Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Sun Glare While Driving – May 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

Off-duty deputy killed in crash involving bus carrying Tesla employees on East Bay Freeway, CHP says | LA Times

“An off-duty Alameda County sheriff’s deputy was killed Friday morning in a crash involving a Tesla employee bus on an East Bay freeway, authorities said.

The Sheriff’s Office confirmed the crash “took the life of our deputy.” He was identified as Sroeuy Khin.

Khin had just gotten off work and was headed home on the eastbound Interstate 580 near Tracy in Alameda County, said Officer Derek Reed, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol.

Khin, who was driving a Volkswagen Beetle, was stopped for an unknown reason in a freeway lane near Grant Line Road when the employee tour bus rear-ended the vehicle, he said.

The driver of the tour bus told officers that the sun glare was blinding and he did not see the Volkswagen, Reed said.”…

Blinding Sun Possibly Led To Crash That Killed Alameda County Deputy | via @mariaCBS5

Crashes block roads in Plymouth as sun dazzles drivers | Plymouth Herald

Low sun glare has caused at least one accident in Plymouth

“There have been two crashes in Plymouth already this morning, with police saying at least one has been caused by the glare from the low morning sun.

A collision at 6.45am has had left Old Laira Road partially blocked, close to Riga Terrace.

Police have said this accident was caused by low sun glare and a car has hit a traffic island.”…

Sun glare believed to be factor >

Serious accident involving motorcycle on 490 West Tuesday evening | Rochester First

Serious accident involving motorcycle on I490 West

“A serious accident on I490 West at the Goodman Street exit ramp sent a motorcyclist to the hospital with serious injuries Tuesday evening.

State Police say Charles Campbell, 56, of Pittsford, failed to stop for traffic ahead of him. Police say he drove his 2015 Harley Davidson into the Nissan Altima ahead of him. Police say the Altima was slowing on the exit ramp when Campbell rear-ended the vehicle.

Campbell was ejected from his motorcycle, which caused him to strike an SUV that was stopped ahead of the Altima. He was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital with serious injuries.

The operators of the other vehicles were not injured, and no charges will be filed against any of the involved operators.

Police say they believe sun glare may have been a contributing factor in the accident.”

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – May 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

How To Center Urban Design Around the Sun | CityLab

“Our lives may revolve around the sun—quite literally—but the same can’t be said for urban design.

Cities have always reflected societal values; they are a physical reminder of our shared history—from the privileged space offered to churches in medieval towns to the democratic ideals embodied in Philadelphia’s grid. However, in an increasingly data-driven world, urban designers can now augment traditional approaches with analytical research. This approach is well-established in other fields, and we have seen complex analytics used to understand the impact of environmental factors on retail design, building performance, and health care. Urban designers have only recently started to use these tools, and we can learn a great deal by applying them to the design of sunlight in our public spaces.

Laws to protect access to sunlight date back to Vitruvius, and contemporary versions exist in cities from New York City to London to San Francisco. Ensuring access to sunlight in key public places protects an integral part of what makes these landmark parks and plazas so popular. But as cities grow increasingly dense, access to sunlight becomes a precious commodity.

Many municipalities require that architects prepare shadow impact studies that quantify the impacts of a proposed development on the immediate surroundings. This approach places the emphasis on shadows, rather than on the displaced sunlight. An approach focused on shadows seems counter-intuitive if our goal is to create public spaces that enjoy generous amounts of sunlight. A much better approach would prioritize sunlight and require a process that quantifies and defines the light. By making sunlight the literal “object” of our discussions, designers can then focus on the specific qualities of sunlight, its impact on human behavior, well-being and performance in the urban environment.”…

“Our streets and public spaces public spaces lie at the heart of our daily lives and deserve the same attention given to our homes, work places, schools and hospitals. Sunlight is a key element in shaping the design of public spaces.”…

Toronto C of A appeals no longer go to OMB, but to Local Appeal Body | City of Toronto

“What does this mean?

Starting May 3, 2017, most appeals from the Toronto Committee of Adjustment will go to the Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) instead of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).   See below for details.

What happens to Committee of Adjustment Appeals starting May 3, 2017?

All appeals are still to be filed with the Manager & Deputy-Secretary Treasurer, Committee of Adjustment and must be filed within the appeal period on the Notice of Decision.

Appeals filed before May 3, 2017 will stay with the OMB.

Appeals filed on or after May 3, 2017 will go to the TLAB unless:

  • the decision was already appealed before May 3, 2017; or
  • there is a related appeal to the OMB for the same matter. A related appeal is an appeal under section 114 of the City of Toronto Act, under sections 17, 22, 34, 36, 38, 41 or 51 of the Planning Act or under a regulation made under section 70.2 of the Planning Act.”…

RT @NewHomeBuyers: New appeal body replaces OMB, sort of... | Toronto Star

Toronto condos

“The City of Toronto this week announced it had established an independent appeal body to “provide quick and efficient hearings on appeals of land use decisions made by the Committee of Adjustment” — and in doing so, replaced the much-maligned Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) in matters of minor variance and consent.

The Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) will, as of May 3rd, bring local planning appeals back to the city. Its members “live in Toronto and understand Toronto’s unique character and communities,” according to Councillor David Shiner (Ward 24 Willowdale) in a release.”…

RT Mike CollinsWilliams‏ @mikejcw: Residents to be blocked from challenging devs within 500m of transit stations under reforms to OMB | Globe & Mail

> @mikejcw Do you see this leading to a "wild west" of development within the 1km wide strip along transit lines?

> RT Mike CollinsWilliams‏ @mikejcw: @sunposition No.

The Globe and Mail

“Residents would be blocked from challenging developments within 500 metres of transit stations under sweeping reforms to the Ontario Municipal Board to be unveiled next week.

The provision, revealed to The Globe and Mail by government sources, would allow municipalities to bar challenges to approved developments near GO Transit, subway or light-rail stations in order to support the goal of boosting density near transit lines.

But it is expected to alarm some neighbourhood associations, particularly in Toronto, where developers are eager to build increasingly tall condominium towers – and where residents have resisted such efforts near transit.”…

“Tower with waist” by MVRDV minimises building shadow cast | Architecture And Design

“Dutch architects MVRDV have demonstrated a unique way to minimise the shadow impact of a building on its neighbours in Vienna, Austria.

The Rotterdam-based firm are winners of a two-stage, BAI-backed competition for a new tower near Vienna’s world famous Gasometers and their concept, “Turm mit Taille” (Tower with Waist) was shaped so as to minimise the effect of the building’s shadow cast on its neighbours.

The brief originally restricted the allowable construction to a height of 75 metres, however in proposing a more compact square layout MVRDV were granted added height concessions and the building will now reach 110 metres.

The first ten floors are parametrically shaped into a twist to minimise the structure’s shadow cast onto the neighbouring facades to only two hours a day.”…

SF apartment project faces delay for casting shadow on park | via @SFGate

“It was a showdown between badly needed housing and precious open space on South of Market’s hardscrabble Sixth Street.

And on Thursday, open space won out — at least for now.

In a rare decision, the Planning and Recreation and Park commissions forced the developer of a proposed 84-unit apartment complex at 301 Sixth St. to redesign the project after residents and community advocates complained that the 82-foot-high building would cast a shadow on the Gene Friend Recreation Center.”…

A Tiny Park Fights for Sunlight Among New York City Skyscrapers | New York Times

“New Yorkers have to elbow their way onto packed subways below ground. They have to eke out room on teeming sidewalks and streets just to get anywhere.

And in a city where no space can be taken for granted, increasingly they have to fight for the very light and air above their heads.

A city plan to rezone the heart of Manhattan has touched off a new campaign to protect the afternoon light falling on a beloved park that offers honey locust trees, azaleas, pansies and a 25-foot-high waterfall. It is a lush oasis in a neighborhood starved for green space.

The foundation that runs the park, on East 51st Street between Second and Third Avenues, says the rezoning would allow taller buildings that could block its afternoon sun, endangering the plant life and making the spot colder, darker and far less inviting. This patch of greenery — known as Greenacre Park, a 1971 gift from a granddaughter of the industrialist John D. Rockefeller Sr. — is at the center of a brewing battle between light and darkness as the city grows ever more vertical.”…

How do we preserve the Distillery District but still make it livable? | via @torontostar

Pedesrians walk through the Distillery District with a condo tower seen in the background. Three new high rise condos are proposed for the heritage district, rankling many local residents.

