

Shadow lengths at BMO Field will increase by 33% between 3:00 and 3:30 pm today Jan 1 during during Centennial Classic. From just under 4x object height to 5.3x…

…but sun direction changes by only 6 degrees.

In some places, the sun rises earlier beginning tomorrow Jan 3. The latest sunrise was today in Toronto (7:51) and Ottawa (7:43).

Solar panels affected >

Shadow boxing: fighting for the right to sunlight | via @theage

Collingwood's Jenny Port: "The issue has been around for so long and … yet nothing happens."

“"We were quite happy to see it go," says Ms Port, an arts worker, who was philosophical when a proposal arrived for a six-storey apartment block on the car park site.

It was when another proposed development, this one for 16 levels to the north-east of her house, threatened to completely obliterate any access to solar power, she wondered whether there were any rules to protect her.

There weren't.”…

Cheers, Ralph

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sun Glare While Driving – December 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

Sun Glare May Have Been Factor In Rear-End Crash That Claimed The Life Of One Student | Lawsuit Financial Corporation

“While many of us may think of driving in weather conditions such as rain, snow, or fog, as potentially dangerous, this does not mean we can be less attentive when driving on a clear day. Driving on a sunny day can also create a dangerous, and sometimes deadly situation if the driver’s view is compromised by the glaring sun.

A 7-year-old girl was killed and ten others injured when an East Texas school van was rear-ended by a pick-up truck. According to reports, the van was struck while it was stopped to pick up children. Authorities believe the truck driver may have been blinded by the sun while coming over a hill and upon the stopped van.

Glare is not only a problem when motorists are driving into the sun; many motorists will run a red light because of the sun glare. Irrelevant, glares should never come as a surprise; we all know the sun comes up and it goes down. So how can you protect yourself and others on the road when driving into the sun?

AAA offers these tips:

  • Keep your windshield clean, inside and out.
  • Wear quality sunglasses with polarized lenses and UV protection to help reduce the 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.
  • Turn headlights on so oncoming motorists can see you as they're driving toward the sun.
  • Drive slower, even below the posted speed. It's against the law to drive at speeds in excess of road conditions.
  • Use the same precautions and care as driving in other hazardous conditions, like fog or rain. If you can't see, don't drive.
  • If possible, change your driving route.”…

Drivers warned to stay safe from low sun glare | Gloucestershire Live

sun glare

“Drivers are being warned to protect themselves from low dazzling winter sun.

At this time of year, the glare from the sun can be a danger to drivers.

Being blinded, even if just for a couple of seconds, is still enough time for an accident to occur. Remember that even if the dazzling sun is behind you, then it could be affecting the people travelling towards you.

There are some precautions that you can take to protect yourself.

Here are some tips.”…

Read on… via @GlosLiveOnline

This past November a busy month for crashes involving sun glare

Overturned Bus

Another left turn and sun glare crash - so dangerous >

Two Children Injured In Omaha Crash | NewsRadio 1110 KFAB

“Two children were injured, one critically, in a two vehicle crash near 103rd and Blair High Road around 8:30 Monday morning.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Department says an eastbound SUV was heading toward I-680 and collided with a westbound van that was making a left turn onto 103rd Street.

Investigators say sun glare may have been a factor in the crash.”…

Sun glare may have led to collision >

Serious injuries reported in crash at 103rd and Blair High Road | KETV

“Two children suffered serious injuries in a crash Monday morning near 103rd Street and Blair High Road.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says sun glare may have led to the collision.

"The unfortunate thing with this road, especially at this time of the year, [is] you're driving right into the sun when you're driving eastbound," Capt. Eric Sellers said.

RT @KevinFrankish: Ever wonder why so many people on the road drive without lights at night?  You may be one of them and not even know it.

> Great post @KevinFrankish. People simply need to know their vehicle. Not all headlights/tail lights are automatic. Just check!

Sun glare could be cause of deadly Harnett County wreck, troopers say | via @WRAL 

One person died Thursday morning in a two-vehicle Harnett County wreck, authorities said.

“One person died Thursday morning in a two-vehicle Harnett County wreck, authorities said.