“Three proposed condo buildings in the Distillery District are rankling residents and raising questions about what kind of development is appropriate for the national historic site.

Some locals say the proposals will increase congestion and hide the district’s marquee squares in shadow.

But the architects for Cityscape, the developer on two of the projects, say the development is needed to continue revitalizing and preserving some of the city’s most important heritage resources.”…

“The other major concern residents have is the shadows that would be cast by the proposed towers. As Brewer points out, one of the big draws to the Distillery District is the sunlight the area’s squares and laneways get in the summer.

Adding a 49-storey tower at 31a Parliament will drastically reduce that sunlight, Brewer said.

“It would shade Trinity Square which is the main feature at this national historic site,” he said.

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 it’s highest in the sky — the further from that day the calendar gets, the longer the shadow cast will be.

But aside from these issues, the developments raise questions about how to balance heritage preservation with density in Toronto.”…

Light wins over shadow in public park battle | via @smh

The Dexus development is on the 2087-square-metre Flinders Street block between the Ernst & Young building at 8 ...

“Light has conquered shadow in a battle over tall buildings overlooking Melbourne's riverside Birrarung Marr park.

Property giant Dexus has failed in a bid to force Planning Minister Richard Wynne to allow an extra 10 floors to be added to a tower it wants to build near the south-east corner of Flinders Street.

Dexus wants to build a 64-storey skyscraper, but the tower will cast a shadow over the park on the north side of the Yarra River.

The company has already gained planning approval from Mr Wynne for two towers on its site.

The tallest, at 54 storeys, was approved because it will not overshadow the park.”

“The decision to limit Dexus' building to 54 storeys was based on city planning rules that state that all new buildings "should not cast additional shadow across Birrarung Marr".”…

Can you sue your neighbour for blocking your solar panels? | via @ABCNews

A modern looking home with a lush garden and solar panels on the roof.

“What are your legal rights if a neighbour decides to build up and block direct sunlight from hitting your solar panels?

It's a problem central Adelaide resident Jo Thomas was forced to confront when she learned a developer had plans to build a four-storey building next door.

Dr Thomas is a medical doctor who lives in a small, medium density development called Christie Walk, which has 27 dwellings and a community garden.

"The emphasis is on nature and people-friendly urban development," she said.

"The plans were for a four-storey, very much box-like construction of apartments, on our boundary.

"The development had a big impact for us. For me personally it was going to throw quite a lot of shadow over my photovoltaic solar collectors and solar hot water system.

"But also for other residents, it was going to dramatically overshadow the community garden."”…

“So what does Dr Thomas's case mean for the rest of the country's solar panel owners? Do they have a right to sunlight without overshadowing?

Peter Clarke, a lawyer with Sydney firm Hones Lawyers, said that under many local government planning guidelines and development controls, there is a requirement that private open living spaces receive a certain amount of direct sunlight per day, with a minimum requirement on the winter solstice, June 21.

"Most jurisdictions require about three hours of sunlight into a private open living space," he told the Law Report after writing an article for Sanctuary magazine.

But the rules around access to sunlight for solar panels are much murkier.

A number of Australian jurisdictions have best practice guidelines and development controls that are set out as objectives.

But in terms of an actual right enshrined in law, nothing of the kind really exists.”…

Cheers, Ralph

Monday, May 8, 2017

Sun Glare While Driving – April 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

Does daylight saving time increase number of crashes? | The Coloradoan


“If you dislike daylight saving time, you're not alone. And it turns out, science might back you up.

We're all familiar with the dreaded "spring forward" that meant two weeks ago we were an hour short on sleep, and, in many cases driving to work in the dark and driving home straight into a blinding sun glare.

A 2014 study from a researcher at the University of Colorado found the changes in light as well as drivers running on less sleep correlated with higher rates of traffic crashes. That increased risk lasted for the first six days after the spring daylight saving time change.”…

Glare from setting sun blamed for crash that injured a Hawick woman | West Central Tribune

”A Hawick woman was injured in a one-vehicle accident Thursday night on state Highway 23 and County Road 33 near Paynesville.

According to the State Patrol, at around 7:30 p.m. Betty-Jane Povilatis, 36, was driving a 2013 Chevy Equinox west on state Highway 23 when she was blinded by the setting sun and ran off the road.”…

Sun causes multiple car accidents | KHGI


“Two separate car crashes Tuesday morning at approximately the same time, but reportedly, one cause.

According to the Kearney Police Department and scanner reports, the blinding sun was the culprit behind both accidents, one resulting in injury.

A fender bender happened near the intersection on 29th Street and 7th Avenue. Kearney P.D. says the sun blinded a driver, who then rear–ended a vehicle.

The second crash involved multiple cars, near the intersection of 39th Street and 28th Avenue.

According to the scanner, the sun's reflection off glass may have caused the crashed, resulting in injury.”…

> Crashes can be caused by not only direct sun, but by reflected sun as well.

Blinding morning sun blamed in fatal car versus motorcycle accident | via @thevalleynews

The victim's motorcycle lay in the roadway for several hours while officers investigated the fatal collision. John Strangis photo

“A motorcyclist died Wednesday morning, April 12, after he was struck from behind by a driver who said she had not seen the motorcycle before smashing into it. The driver told investigating officers she had been temporarily blinded by the morning sunlight and never saw the motorcyclist prior to the impact.”…

Police: Sun glare a factor in crash that killed woman on Quinnipiac St. in Wallingford | via @FOX61News

“A woman was killed Monday morning after she was hit by a car in Wallingford.”…

“Police said the driver of the car stayed on scene and that sun glare was a factor in the fatal accident.”…

Glare forced planes to change formation before fatal crash, report says | WKMG

“A sun glare forced a change in formation moments before two planes collided in midair on April 1 in Edgewater, according to a the National Transportation Safety Board.

The NTSB released a preliminary report on Tuesday detailing the crash that left Cessna pilot Gary Somerton, 57, and Grumman pilot Anne Edmonson, 66, dead.

Five pilots left Spruce Creek Airport in Daytona Beach at 8:39 a.m. to go to the Arthun Dunn Aiport in Titusville to attend a monthly breakfast event. They formed a V shape, but then the flight leader suggested a change in formation because of a glare.

"Due to the position of the sun, the flight leader decided to change to a left echelon formation where the airplanes would be arranged diagonally, to his left, with each airplane being stacked slightly low, behind, and to the left of the airplane ahead. This arrangement allowed the pilots to avoid the sun glare," the report read.

The collision happened as the planes were changing formation.”…

Drive with extra caution in Toronto for first hour after sunrise for next week or so as sun lines up with eastbound streets.

Oh my!

Interesting articles about the role of sun glare in traffic safety

RT @suesgambati: Congratulations on your achievement @ProjectCRASH16  to promote safe driving @georgiancollege @Clarke4Orillia

Media preview

> @PCArsenault @ProjectCRASH16 @PCPappy @suesgambati @georgiancollege Great initiative @ProjectCRASH16

Detroit Ranked #1 in Pedestrian Fatality Accidents | The Michigan Law Firm

Walking Car Accident Lawyer

“Citizens of Detroit, Michigan have many gripes about the city including construction, decay, and of course traffic. While, the city itself is going though some improvements, citizens still have every right to be upset about traffic however, as the National Highway Traffic and Safety Association (NHTSA) just issued a report showing that Detroit has the highest pedestrian fatality rate per 100,000 population. In fact, the NHTSA calculates that in 2015 alone, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes - that’s the highest it’s been since 1996.”…

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – April 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

Boston looking to skirt ordinance against casting shadow across Common | via @fox25news

“The City of Boston is looking at ways to get around state laws that would block the construction of a new high rise in the financial district.

The building would cast a shadow on the Boston Common and Public Garden, which is against the law.

The debate over the project has been going on for more than a year and the city thinks it has a good compromise in its new petition. But those fighting to keep the sunshine on the common at all times say it doesn't go far enough.

“It's such a gift and we have it tomorrow too, I think,” said Rachel Ringenberg as she enjoyed Monday’s weather on the Common.