The crash happened around 7:30 a.m. near 1653 Sheriff Johnson Road, Lillington. Troopers with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said a driver of a black vehicle ran a stop sign and crashed into a silver vehicle at the intersection.”…

“Troopers said sun beaming into the black vehicle's windshield could have been the cause of the wreck.”

New School Route Safety Measures Planned by City of Hillsboro, Hillsboro School District | Oregon Live

School zone cropped.jpg

“School route safety has been an ongoing priority for both the City of Hillsboro and the Hillsboro School District. The City and School District are working to enhance protection near two Hillsboro schools in response to recent vehicle collisions involving pedestrians and a bicyclist.

At the intersection of SE Johnson Street and SE 75th Avenue, near Ladd Acres Elementary School, students and parents will see several safety improvements. The crosswalk of the intersection is where a mother and her two children were struck by a vehicle in September in a collision the driver attributed to sun blindness:

  • No parking signs have been added to reinforce visibility at the crosswalk.
  • Stencils will be added to the roadway to alert approaching drivers that they are approaching a designated "SCHOOL" crossing.
  • City employees and School District staff will continue to evaluate safety needs to ensure signage is visible and no other action is necessary. While City staff do not believe that a rapid rectangular flashing beacon (RRFB) would have prevented the sun blindness issues cited by the driver in the September crash, City employees will continue to work with School District staff to assess safety needs here and throughout the city in determining a prioritized list for future RRFB installations.

Less than a mile away, at the intersection of SE Frances Street and SE 74th Avenue, near Brown Middle School, students and parents will also see several safety improvements. The intersection is the site of a similar collision in September in which the driver attributed the accident to fogged windows and sun glare:

  • The existing school zone will be moved further to the west and the existing flashing beacon will be moved in front of the crosswalk at Francis Street and 74th Avenue. This will reduce drivers' speed at this crosswalk to 20 miles per hour.
  • The Hillsboro School District will reposition a crossing guard from Cornelius Pass Road to 74th Avenue during the morning commute and evening release at Brown Middle School.
  • Stencils will be added to the roadway to alert approaching drivers that they are approaching a designated "SCHOOL" crossing.
  • City employees and School District staff will continue to evaluate safety needs to ensure signage is visible and no other action is necessary.

The City and School District will collaborate on educational materials for students and parents that describe safe walking, biking, and driving behaviors. One of the central messages of the materials will be the importance of being alert and aware, and not making assumptions about visibility and safety at crosswalks.”…

Driver charged, passing in sun glare >

One woman injured in Ohio 13 crash | Mansfield News Journal

Ohio 13 crash

“One woman was injured in a two-vehicle crash at Ohio 13 and Ohio 96 Thursday afternoon.

Brian Maiyer, 47, of Mansfield was driving a gold 2005 Chevy Equinox south on Ohio 13, and a 54-year-old woman from Wellington was driving a green 2006 Hyundai Elantra north on Ohio 13.

Trooper Duane Hunsicker with the Ohio Highway Patrol said the woman's first name is Lisa, but declined to give her last name.

Hunsicker said Maiyer tried to pass a vehicle in front of him, going left of center, and could not see the woman's vehicle due to sun glare. The woman tried to swerve her vehicle out of the way, but the vehicles collided just after 3 p.m., according to the Ohio Highway Patrol.”…

RT @ONtransport: In 2013, 39% of drivers killed on Ontario’s roads had drugs in their system. #DriveSober

> RT @ReconGeniTPS: I suspect that these drug-related #collision #statistics will be on the rise soon: weed & drivers just don't mix! #Recon #driveSober #fatal4

@ReconGeniTPS Can't you charge impaired with or without a 'number'?

> RT @ReconGeniTPS: @SunPosition Yes, impaired driving charges may be laid based upon driving observations & driver behaviour. Need reasonable probable grounds to arrest 1st

> @ReconGeniTPS Good, that's what I thought. Tough to prove in court though? What's the success rate for convictions?

> RT @ReconGeniTPS: @SunPosition Don't have data on conviction rates but it's dependant upon officer explaining their grounds to arrest. Plus in-car video helps a lot too!