But if a city petition to allow the construction of the 775-foot tower casting a shadow across Boston’s green space passes, there may not be many places left to sun bathe.

The tower would replace the old Winthrop Square garage and feature mixed use retail and housing.

“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, with the Friends of the Public Garden, said.

The state law making that illegal has been on the books for 26 years.

She says passing this new legislation could set a dangerous precedent and lead to even larger skyscrapers.”…

Let's talk about science: Light and shadow | via @PittsburghPG

“What does the springtime sun have in common with your household flashlight? They both produce light and therefore are perfect for light and shadow investigations. Is your early learner curious about his or her shadow? Spend some time outside on a sunny afternoon, or inside with a flashlight on a rainy one, learning together about light.

As children observe how light interacts with objects to produce shadows, they are building a foundation for later understanding of more complex concepts.”…

Mayor Walsh to File Home Rule: Petition to Change Current Shadow Laws | Beacon Hill Times  

“Mayor Martin Walsh has filed a long anticipated Home Rule Petition with Boston City Council called, “Petition for a Special Law Re: An Act Protecting Sunlight and Promoting Economic Development in the City of Boston,” that would change the 25-year-old State laws that govern shadows on the Boston Common and the Public Garden.

The Home Rule Petition will eliminate the remainder of the shadow bank, and instead allowing a limited amount of new shadow to be cast on the Boston Common and the Public Garden from new construction at 115 Winthrop Square.

The Shadow Bank was set up in existing state law to allow projects within the Midtown Cultural District to draw from a one acre bank for any new shadow cast on the Boston Common that is otherwise not in compliance with the law.

Under the proposal filed Monday, the remainder of the shadow bank would be eliminated, prohibiting any new slow moving, mid-day shadows to be cast on the Common in the future.”…

“The current proposed tower by the developers Millennium Partners includes a mixed-use tower up to 775 feet tall.”…

“The current Shadow Laws restrict new shadows cast on the Boston Common or the Public Garden by a building in Winthrop Square to the first hour after sunrise or 7:00 a.m. (whichever is later) or the last hour before sunset.

The proposed tower would be in violation of the Common Shadow Law 264 days of the year, and in violation of the Public Garden Shadow Law 120 days of the year, according to the Friends of the Public Garden.

The current laws would prohibit any new structure on this city-owned site at 115 Winthrop Square to exceed 365 feet.

If this site were two blocks closer to the Boston Common and located within the Midtown Cultural District, the proposed project would comply with the existing shadow laws.

The Midtown Cultural District is a 33-block area that encompassed the two or three block area bordering the Boston Common and the Public Garden along both Tremont and Boylston streets.

The Midtown Cultural District rules prohibit new shadows from occurring on the Public Garden after 10:00 a.m. from March 21 to October 21.

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

Developer Pulls Project Amid Fears It Would Cast Shadow Over Brooklyn Botanic Garden | The Patch

Developer Pulls Project Amid Fears It Would Cast Shadow Over Brooklyn Botanic Garden

“Cornell Realty yanked a plan to build two apartment towers that neighbors said would cast shadows on the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

The developer behind a controversial plan to build apartment towers next to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden yanked the proposal just hours before the project's first public review.

Cornell Realty told Community Board 9 on Wednesday that it was withdrawing its plan to build two 16-story buildings off Franklin Avenue. The board's land use committee was scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday night on the project, which faced resistance from neighbors who said the towers would cast shadows on the garden.”…

Editorial: Winthrop Square, out of the shadows | Boston Herald

“The Boston City Council today begins its review of a proposal to clear the path for a major redevelopment project at Winthrop Square, in the heart of downtown Boston. For the city to realize the benefits of the project — and those benefits are enormous — it must first secure relief from a state law regulating building shadows. The Walsh administration has made a strong case for approval.”…

Hoboken City Council approved a redevelopment plan for the Hoboken Post Office property | Hudson Reporter

“The Hoboken City Council approved a redevelopment plan for the Hoboken Post Office property on lower River Street on Wednesday after roughly 18 residents commented.

The plan specifies how a developer would construct a hotel on the parking lot behind the U.S. Post Office at 89 River St., while preserving the post office as a landmark, and allowing it to keep operating.”…

“According to the redevelopment plan, the hotel could have no more than 170,000 square feet, 24 stories, and total architectural height of about 290 feet.

For comparison the total height of the existing W Hotel is 333 feet including the “W” sign.

The plan also states a shade study must be performed as “the building should be designed to minimize shadow impact on Pier A Park.””…

“KMS Development Partners, the hotels developers, have proposed that the hotel be run by Hilton.”…

City leaders debate over proposed shadow-casting Boston skyscraper | WCVB


“It’s been called a great deal for Boston, but critics say it casts an unacceptable shadow on one of the city’s bright spots.

A proposed 775-foot mixed-use Winthrop Square skyscraper was the center of attention at a Boston City Council meeting Monday. City leaders met to discuss the proposed project, which would bring millions into the city and create money for parks and public housing.”…

“It sounds like a bright idea, but a law casts a shadow. In 1990, a law was enacted banning new shadows on both the Boston Common and the Public Garden. Proponents of the project are asking for a waiver to that law.

“The proposed tower will never cast a shadow that impacts the Boston Common or the Public Garden after 9:30 a.m.,” Brian Golden, of Boston Planning and Development Agency, said.

Opponents of the project see it differently. “To open an existing over 20-year law, move through one project, and close the door on other projects, that to me, pun intended, is a shady deal,” City Councillor Tito Jackson said.”…

Millennium Partners, city officials say shadow issue was a surprise in Winthrop Square tower | via @BosBizJournal

Millennium Partners, Handel Architects, D/R/E/A/M Collaborative have partnered to propose a 750-foot tower at 115 Winthrop Square in Boston's Financial District.

“It was a Friday evening last August when Stephen Matkovits, a senior associate at Handel Architects in New York, called Millennium Partners Principal Joe Larkin and said, “we’ve got a problem.”

Just three weeks earlier, Millennium Partners had beat out five competing development teams to win the city’s bid to redevelop Winthrop Square. At 750 feet, with a potential to go up to 775 feet, Millennium had the tallest tower of all six proposals; at $150.8 million, Millennium had offered by far the most capital to acquire the city-owned parking garage.

But Larkin said at a lengthy City Council hearing Monday night that was the first time he learned that the 750-foot tower Millennium had proposed at Winthrop Square violated state legislation governing shadows on the Boston Common and Public Garden.

“We didn’t see this as a problem,” Larkin said Monday. “We didn’t know.”

The shadow issue has dominated the public process regarding Winthrop Square, a dilapidated city-owned parking garage in the heart of Boston’s Financial District. It was at the center of Monday's hearing on a proposed home-rule petition which, if approved by the city council and state Legislature, would eventually allow for Millennium Partners to build a skyscraper at Winthrop Square despite violating the shadow law.”…

Shadow vs $: It's the wrong debate | CommonWealth Magazine

“THE WINTHROP SQUARE DEVELOPMENT proposed by Millennium Partners is not about the shadows on the Public Garden.  It’s about the fact that every major development proposal in Boston seems to be a new discussion, as if we’ve never seen such a thing before.  And each new development appears to be negotiated in complete isolation, apart from any comprehensive vision or plan for the redevelopment and economic expansion of the city.

I’m reminded of the pulp fiction character The Shadow, who was imbued with “the power to cloud men’s minds.”  And it is breathtaking how easily distracted from the real issues we become concerning new development proposals – how clouded our minds become.  As I write this, the City Council has just voted to approve the Winthrop Square development, and its attendant shadows, with councilors citing the $153 million the developers have agreed to pay for the site, and all the good city officials promise to do with it.

The Boston Planning and Development Agency successfully framed the decision in the following terms:  Is the relatively small additional shadow to be cast on the Public Garden by this tower worth $153 million?  If you live near Franklin Park, or any of the other places where the BPDA promised to spend the millions, the answer is, obviously, yes.  I live a 10-minute walk from the Public Garden, and even I can’t remember the last time I strolled by there at 9:30 in the morning in the winter, when the shadow will be its most apparent. Even I, frankly, don’t care so much about that shadow.  But whether the shadow is worth that amount of money is the wrong question.  This is not how a world-class city manages growth and development, and this is not how we should be evaluating a project of this magnitude.”…

RT @bostonherald: Boston Herald Editorial: The politics of parks

“City Councilor Tito Jackson is so vexed by the idea that a new building downtown would throw an early-morning shadow on Boston Common that he is willing to forego a massive new investment in the Common and Franklin Park, which are in desperate need of long-term financial support.

Or could it be that Jackson’s opposition to the Winthrop Square project is less about the skyscraper, and more about the man promoting it?

Yes, if Mayor Marty Walsh says something is good, then as the candidate trying to unseat him Jackson simply has to say that same thing is very, very bad. That’s politics, of course. Unfortunately the campaign seems to be complicating what should be a rather simple discussion.

For the proposed tower to proceed, Walsh and the Boston Planning and Development Agency need the City Council to go along with a change in state law governing building shadows on the Common and Public Garden. The change would allow fleeting early-morning shadows from the new building but the city would collect $100 million up-front from the sale of the property, and another $50 million from future condo sales.”…

Boston City Council votes in favor of changing 'shadow' law | Boston Herald

“It’s not clear the City Council’s 10-3 vote to ask legislators to alter the state’s shadow law will receive a sunny reception on Beacon Hill.

The rep whose district includes the Boston Common said he is not backing the plan to allow the $1 billion redevelopment of the Winthrop Square garage to shade the park.

“I don’t support this as written, the balance of this bill is a negative on the Common,” said state Rep. Jay Livingstone, adding he would not sponsor the bill affecting his own backyard in order to bring it before the Legislature.

“The laws were put in place 27 years ago to prevent this and they’ve worked well,” Livingstone said. “A lot of people were reserving judgment until the City Council acted, but people I’ve talked to have similar concerns.”

The plan, backed by Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Planning & Development Agency, would see Millennium Partners develop the site into offices and luxury units and pay the city $102 million up front and $50 million as units are sold.

Walsh has said he would use that money to pay for needed improvements to affordable housing projects, Franklin Park and the Common itself.

The council agreed yesterday to ask the Legislature to sign off on altering a state law meant to prevent shadows from large buildings casting shade on the Common. And other Boston legislators said they had not made up their minds about the project.”…

Fight for Light at City Council | Beacon Hill Times

“A packed Boston City Council Chamber played home to a hearing to discuss a Home Rule Petition on Monday, April 24, to discuss making a one-time exemption to the State laws that govern shadow on the Boston Common and the Public Garden for the developers behind the proposed 775-foot Winthrop Square tower.

The proposed legislation will amend two state laws that for 25 years have shielded the downtown historic parks from excessive building shadows, while at the same time allowing development to grow.”…

“The bill will exempt one developer, Millennium Partners, from the laws in order to construct a tower in Winthrop Square that is capable of casting a mile-long morning shadow from the financial district across the Common, Public Garden and some days all the way to the Commonwealth Avenue Mall.

The luxury condo tower would violate state shadow laws 264 days of the year on the Boston Common and 120 days on the Public Garden.

The Shadow Bank was set up in an existing state law to allow projects within the Midtown Cultural District to draw from a one acre bank for any new shadow cast on the Boston Common that is otherwise not in compliance with the law.

Under the home rule petition, the remainder of the shadow bank would be eliminated and any new slow moving, mid-day shadows to be cast on the Common from a future development would also be eliminated.”…

RT @Urban_Toronto Excavation underway at @PinnacleINTL's PJ Condos at Adelaide & John. #Toronto #Architecture #Development #RealEstate

> Another one of our shadow studies, at John and Adelaide in Toronto @Urban_Toronto @PinnacleINTL

Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – April 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:

Another Torontohenge coming up, this time at sunrise, April 19, 6:28 AM

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

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…

Don't forget Torontohenge April 19th.

Although 'official' Torontohenge was April 19th, great photo ops for next week or so as sun hovers above Toronto streets after sunrise.

RT @rudydotca: @CorComm @LaurenPelley @ivortossell next Torontohenge is late August... see @SunPosition's

@rudydotca @CorComm @LaurenPelley @ivortossell Although 'official' Torontohenge was last week, great photo ops for next week or so.

The sun/shade animated billboard we designed for FritoLay SunChips was unveiled in Oakland on Earth Day 2008 

In early 2008, we were retained by BBDO (Toronto) to design a solar-powered billboard (actually a shadow-animated billboard) for a Frito-Lay SunChips ad campaign by Juniper Park.  The time-lapse video below shows the Sunchips Solar Billboard which was installed in Oakland California on Earth Day 2008 to mark the opening of the solar-powered SunChips plant in nearby Modesto…

See the time-lapse video of the SunChips solar billboard here

Cheers, Ralph

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sun Glare While Driving – March 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

Driver tells police he was blinded by the sun before hitting pedestrian | 69 News WFMZ-TV

Driver tells police he was blinded by the sun before hitting pedestrian

“An Allentown man said he was temporarily blinded by the sun, when his car hopped a curb and severely injured a pedestrian.”…

“Velez, who stayed on the scene, told police he was driving his 2004 Acura TL west on Hamilton Street shortly before 5:30 p.m., when he was temporarily blinded by the setting sun. The blinding glare allegedly caused him to lose track of the street, and he drove onto the curb just past Front Street.”…

Driver says sun in her eyes when she struck and killed cyclist | Calgary Herald

Deric Kryvenchuk was killed by a driver while cycling south of Calgary.

“An accused driver told court that blinding sun in her eyes was to blame when she struck and killed a cyclist nearly two years ago.

Joely Lambourn told a Calgary jury on Tuesday that she had no idea what occurred until she stopped her car and raced back to the scene of the carnage she created.

“It was really quite bright and sunny out,” Lambourn said of the afternoon of May 4, 2015, when Okotoks resident Deric Kryvenchuk was killed as he rode his bicycle on the shoulder of Highway 7 at the south end of the town.

“I just remember coming up the hill . . . and the sun was directly in my eyes,” she told defence lawyer Mitch Stephensen.

“I remember seeing cars coming toward me . . . and then I heard a bang, so I knew I hit something and I just pulled over,” Lambourn said.

“The sun was in my face and the next thing I heard was a bang.”

Lambourn, 43, is charged with dangerous driving in connection with Kryvenchuk’s death.

She told Stephensen she never saw the man as he cycled by the side of the highway.”…

>RT @KMartinCourts: Jurors asked to reject driver's claim blinding sun caused deadly collision 

>Every case different.

>Yes, every case is different, but hopefully evidence as to sun position was taken into account. @KMartinCourts

AAA: Time Change Sunday Means Darker Commute Monday | via @pressanddakotan

“One of the most anticipated “signs of spring” arrives this weekend when the clocks “spring forward” (Daylight Saving Time officially begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 12), losing an hour of morning daylight in exchange for the extended daylight hour we enjoy in the evening. However, come Monday morning, the commute will take on a new look for school students waiting for buses and walking or biking to school and for motorists driving to work – in the dark.

“We’ll see a dramatic difference during our morning commute this Monday. Roadways will remain darker longer, causing concern for pedestrians,” said Marilyn Buskohl, spokeswoman for AAA South Dakota. “Motorists and pedestrians need to be aware of these dangers, remain alert, and minimize distractions to reduce the risk of motor vehicle crashes.”

Losing an hour of sleep can also increase a motorist’s risk of drowsy driving. In a recent AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index report, nearly one in three drivers confessed they were so tired they drove drowsy during the previous 30 days. The study also found that nearly all drivers view sleepy drivers as a very serious threat to their personal safety. Drowsy driving is involved in more than one in five fatal crashes on U.S. roadways each year.

“A change in time can mean that drivers are more tired than they realize,” said Buskohl. “AAA warns that drivers who miss between one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period nearly double their risk for a crash.”

The auto club offers motorists and pedestrians the following safety tips:

Tips for Drivers

• Slow down, pay attention and eliminate all distractions.

• Watch out for pedestrians when backing up in parking lots and driveways.

• Sun glare can make it difficult to see so:

— Increase your following distance between you and the vehicle in front of you; use your sun visor and invest in polarized sunglasses; both can help reduce glare.