Legally Speaking: Blinded By The Light | via @velonews

“Roadies are used to hardship; it comes with the territory. We ride countless base miles, grueling workouts, before sunrise and after sunset and all hours in between — often in extreme weather conditions — to prepare for the race where we finally put all of our training on the line.

This makes us tough and fit, but it can often put us in harm’s way, sometimes without us even realizing the danger — one of the greatest hazards cyclists may face is the rising or setting sun. In fact, two cyclists I’ve raced with have been lost to the sun’s blinding glare.”…

“16.4 percent of all crashes caused by "atmospheric conditions" are the result of blindness due to sun glare”

Left turn + sun glare >

Police urge caution after Lowell pedestrian crashes | Lowell Sun

“In a week that has seen four separate incidents of people being struck by motor vehicles, officials and safety experts urged drivers and pedestrians to exercise caution on the roads.”…

“A 19-year-old driver was turning left from Arcand Drive to Father Morrissette Boulevard when, she told police, she was blinded by sun glare and struck a 70-year-old man who was walking. The driver had a green light at the time, police said, and the man suffered a minor head injury.

Glare can pose a challenge to drivers, especially during winter months when the sun is lower on the horizon and shines directly through the windshield into drivers' eyes, said AAA spokesman John Paul.”…

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – December 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

RT @adamadonaldson: Staff says this design should reduce the shadow impact. Many delegates tonight will disagree.

Shadow concerns >

Winthrop Square Project Meeting on December 5 | Beacon Hill Times

The tower Millennium Partners would like to build would extend shadows for as long as 90 minutes in the morning over the Boston Common and Public Garden.

“The Boston Planning Development Agency (BPDA) will be holding a meeting regarding the controversial proposed building for 115 Winthrop Square in Downtown Boston  on Monday December 5, from 6:30  to 8:30 pm at the Suffolk Law School at 120 Tremont Street. The meeting will discuss the multi-use tower that might rise as high as 775 feet above Boston’s skyline.

The proposed tower, which is slated to replace the current deteriorated Winthrop Square Garage, will cast a long shadow a third of a mile away onto historic parks including the Boston Common, the Public Garden, and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, breaking the existing shadow laws.”…

“The current laws restrict any new shadows on the parks outside of certain permitted conditions. This will need to be modified in order to permit this or any other tall project to proceed on this site.

The Winthrop Square project will be reviewed under Article 80 of the Boston Zoning Code, along with a continuation of the community participation.

There was an Impact Advisory Group (IAG) meeting for this project held on Monday, November 28, where IAG members worked closely with the BPDA staff to identify the impacts of the project and recommended appropriate community benefits to offset those impacts.

The Friends of the Public Garden who have consistently advocated for protecting the public parks from excessive shadow and wind resulting from development projects that would harm these green spaces came out asking for a solution to prevent this from happening.

“As you know, in 1990, the Friends worked with elected officials and the Boston Redevelopment Authority (now the BPDA) to draft and enact legislation to protect the Boston Common and Public Garden from damaging new shadows,” wrote Liz Vizza the executive director of Friends of the Public Garden in a statement.

She continued, “This shadow protection has worked as intended – it has successfully protected our parks, while allowing robust development to continue in the city. Now, 25 years later, we are facing a new generation of buildings that challenge our parks.”

Vizza states that the Friends of the Public Garden believes that a comprehensive solution needs to be made to downtown development projects that threaten to cast shadows on the parks and do not conform to the current legislation.”…

Proud to have 7 Clients on this list >

The top 10 Toronto developments on @BuzzBuzzHome in November 2016

garrison point

Here's what the shadow from the Winthrop Square tower could look like | via @BostonGlobe

“There’s been a lot said lately about the shadows that a massive skyscraper planned for Winthrop Square would cast on Boston Common and the Public Garden.

Its developers are hoping that some pictures will be worth more than words.

Millennium Partners has released animations showing precisely where — and for how long — its proposed 750-foot tower would cast shade on the two historic parks, which are protected by state laws that ban shadows from new buildings in most of downtown Boston.”…

Shadow concerns >

Complaints about PS332 roil CB 11 meeting | TimesLedger

“A representative from the School Construction Authority vexed residents at Monday’s Community Board 11 meeting when he announced progress has been made on the construction of PS 332 in Bayside. The new school raised concerns over decreased property values and aggravating already congested traffic conditions.