— Turn on your headlights to make your vehicle more visible during the early morning and evening hours.

— Keep vehicle headlights and windows clean.

— Watch the high beams. Do not use them when other cars or pedestrians are around.

• Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. Do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.

Tips for Pedestrians

• Cross at intersections or crosswalks — not in the middle of the street or between parked cars.

• Avoid walking in traffic where there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. If you have to walk on a road that does not have sidewalks, walk facing traffic.

• Evaluate the distance and speed of oncoming traffic before you step out into the street.

• Wear bright colors or reflective clothing if you are walking near traffic at dawn, dusk and at night. Carry a flashlight when walking in the dark.

• Allow extra time and distance for a vehicle to stop in inclement weather.

• While walking, pocket the cell phone and avoid using headphones at volumes that don’t let you hear what the traffic is doing around you.

• Do not let umbrellas or jacket hoods block your view of approaching traffic.”

After the time change sun conditions will be different on your daily commute.

Drivers, be prepared, be extra careful.

...Think of it this way, the sun will move backward one hour after the spring time change.

Sun glare contributed to collision involving service trucks at Pinellas Plaza | Villages-News

Emergency responders were on the scene of an accident Monday morning at Pinelllas Plaza.

“The sun’s glare contributed to a Monday morning crash involving two service trucks on County Road 466A in front of Pinellas Plaza.

Jose Manuel Hernandez, 25, of Leesburg, had been at the wheel of a Massey Services truck at 7:41 a.m. which was eastbound on CR 466A when it collided with the rear-end of a Brian Terry Vinyl & Aluminum truck driven by 59-year-old Jeffrey Keith Osborne of Fruitland Park, according to an accident report from the Wildwood Police Department.”…

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – March 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

Don’t drape our iconic public parks in shadows | Dorchester Reporter

”One of the world’s most livable cities, Boston is known for the iconic parks that make up its heart, providing welcome open space in our urban environment while contributing to the physical and mental well-being of our residents and acting as a tourist hub to support our local economy. Boston Common and the Public Garden are parks for the entire city, sought-after destinations for thousands of Bostonians every day of the year. The Garden, with its Swan Boats, is world-renowned, and the Common has served Boston as the center stage of its civic life for centuries.

Since 1990, two state laws designed to prevent “shadow creep” from high-rise buildings have worked as intended – successfully protecting the Common and the Garden, while allowing robust development to continue downtown. Now, 25 years later, our landmark parks face a new challenge as the city of Boston seeks a one-time exemption to allow for a 775-foot luxury condominium and office high rise that will violate both shadow laws.

Millennium Partners’ proposed building at Winthrop Square is poised to cast a morning shadow that at its greatest extent would stretch almost a mile from the Financial District down the middle of Boston Common, through the heart of the Public Garden, and onto the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. The city’s proposal to amend the state laws in order to allow this building is short-sighted and creates a dangerous precedent.”…

Pemberton Table 38-Storey Proposal at Broadway and Redpath | via @Urban_Toronto

85-91 Broadway, Toronto, by Graziani + Corazza for the Pemberton Group

“Northeast of Yonge & Eglinton, another high-rise tower is being planned for Toronto's Midtown hub. Building on the Pemberton Group's 2015 proposal for a 34-storey condominium tower, the developer has returned with new plans for a compact site at the southwest corner of Broadway and Redpath. Still designed by Graziani + Corazza—albeit with an altered architectural expression—the re-imagined tower comes about as both a response to City Planning's input on the earlier project, and as an increased height ask that draws on the precedents set by recent nearby approvals.”…

“While a City report for the revised development is still pending, the preliminary report compiled in response to the original 2015 submission gives some notion of the City's general priorities. According to the report, "Staff indicated general support for a tower on the site... but raised concerns with the building height," while also assessing the previous 740 m² floorplate as excessive for the site. Pemberton maintains that the new height does not add shadow impact to a nearby parkette on Redpath.”…

Residents say tower will cast a shadow over Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park | London News Online

“RESIDENTS battling plans for a proposed 20 storey tower say it will “cast a long shadow” over an important wildlife haven.

Friends of Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park are calling on Greenwich council to “think twice” before giving the go ahead for plans drawn up by Greenwich Millennium Village Ltd (GMVL) Residents are alarmed by the proposals revealed in consultation meetings for the further phase of development for Greenwich Millenium Village(GMV). The plans, for which outline planning permission was agreed in 2012 include a 20 storey residential block with 90 homes, a new onsite energy centre to provide low carbon, heat, hot water and electricity for residents, shops and offices.

But the detailed plans have raised concerns the tower block will have a significantly bad impact on the nearby Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park and on some existing homes. The developers recognise that the tower, which is intended to be a landmark building higher than the existing buildings, will cast a shadow over about 10 per cent of the park. However a strip of land – called an “Ecology Swale” has been allocated close by and the tower has been made 36 per cent slimmer than that proposed on the masterplan to reduce shadowing.

Sue Younghouse a volunteer and member of the friends group, said: “This 20 storey building will cast long shadows over the park. That will reduce the ground temperature which in turn affects plant growth and invertebrate activity and it will change the bio diversity of the area for ever. Greenwich council should take a long hard look at the destruction this will cause and think twice about the damage they are doing today and for future generations.””…

80-storey tower proposed in Edmonton - CBA casts shade on tower | Edmonton Examiner

The Alldritt Group is proposing a thin 80-storey tower at the edge of the river valley on Jasper Avenue, west of 96 Street. A transparent base and extensive park area would preserve views and increase access to the river valley, developers said. File photo.

“Edmonton’s Chinese Benevolent Association is casting shade on shade.

The association is concerned about Alldritt Group’s proposed 80-storey tower and the shadow it will create.

The CBA is located in China Town, and would be neighbour to the potential tower whose proposal was sent back to developers recently.

According to Mei Hung, the CBA’s vice-chair, they are concerned about the tower’s safety, propensity to produce shade and the effect it will have on the city at-large.

Hung worries that the tower might create a wind-tunnel.

She is also concerned about the shadow the tower is likely to produce. Most people enjoy sunshine, she said, and the tower might also affect two senior-living residences in the area, blocking out the sun for an indeterminate amount of time.

“It overshadows the whole area. I don’t don’t know how far the shadow will go, and the timing. How long will it be that you’re under the shadow of this tower on a daily basis. Is it half an hour, is it a couple of minutes?” Hung said.

According to the city, there will, indeed, be a shadow.

“There will be a sun shadow impact that will be different throughout the year, obviously, because of the movement,” said Holly Mikkelsen, a senior planner with the City of Edmonton.

“A 280 metre tower will cast a shadow … Because it’s a slim tower that gets slimmer as it rises to the top, the shadow does move quickly.”

In some cases, this means the shadow will move across a location in five minutes, she said.”…

RT @Edm_Examiner: .@BoyleStreetCL has list of concerns over proposed 80-storey tower in their neighbourhood #yeg

De Niro’s Nobu plans luxury condo complex in downtown Toronto | via @torontostar

An artists rendering of the Nobu Toronto hotel, restaurant and condo development planned for Mercer Street in the city's entertainment district.

“If you want to be king for a night in Toronto, Robert De Niro could soon make you an offer you can’t refuse.

Nobu Hospitality, the luxury restaurant and hotel chain De Niro founded with famed Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Hollywood producer Meir Teper, is planning Canada’s first Nobu-branded condo, restaurant and hotel development on Mercer St. in Toronto’s entertainment district.

Two 49-storey towers will be built above the current Pilkington Glass factory and will include a hotel, restaurant, ground-floor retail space and an outdoor Zen garden, according to a news release.

The fa├žade of the Pilkington Glass factory, a heritage building, will be incorporated into the new design by Toronto-based Teeple Architects.”…

“Toronto’s developer Madison Group will undertake to build the project.

The Pilkington Glass Factory stood on the site at 15 Mercer St., near King St. W. and John St., since the late 1800s. It was originally a stable built for the horses that ferried people around the city from George Verral’s horse-drawn transport company.”

Changes to this obscure rule could leave Midtown East streets shrouded in shadow | The Architect's Newspaper

Changes to this obscure rule could leave Midtown East streets shrouded in shadow. (Alan Cordova / Flickr)

“The streets of Midtown East could get a whole lot darker thanks to changes in a little-known equation (outside of architecture, anyway) used to calculate shadows cast by tall buildings.

The city is looking to change a method developers use to calculate how much sunlight a building will obscure once it tops off.”…

“The city is hoping that the rezoning will spur the development of more Class A office space in the 73-block district, which is losing potential tenants attracted to towers in the Financial District with larger floor plates. Consequently, proposed changes will permit towers up to 40 percent taller—and bulkier—than those currently allowed.

The Department of City Planning (DCP) estimated that the rezoning will lead to the construction of a few new towers, so it’s unlikely that the entirety of Midtown East will be shrouded in perma-dusk in the future.”

RT @dailyfreepress: .@FOPG is fighting the construction of a tower they say violates state shadow laws >

Advocates oppose construction of tower casting shadows over Boston Common, Public Garden | The Daily Free Press

“Months after the City of Boston selected Millennium Partners’ proposal to develop a multipurpose tower at 115 Winthrop Square, advocates for public landmarks continue to fight against this construction, as it violates state shadow laws, according to Liz Vizza, executive director of the Friends of the Public Garden, an organization dedicated to improving Boston’s public parks.”…

“Millennium Partners submitted their proposal in March 2016 for a tower up to 725 feet “that must contribute substantially to the image of downtown Boston’s skyline [and] that is emblematic of the future of Boston’s downtown,” according to the statement.

Vizza said the Winthrop Square project would damage Boston’s parks if exempt from the state’s shadow laws.

“This arrangement sets … a standard for allowing the shadow to have a permanent impact on these parks,” Vizza said. “This shadow alone isn’t going to kill these parks or the horticulture, but it adds more shadow on parks that are already shaded.””…

“Vizza said she hopes this project will not start a trend of future projects that will be exempt from the law to be built.

“[The Winthrop tower project] also creates a blueprint for another proposal in the future, and another either developer or future mayor to see this as an opportunity to amend the laws for their building,” Vizza said.

A shadow will be cast over the Boston Common and Public Garden as a result of the tower’s height, although according to the fact sheet, the shadow will not qualify for the shadow bank, which is the maximum amount that a shadow can exceed the limit under state law in the Midtown Cultural District.”…

Toronto home prices have surged an inflation-adjusted 40% in two years | via @buzzbuzzhome -


High-rise rally draws crowd to Austin Gardens | via @OakPark

“Perhaps 200 people turned out Sunday afternoon to Austin Gardens in downtown Oak Park for a rally to oppose a proposed 18-story apartment building they say would damage the ecology of the park.

Organizers of the Austin Gardens Don't Throw Shade Rally made no presentation but marked off areas of the park they say would be negatively impacted by the shadow that would be cast over the park for much of the year.”…

“Joshua Klayman, an Oak Park resident who gathered petition signatures at the event, said residents are concerned that the dense shadow will damage the ecology of the park, preventing trees and other wildlife from receiving the proper amount of sun for much of the year.”…

“Albion (Residential), in a written statement, reiterated its position that the L-shaped orientation would "minimize impact on Austin Gardens." The company noted that if it built an 8-story building as of right, it could do so in such a way that would have a much greater shadow impact on the park.

"Our shadow studies also show an 80-foot, block-shape building would create just as much, and at certain times of the year, more shadow impact on Austin Gardens than the building we proposed," Albion President Jason Koehn said in a written statement.”…

Letter: The facts about our project at Lake and Forest | Chicago Tribune

“To correct misinformation and false fears about the project our company, Albion Residential, has proposed in Oak Park, we offer facts to clarify important issues.

Austin Gardens: The fear our building would "destroy" the park is incorrect. We took great care to design and position an L-shaped building and conducted shadow studies to confirm it would minimize additional impact on Austin Gardens.”…

John Fisher not the only school affected by development | CityNews


“John Fisher Public School is not the only school in the Toronto District School Board that could be affected by development right next door. In fact, the TDSB has identified nine other schools with planned construction nearby, and now, they’re trying to figure out if the board could benefit financially.”…

“The board says there are currently 11 proposed tall tower projects to be built next to nine TDSB schools:

  1. North Toronto CI – 55-65 Broadway Ave.
  2. Grenoble PS – 25 St Dennis Dr.
  3. Jesse Ketchum Jr Sr PS – 48-58 Scollard St.
  4. Jesse Ketchum Jr Sr PS – 100 Davenport Rd.
  5. Church Street Jr PS – 70-72 Carlton St.
  6. Church Street Jr PS – 411 Church St.
  7. Lord Lansdowne Jr Sr PS – 484 Spadina Ave.
  8. Nelson Mandela Park PS – 14 Belvins Pl.
  9. Cliffside PS – 2229 Kingston Rd.
  10. Ryerson CS – Alexandra Park
  11. Davisville Jr PS – 1955-1985 Yonge St, 18-22 Millwood Rd, 3 Belsize Dr.

Parents at Church Street School have fought tower projects in the past and have lost, and since then, are currently seeing two more condos constructed just steps away from the playground. Parents tell CityNews several of the towers completed in the area now block the sun, causing for little light in the school’s playground.”…

“In the case of the 11 upcoming tower projects, the TDSB says it would be hard to speculate how the schools would be impacted, as each scenario could be unique depending on the location. They are currently working on how to minimize the impacts of these projects on schools, and are looking to get more involved at the early stages.

“We need to be at that table with the city and the developer to be part of that discussion early on,” Bird said. “So that if we have concerns, ideas, thoughts to do certain that’s, that those could be brought to the table early on so that it doesn’t even have to reach the stage of the Ontario Municipal Board.””

Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – March 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:

How much daylight will Toronto gain this month? You will be pleasantly surprised...

Need to know what time the sun rises/sets?

Torontohenge effect occurs on different dates in different cities. Depends on orientation of local street grid.

Sun shadows are a lot longer in Edmonton than Toronto due to its more northern latitude -

Daylight Time is great but wow is it ever dark in the morning. Equivalent to late January in Toronto.

Happy Spring Equinox. 

The sun crossed the equator this morning and it's headed our way.  Nice!

Enjoy the extra 3 minutes of daylight per day in Toronto. Biggest increase of the year.

Watch the sun track along the Equator today.

Today may be the Equinox, but 'equal day equal night' occurred in Toronto on March 17th.

Cheers, Ralph

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sun Glare While Driving – February 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

Sunlight glare on defrosting window triggers rollover in Santa Clara | St George News

“Four teens on their way to school Friday were diverted after the driver was unable to negotiate a curve on Pioneer Parkway in Santa Clara and instead lost control and rolled off the right shoulder.

Just after 8 a.m. emergency crews and officers were dispatched to a reported rollover on Pioneer Parkway just east of Harmons grocery store, Santa Clara Fire Chief Dan Nelson said.

Upon arrival, officers found a green Saturn four-door passenger vehicle off the right side of the road sitting perfectly on its side, with the passenger side facing up.

The driver told officers that as they were driving east on Pioneer Parkway, they approached a hill while the windshield was still defrosting, Nelson said. Just before hitting a curve in the road, the sunlight hit the windshield, and the glare combined with the lingering moisture still on the glass and made it impossible for the driver to see.

The driver couldn’t see the upcoming curve in the road and lost control of the vehicle as it swerved onto the right shoulder, Nelson said. The driver then overcorrected to the left in an attempt to bring the car back onto the roadway, but instead the vehicle rolled one time and came to rest with the driver’s side smashed in between lava rocks located several feet from the roadway.”…

Glare reportedly causes morning commute accident | via @WniTest

Approximately 20 cars were involved in Wednesday morning’s pileup on  southbound U.S. 93 at Coyote Pass.


“A low-horizon sun glare is to blame for a car pileup on U.S. Highway 93 Wednesday morning that shut down southbound lanes and backed up traffic for miles.

According to Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Quentin Mehr, the incident started at 7:55 a.m. near milepost 63.

DPS received numerous calls of collisions that started when a motorcyclist and pick-up truck reportedly collided, causing a chain reaction of crashes involving about 20 vehicles. Mehr said the sunlight may have blinded some drivers.”…

"RT Shawn Micallef  @shawnmicallef:  As we landed in freezing rain at YYZ, the Air Canada pilot said ""the most dangerous part of journey will be your drive home"".