About 50 people attended the meeting.

Construction on the controversial school, which will have 468 seats in a four-story building containing 20,000 square feet, began in the summer of 2015. The SCA has projected the school at 210-07 48th Ave. on the former Keil Bros. property will be completed by next September. It is supposed to relieve overcrowding at PS 31, 41, 159, 162 and 203, which are operating at more than 100 percent of capacity.

What started as spirited display of progress by SCA Director of External Affairs Michael Mirasola became an acrimonious meeting in the MS 158 auditorium at 46-35 Oceania St. when the residents began voicing grievances. One resident complained about the building cast houses in permanent shadow and rendered adjacent homes “unsellable” due to the proximity of the facility.

“There is no such thing as a perfect school,” Mirasola responded. “We have to make concessions and sometimes there is a shadow. Every building we build, there is a shadow. It’s regrettable, but it’s just a fact of life.””…

Shadows on Boston Common >

The trouble with Winthrop Square | via @BostonGlobe

Architect’s rendering of the proposed tower at Winthrop square.

“A POPULAR DEVELOPER wants to take a decrepit, shuttered garage off the city’s hands and build a 750-foot Xanadu of glass and steel in its place.”…

“Plenty, say parks advocates and preservationists, who fear a slippery slope if Boston Mayor Martin Walsh succeeds in getting around a 1990 law that protects Boston’s historic parks from shadows cast by tall buildings.

Few really believe the mayor’s assurances that the exemption he is seeking would apply only to the garage development at Winthrop Square. Other developers who have been stymied by the shadow law would surely demand equal treatment. “This would be the beginning of shadow creep,” said Elizabeth Vizza, executive director of Friends of the Public Garden. Soon Boston could become like New York City, where super-tall towers are being constructed along Central Park South, throwing long, thin shadows, almost like prison bars, across the city’s lungs.

In a presentation last month, Millennium Partners, the site’s developer, admitted that shadows cast by the building would violate the law on more than half the days of the year on the Boston Common, and for about 100 days on the Public Garden. The much-loved, much-used lawn on Boston Common has a hard enough time without the added insult of shade, a horticultural condition that can’t easily be fixed with more water or fertilizer. And these are not just any parks — they are close to sacred ground in Boston, two of the city’s diminishing number of noncommercial civic spaces that are free and open to all.”…

“Rather than mitigate the impact of the shadows with expensive side benefits, why not just mitigate the shadows? Millennium Partners could deploy its army of architects and planners to find a new design or a new way to develop Winthrop Square. A tower of roughly 400 feet would be in compliance with the law. That wouldn’t be nearly as lucrative or yield the city the same amount of quick cash, but it would let the sun shine in.”

Winthrop Square Project Draws Large Crowd Over Shadows | Beacon Hill Times

“A packed courtroom at the Suffolk Law School laid the stage for the first public meeting held for the proposed tower at 115 Winthrop Square by the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) on Monday, December 5.

Members of the community voiced their concerns over amending the current Shadow Laws to allow a 775-foot high mix-use tower to be built, casting additional shadows onto the historic parks The Boston Common, Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall.

On the Boston Common and the Public Garden current Shadow Law requires that no new shadow should be cast one hour after either sunrise or one hour before sunset. In order for the current laws to change the developers, Millennium Partners, will need legislative approval from both the city and state to proceed.

In order for this building to be within the current Shadow Laws the proposed tower would have to be cut in half to be from 350 feet to 440 feet tall.”…

RT @Barrie411: The developer of a huge downtown Barrie condo is branching out, into the east end | Barrie Examiner

“The developer of a huge downtown Barrie condo is branching out, into the east end.

Advance Tech Developments announced plans Friday for a $50-million, 238-unit residential condominium at 290 Georgian Dr.

“That is the highest elevation in Barrie and we've actually scoped out that area in terms of what the views look like,” said Joe Santos of Advance Tech. “So it has a tremendous view of Oro (Medonte Township) and Little Lake, but also you can see the outline of Lake Simcoe all the way down to Keswick.”