> .@shawnmicallef  True even on good days.

Another sun glare plus left turn crash >

Sun Glare Results in Injury Accident | West Kentucky Star

County Line Road Injury Accident 2-7-2017

“Limited visibility due to sun glare resulted in a two-vehicle injury accident Tuesday.

According to the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department, the crash happened in the 3700 block of County Line Road. Deputies said a vehicle driven by 41-year-old Adam T. Bridges, of Melber, was westbound on County Line Road and slowed to make a left turn into a home at that location. 

Bridges told police that glare from the sun obstructed his view and he turned into the path of another vehicle driven by 18-year-old James Chancellor of Bardwell.”…

RT @AppleGlassHou:  @SunPosition- Sun glare is the worst. It's dangerous and obnoxious. ;)

Blinding sun + dirty windshield = accident waiting to happen >

Sun glare triggers double crash | The Times Record

“Three people were taken to a Brunswick hospital with minor injuries after the blinding sun and a dirty windshield started a chain reaction on Route 1 in West Bath Friday.

Two separate crashes were reported at 7:15 a.m. on Route 1 Northbound just beyond the on ramp from New Meadows Road, according to Sgt. Greg Siegel of the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office.

Siegel said a 2010 Toyota sedan driven by Scott Kennedy, 52, of Harpswell, was in the passing lane when the first crash occurred. Kennedy reportedly couldn’t see due to the glare of the sun, the fact that his windshield was covered with salt and that his windshield washer system wasn’t working.

Police said that Kennedy claimed to have pulled into the breakdown lane and stopped. However, there was no breakdown lane and he had stopped in the passing lane, Siegel said. Kennedy was about to open the door and get out to clear his windshield when he was rear-ended by a 2007 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Michael Pontau Jr., 35, of Topsham.

A 2015 Honda driven by Joshua Garneau, 27, of Brunswick was in the passing lane slowing in traffic because of the crash ahead. Garneau was hit from behind by a 2017 Toyota sedan driven by Richard Segovia, 39, of San Antonio, Texas.

Siegel said Segovia told him he thought he struck a guardrail. Everyone was blinded by the glare of the sun on the road and the new snow.”

“Siegel urges drivers who can’t see ahead of them because of the angle or glare of the sun, to slow down.

After a winter storm it is also important to make sure your windshield and windows are clear for optimal visibility, and be sure your vehicle has freeze-resistant windshield washer fluid.”

Kayakers obscured by sun glare >

NTSB calls for harbor safety committees, national boater education  | Workboat

Kayakers and commercial traffic on the Chicago River. Creative Commons/ Larry Dostal via NTSB.

“The Coast Guard should ask Congress to mandate safety education for all recreational boaters in U.S. waters, and use harbor safety committees to reduce dangerous encounters between boaters and commercial vessels, the National Transportation Safety Board says in a new report.

The report “Shared Waterways: Safety of Recreational and Commercial Vessels in the Marine Transportation System,” was inspired by the Aug. 30, 2016 collision between a New York Waterway ferry and kayakers on the Hudson River side of New York City that left three paddlers injured.

“The consensus from the industry was that we take a look at this,” said Capt. Morgan J. Turrell, chief marine accident investigations with the NTSB, who spoke on the subject at the recent Passenger Vessel Association convention in Seattle.

The NTSB report notes the incident off Manhattan’s West Side piers at 39th Street — when the departing ferry collided with kayakers obscured by sun glare — highlighted the growing risks of traffic conflict, especially with the burgeoning popularity of non-motorized paddle craft.”…

> RT @lives2talk:  Surprised it's taken this long!

> .@lives2talk No kidding. Hopefully the education will help prevent this in the future.

Driving Safe In Sun Glare | Law Firm Blog

“Driving in the sunlight is an (almost) daily gift us Floridians get to bask in – so let’s do it safely!

Right after sunrise, and right before sunset, the sun often shines directly into drivers’ eyes, so you end up driving with a strong glare. This glare makes it difficult to see the road ahead which is risky to you and others on the road.

So here are our Top 10 Tips on Driving Safely in Sun Glare:”…

read on >>>

Rochester Police: Glare from sun said to be factor in crash |

“One person was taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries Tuesday morning after an accident involving a truck and an SUV that police say may have been caused by glare from the sun.

Rochester Police, Rochester Fire and Frisbie EMS responded to Old Dover Road at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning near the intersection of Tebbetts Road for a reported vehicle accident with injury.

Officers learned that Guy Leighton, 36, of Strafford, was driving a GMC box truck on Old Dover Road that was experiencing mechanical problems. The truck was pulled to the side of the road, but still partially in the travel lane.

Manuel Escoto, 83, of Rochester, was traveling south on Old Dover Road in a Toyota Highlander, when he stuck the rear of the GMC Truck. The Highlander suffered front-end damage and was towed from the scene. The passenger in the Highlander, Virya Sanabria, 67, of Rochester, was transported to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital by Frisbie EMS for non-life threatening injuries.

It appears that glare from the sun may have played a factor in the collision, police said.”…

Torontohenge is cool to see, when you're not driving. Be prepared for sun glare this week along Toronto's street grid.

RT Shane O'Connor @oconnorshane:  Traffic lights in the ground? Come on, just look up from your smartphone | Michele Hanson #RoadSafety

‘Why pander to these creatures? How will they ever learn to look where they’re going?’

> Ridiculous! Next will be traffic lights that show up on phones via an app! @oconnorshane @PublicSafetyNL

Sun glare a factor? Directly in line with Wolsely at 4pm >

School buses collide | Peterborough Examiner

Peterborough paramedics and firefighters treat injured students after two school buses collided at Wolsely and Donegal streets in Peterborough, Ont. on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. City police are investigating. Clifford Skarstedt/Peterborough Examiner/Postmedia Network

“At least six students were taken to Peterborough Regional Health Centre for treatment after two school buses collided in Peterborough's north end just before 4 p.m. Thursday.

It happened at Wolsely and Donegal streets after one bus rear-ended the other.”…

.@SafeDriver Great article Scott covering one of my pet driving peeves. DRL also stands for Dumb Rear Lights by the way.

.@SafeDriver ...that, and drivers that fill in the gap I leave ahead of me.

Cheers, Ralph

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – February 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

Yorkville condo project forgoes second tower for townhouses | The Globe and Mail

Nine townhomes will be incorporated into the 27-storey tower.

“The tight dimensions of many infill sites in downtown Toronto often limit projects to tall towers with a few townhouses, if any at all.

But when Metropia and Diamond Corp. gained clearance to redevelop a parking garage with two towers at 181 Bedford Rd., they opted to construct a single high-rise with 245 suites and a courtyard flanked by over three dozen townhouses with three or four floors and private garages.”…

Winthrop Square Project Updates Listed | Beacon Hill Times

“…concerns about the project’s proposed design and impact upon the surrounding neighborhood, including its potential wind and shadow impacts.

Beaton is requiring the developers to provide information and analysis regarding building height and shadow to disclose potential impacts and response to concerns expressed by State Agencies and other stakeholders.

DEIR will address the project’s consistency with Chapter 362 of the Acts of 1990 and Chapter 384 of the Acts of 1992 regarding the Boston Common and Boston Public Garden respectively (also known as the Shadow Acts).

The DEIR will identify whether legislative approval will be required to provide relief from the Acts and if new legislation is passed the DEIR should identify those efforts and the related review process.

Beaton made note that the State laws which protect the Boston Common and Boston Public Garden from new shadow applies by its terms to approvals by the City of Boston, however it does not address approvals by State Agencies or MEPA. While the MEPA process will serve to disclose potential impacts, the City of Boston through its review and permitting will address the project’s consistency with these laws.”

“Recently, 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 about 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 care from which the City can allow developers to withdraw for shadows cast for longer than the two-hour exemption.

Legislation for the shadow bank to be used up by a building outside of the Midtown Cultural District needs to be passed by the Boston City Council and then the by the State to allow the building to move forward.”

RT @SocketSite: Zeitgeist likely to lose literal NIMBY challenge next week  #RealestateSF

“As proposed, a new five-story building with 28 condos over 6,300 square feet of new retail space and a 19-car garage will rise upon the Oil Changer site at 198 Valencia Street.

In August, shortly after anti-tech flyers were posted in front of the bar, the owner of Zeitgeist filed a formal challenge of the project, citing concerns that the development would cast additional shadows on Zeitgeist’s (back yard) beer garden at 199 Valencia Street and adversely affect the bar’s business.

Last month, Zeitgeist’s challenge was heard by San Francisco’s Planning Commission, which requested an additional shadow analysis and continued the hearing to next week.

From Zeitgeist’s latest plea to the Commission, which seeks to have the height, design and positioning of the development altered:

“Throughout this process, the developer has demonstrated an unwillingness to cooperate with Zeitgeist in order to adequately address the valid impact that this proposal has on our business.

We recount the sequence of interactions during this last 10 months and implore the Planning Commission to recognize that the developers are actively choosing to ignore this issue, hoping that the Planning Commission will approve their proposal in the [2/16/17] meeting.

In our view, the developers have followed the “letter of the law” rather than the “spirit of the law” in holding the required Pre-Application Meeting, but not actually discussing and addressing the concerns of the stakeholders.”

But with the new analysis in hand – which projects that the proposed development will add 255,000 square
foot hours of net new shadow on Zeitgeist’s garden, a total annual increase of just 2.06 percent but with the maximum impact occurring on April 26th and August 16th (“when some new shadow would be present in locations within the Beer Garden for a period of approximately 2 hours” and affecting up to 37% of the garden area) and the days between – San Francisco’s Planning Department is recommending that the development be approved as proposed.

The Department’s reasoning for its recommendation:

  1. The Project complies with the Planning Code and advances the Objectives and Policies of the General Plan
  2. The Project is in an appropriate in-fill development that will add 28 new dwelling units to the City’s housing stock and 6,269 square feet of commercial space in an area that encourages the development of moderate-scale buildings with a pattern of ground floor commercial with upper story residential units.
  3. The Project fully respects the character of the adjacent mixed use and residential neighborhoods.
  4. The Project will include at least four units of on-site, permanently affordable housing

Keep in mind that neither San Francisco Planning Code nor the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) require a project to consider or design around the shadowing of a neighbor’s back yard, unless said yard is a public space.

And while Zeitgeist has been designated an official Legacy Business by the City, said designation doesn’t confer any special protections beyond financial support.”

Seeing the bright side of a shadow | via @BostonGlobe

Boston Common.

“The fight over Boston’s next skyscraper has pit poor people against shadows.

And the crazy part is, if some well-meaning but deeply misguided people get their way, the shadows could win.

Some months ago, the city reached a deal to sell the long-shuttered Winthrop Square Garage near Downtown Crossing to Millennium Partners for a whopping sum of $153 million. The developer has proposed a 775-foot tower for the site. Of the city’s windfall, $35 million has been allotted to the Boston Housing Authority, $67 million to the Parks Department — both perennially underfunded agencies — and $28 million each for the Boston Common and Franklin Park. Plenty of bureaucratic obstacles remained, but they didn’t seem major.

Somehow, no one had considered what may turn out to be the most imposing obstacle of all: the “shadow bank.”

The “shadow bank” is the creation of two state laws that limit the total amount of shadow construction can cast on the Common and the Public Garden. The laws, which date to 1990 and 1993, are complicated. But the gist is that they establish a limit on the size of shadows new buildings are permitted to cast on the two beloved parks. The size takes into consideration time of day and time of year, and there is an entire district near the parks that is exempt. The laws date back to a time of intense anxiety that development around the Common and Public Garden could wreck them as sanctuaries.

The Winthrop Square project as proposed would violate the law by casting shadows onto the parks too late in the mornings. On the worst days of the year, according to models provided by the city and the developers, parts of the park would be in shadow until 9:30 a.m.

That’s not much of a reason to derail a project with enormous public benefits, but right now that’s the threat.

Mayor Marty Walsh plans to ask the City Council and the Legislature to pass a home rule petition that would exempt this project — and only this project — from the law. In exchange, the Walsh administration would promise to limit the height of other new buildings near the park.

“In my view this is a litmus test of what we hold dear in our city,” said Bill McGonagle, head of the Boston Housing Authority. “Homes for poor folks, improvements to our parks, jobs for Boston residents. This isn’t, and shouldn’t be, a tough decision.”

The Millennium deal would provide millions for the upkeep of the Common and Franklin Park. If you haven’t visited them in a while, rest assured that both desperately need the help. The Common, in particular, has become a victim of its popularity. Its 1.5 million visitors a year simply inflict more damage than its maintenance budget can restore.

“What we have discovered over the past year is that the Common is receiving an enormous amount of use, compared to even 10 or 15 years ago,” said Parks Commissioner Christopher Cook. He says slightly more shadow won’t really be a problem, especially weighed against millions of dollars for improved maintenance. “Most people’s experience of the park won’t be any different, except that it will be better.”

Despite that, parks advocates fret about the impact of an estimated 90 minutes a day of shadow. And they don’t trust the city’s assurances that this exemption would be a one-time event.

“It provides a blueprint for future developers to seek exemptions,” said Elizabeth Vizza, executive director of Friends of the Public Garden, an advocacy group. “The mayor would like everyone to be reassured that it’s just for one project, but I haven’t talked to one person who agrees that this is not precedent-setting.”

Vizza is a thoughtful advocate for the city’s parks. But in fact, there aren’t any more projects like this one, because the city isn’t sitting on any more parcels like this.

Better housing for the poor and upkeep for the parks, in exchange for a shadow few will ever notice? This really isn’t a hard choice.”

Australia's Tallest Tower Will Cast More Shadow over Shrine of Remembrance  on Broadsheet | Broadsheet Melbourne

Shrine of Remembrance. Image via Wikipedia France.

“Crown Resorts’ recently approved skyscraper, One Queensbridge Street, has already attracted some criticism. Neighbours claim the 90-storey building was exempt from the regular approval process.

Another criticism is that the new tower, once it is completed, will reportedly overshadow the Shrine of Remembrance on winter afternoons.”

“But, according to a shadow study conducted by consultants for owners in a neighbouring Southbank tower, One Queensbridge Street will cast the Shrine in shadow for 58 afternoons in winter, the Age reported.

On those days the shadow will reach the Shrine after 3.45pm. Current legislation protects the Shrine from 11am until 3pm each day.

The consequences of building shadows have subtle but important consequences on city life. And according to Davis, development projects in central Melbourne consistently neglect cultural importance. “The impacts on specific cultural or heritage spaces need to be closely examined,” he says.

As Melbourne grows so too does the number of high-rise residential developments in the inner city. Often these developments are built at the expense of heritage destinations, such as The Corkman Hotel, which has been demolished, and The Great Western Hotel, which is earmarked for demolition.

“What that intense growth means is that you do have to protect your heritage, and you do have to ensure that key precincts are protected … Shadowing is a critical component of that,” Davis says.”

Zeitgeist About to Lose Patio Shadow Battle, and More A.M. Intel | via @EaterSF

”Late December brought news that beer garden Zeitgeist’s sunny patio is under threat by a development at 198 Valencia St. (across the street) that could cast a literal shadow over the business. The bar filed a discretionary review with the city, which then ordered Sternberg Benjamin Architects to do a third shadow analysis measuring how the building’s height (and lessening it) would impact the beer garden. The report is in, and it has found that the building will only increase shadow hours by 2.06 percent. With that information, SF’s Planning Department is recommending that the development be approved as proposed, Socketsite reports.”

RT @SMSpoke:  We would like this kind of parking problem .... yes please.

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

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

RT @Urban_Toronto: Breaking: Cresford announces @KohnPedersenFox-designed 98-storey, 343.9m supertall at Yonge & Gerrard #Toronto:

YSL Residences at 385 Yonge, Toronto by Cresford Developments, Kohn Pederson Fox

“Rising to an incredible 98 storeys, Toronto's—and Canada's—tallest building could be coming to the southeast corner of Yonge and Gerrard. Designed by New York's Kohn Pedersen Fox for Cresford Developments, the super-tall tower would feature a mix of retail, office uses, and residential space. The height? 343.9 metres.”…

Cheers, Ralph