Santos said the zoning is already in place for the property, and that Advance Tech is talking to city planning staff about a site plan.

To be near Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH), it's to be high-end condo living called 'The Vic'.

Santos said the property's zoning allows 15 storeys, and this project's height will be in that range.”…

Shadow cast by proposed Providence skyscrapers among concerns | Providence Journal

“The chairman of the 195 commission said Friday that a New York developer's proposal to build three high-rise towers raises "some significant urban planning issues due to its scale and design."

However, I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Chairman Joseph F. Azrack said the proposal from Jason Fane and The Fane Organization is "clearly a significant and serious development proposal that we have to review."

Consultants hired to study the project are expected to report back within a couple of weeks, and the commission will likely meet and review their findings early in the new year.

Azrack is concerned whether:

- The shadow cast by the towers would lessen the appeal of a park to the east.

- The 60-to-70-foot base for the towers could block a walkway between the waterfront to downtown.

- Pedestrians to the west of the towers could see the park and pedestrians on the new bridge across the Providence River could see downtown.”…

Very cool >

Mapping the Shadows of New York City: Every Building, Every Block | New York Times

…”Sunlight and shadow shape the character and rhythm of New York’s public spaces. They have the power to control the flow of foot traffic on our city streets and decide which plazas hum with activity and commerce and which stay barren and desolate. And probably most noticeably, they have the power to change the rent. In most parts of America, sunlight is not debated the way it is in New York, where the city’s thirst for living space, working space and economic growth has turned the sun into a virtual commodity.”…

As Nearby Valencia Development Looms, Zeitgeist Files Review To Protect Beer Garden From Shadow | via @SFist


“Zeitgeist, among San Francisco's best known bars and choice few beer gardens, celebrates its 40th anniversary next month, having recently attained Legacy Business status in its wizened, grizzly old age. But just as that event nears, a literal shadow on the horizon could threaten the establishment's crown jewel, that seasonally sun-drenched patio area, and therefore its livelihood as a business, or so general manager Gideon Bush informs SFist.

A development at 198 Valencia Street at the Northwest corner of Valencia and Duboce — currently an oil changing business and its parking lot directly across from Zeitgeist's 199 Valencia address — is nearing approval, and while Bush explains that the project has been in the pipeline for some years, since 2013 according to Socketsite, the bar has recently discovered the effect of shadow that would be cast by the current designs for a five-story condo building with commercial ground floor space.

The realization occurred following shadow analysis performed in accordance with 1984 San Francisco Proposition K, the so-called "Sunlight Ordinance" which restricts buildings that cast shadows on public spaces such as parks. Just north of Zeitgeist and its neighboring business Black Heart Tattoo is a small sliver public space, SoMa West Dog Park, tucked beside the 101. "Through that [review] we realized the shadow cast by this building will a have a significant impact during what we call our busy season, the months of March through about late November, when we get that late summer that sun Francisco is so well known for," Bush told SFist.

Zeitgeist has filed a discretionary review to voice its concerns, as have other nearby businesses with different ones. As Bush Clarifies, "While the building won't completely take away our sunshine, it will have an impact from 4:30 p.m. to about sunset, when people are getting off work and might want to enjoy the last few hours of daylight. That would cease to exist at Zeitgeist if this development goes through as planned."”…

Zeitgeist, Concerned Over Shadow, Opposing Mission District Housing Project | Mission Local

Zeitgeist's sunny patio. Photo courtesy of Zeitgeist.

“A chilly afternoon in the middle of December didn’t stop regulars from venturing out onto the patio of one of the Mission’s most popular bars, Zeitgeist. But the manager there, Gideon Bush, fears that the shadow cast by a five-story building expected to go up across the street just might.

Bush said the building, a five-story, 28-unit mixed-use building with a ground floor commercial space, will cast a shadow on the beer bar’s popular outdoor space during its peak use times — March through October, he said, the shade would cost the bar business.”…

A life in the shadows: Take a look at some of Manhattan's darkest and brightest streets | The Architect's Newspaper

A life in the shadows: Take a look at some of Manhattan's darkest and brightest street. The Manhattan Skyline at Dusk. (Courtesy Bobby Mikul)

“A comprehensive shadow study of Manhattan has been done by the New York Times. The analysis plots average shadows over the course of the year from every building in Manhattan shedding light (or rather shade) on New York’s gloomiest and brightest streets.

By hovering over areas of the map, one can find out how much a certain street spends its time in the shadows. This data is presented as a percentage of daylight hours and is split in three to account for different times of year: Summer, Winter, and Spring/Fall. The amount of time a particular area is shadowed is written as a unit of time. For example, the intersection of Broadway and Murray Street spends on average: Four hours and 35 minutes in shadow during the Summer (38 percent); two hours and 34 minutes in shadow during Fall/Spring (29 percent) and two hours and 47 minutes in shadow during the Winter (46 percent).”…

N.W. rec centre blinding motorists | Calgary Sun

Rocky Ridge recreation facility

“What's been described as an inspiring piece of architecture in the city's far northwest is proving too brilliant for some passing motorists.

Northwest Coun. Ward Sutherland said he's received complaints about the intense glare thrown by the gold-coloured metallic panels on the exterior of the Rocky Ridge Recreation Facility being built at Country Hills Blvd. and Rocky Ridge Rd. N.W.

Motorists are most affected by the briefly-blinding reflections off the $205-million building whose fluid, rounded curves mimic the surrounding hills, said Sutherland.

"Depending on the time of day and the angle of the sun, when they look at it, it makes it a bit difficult for them," he said.

"When I've driven by it, it kind of hurt my eyes."

That same problem was also glimpsed by Tessa Sakamoto, president of the Rocky Ridge Royal Oak Community Association.

"It was something I noticed driving past at sunset, the glare of it was quite bright on the eyes," she said.

Sutherland said during a tour of the construction site, he learned officials with builder PCL were aware of the potential reflection problems but assured him it wouldn't be permanent.

The type of metal used in the panels, he said, will lose their glossiness in about five months' time, he said.”…

Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – December 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.

A few of the samples include:

RT @MurrayXavier: Powerless digital sundial! …printer files: @SunPosition have you seen this?!

> .@MurrayXavier Yes, amazing sundial isn't it!! This certainly trumps my SunChips billboard lol.

billboard pic


4-mile shadow flicker >

Protest against turbine plans in Gaoth Dobhair | Donegal Democrat

Protest against turbine plans in Gaoth Dobhair

“Local residents are to stage a protest at Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Derrybeg offices tomorrow over a planning application for a wind turbine at the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park.

About 70 people attended a public meeting last night on the issue, where a proposal for the protest came from the floor.”…

““Those people around the 500-metre perimeter [from the turbine] will be affected by the noise, they will be very badly affected by the noise,” Mr. Ó Maonaigh said. “Those people living to the west and the north west to a distance of four miles will be affected by the flicker effect, especially at this time of year.” The flicker effect occurs when the blades of a turbine cast a shadow over a window and the rotation of the blades causes the shadow to flicker.”…

Wow, courtroom has jury box on each side, in event AM or PM sun glare too strong >

Cardell Hayes-Will Smith trial | The Times-Picayune

…”Courtroom observers on the first day of testimony before Criminal District Judge Camille Buras included current and former Saints players Drew Brees, Deuce McAllister, Steve Gleason, Roman Harper and Jahri Evans. Sitting on the front row behind the defense table was New Orleans bounce music artist Big Freedia, a cousin of Hayes. District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro also made an appearance, huddling with prosecutors before the first state's witness was called.

Criminal District Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson watched the attorneys' opening statements from a seat in the unoccupied jury box on the left side of the courtroom. Buras' large courtroom is one of the few in the building that has a jury box on each side of the room, allowing for the jury to be moved if morning or afternoon sun glare is too strong.”…

RT @weatherchannel: The #winter #solstice has just occurred (5:44 a.m. ET). The science behind this "moment in time".

> Welcome winter solstice. The days are getting longer again.

Time-lapse video of winter solstice in Fairbanks Alaska in 2012. (Credit: Taro Nakai) -

> Had the pleasure of being in Fairbanks Alaska in 2009, but in late spring. Quite the opposite effect with very few hours of darkness.


Cheers, Ralph