AARoads Forum

Non-Road Boards => Off-Topic => Topic started by: US 89 on November 01, 2019, 06:26:36 PM

Title: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: US 89 on November 01, 2019, 06:26:36 PM
Instead of talking about DST for the millionth time, let's talk about time zones!

The time zones in this country are skewed quite a bit west of where they should be based on longitude. I've gone ahead and created a map of where the boundaries should be located based on longitude, while simultaneously trying to keep metropolitan areas and other well-connected places in the same time zone.

(https://i.imgur.com/GSumlqQ.png)

edit: updated map
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: tolbs17 on November 01, 2019, 06:29:22 PM
I completely agree with your plans. That's perfect, but I'm sure every governor in the state has to agree with everyone's ideas. Same with mayors. It's a little funny how you want a small part of Maine Atlantic. Haha
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: 1 on November 01, 2019, 06:38:08 PM
It looks pretty good, although it's probably not worth putting just a few people into Atlantic.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: michravera on November 01, 2019, 06:57:13 PM
It looks pretty good, although it's probably not worth putting just a few people into Atlantic.

What you don't see is that the neighboring areas in Canada are already on Atlantic. I am pretty sure that Puerto Rico and USVI would still be on Atlantic.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: jeffandnicole on November 01, 2019, 07:44:16 PM
It looks pretty good, although it's probably not worth putting just a few people into Atlantic.

What you don't see is that the neighboring areas in Canada are already on Atlantic. I am pretty sure that Puerto Rico and USVI would still be on Atlantic.

Why does that matter? Is there an unusually high percentage of people that are going across the border daily?
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: oscar on November 01, 2019, 08:13:58 PM
You would need to fix Canada's and maybe Mexico's time zones while you're at it. For example, if Yukon Territory stays on Pacific time, it will have a two-hour time difference with most of Alaska. A rather jarring time change for anyone crossing the border on the Alaska or Top of the World highways.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: US 89 on November 01, 2019, 08:20:56 PM
You would need to fix Canada's and maybe Mexico's time zones while you're at it. For example, if Yukon Territory stays on Pacific time, it will have a two-hour time difference with most of Alaska. A rather jarring time change for anyone crossing the border on the Alaska or Top of the World highways.

Yeah, I thought about that as I was doing this. The Yukon and a lot of northwestern British Columbia are way too far west for Pacific time and should move back an hour to Alaska Panhandle time. Saskatchewan basically runs permanent MDT as it is, so that isn't too far removed from the US counties map. I'd also move Windsor plus a bunch of western Ontario to Central time - there's absolutely no reason Thunder Bay should be on Eastern.

As for Mexico: a hell of a lot more of Mexico should be on the equivalent of US Mountain time.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: oscar on November 01, 2019, 08:32:14 PM
I'd also move Windsor plus a bunch of western Ontario to Central time - there's absolutely no reason Thunder Bay should be on Eastern.

I was in Thunder Bay on Canada Day, some years ago. It took so long for the sky to get dark enough, that the fireworks went off around midnight. Or so I was told -- I couldn't stay up that late.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: vdeane on November 01, 2019, 08:46:15 PM
You would need to fix Canada's and maybe Mexico's time zones while you're at it. For example, if Yukon Territory stays on Pacific time, it will have a two-hour time difference with most of Alaska. A rather jarring time change for anyone crossing the border on the Alaska or Top of the World highways.

Yeah, I thought about that as I was doing this. The Yukon and a lot of northwestern British Columbia are way too far west for Pacific time and should move back an hour to Alaska Panhandle time. Saskatchewan basically runs permanent MDT as it is, so that isn't too far removed from the US counties map. I'd also move Windsor plus a bunch of western Ontario to Central time - there's absolutely no reason Thunder Bay should be on Eastern.
I'd call your "Alaskan Panhandle Time" "Yukon Time" and include those areas as well as part of the Northwest Territories.  For Ontario, everything Sault Ste Marie west should be Central based on your map.  Also, merge Newfoundland and Saint Pierre into Atlantic.

Regarding the Aleutian Islands, I'd move them into a different time zone from Hawaii, -11.  Yes, they'd be two hours off from the rest of Alaska, but they're THAT far west (even further, actually - strictly on longitude, they'd be -12!).  Nome and the rest of the Alaska island panhandle can join Hawaii.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: hbelkins on November 02, 2019, 05:34:34 PM
No. You put my home county in Central time and my work county in Eastern time. I reject that in the strongest possible terms.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate Central time?
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: renegade on November 02, 2019, 06:08:42 PM
No. You put my home county in Central time and my work county in Eastern time. I reject that in the strongest possible terms.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate Central time?
See?  No matter what changes are made, somebody gets hosed.  As I mentioned in the DST thread, I believe the only solution is to put everybody on UTC and we just need to deal with it.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: JKRhodes on November 02, 2019, 08:14:05 PM
I would move all of Western Utah into Pacific time. Currently in the summer the sun sets at almost 10 PM. In the fall, you have school kids in the Salt Lake area walking to the bus stops in pitch black darkness. Moving the time back an hour would fix that permanently.


I'm also for the complete elimination of Daylight Saving Time.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: US 89 on November 02, 2019, 09:35:25 PM
I would move all of Western Utah into Pacific time. Currently in the summer the sun sets at almost 10 PM. In the fall, you have school kids in the Salt Lake area walking to the bus stops in pitch black darkness. Moving the time back an hour would fix that permanently.

That's an issue of daylight saving time ending too late, not time zones.

The Salt Lake City metropolitan area is almost entirely east of the 112.5 degree west separation line. If Utah had smaller counties, I would have put anything west of Tooele in the Pacific zone; unfortunately, the western counties are all huge so it isn't easy to split them up. However, after a bit of thought I am going to move three counties in southwest Utah to Pacific time because longitude favors it and they're pretty close to Las Vegas. Debated moving Kane as well but decided against it because most of the population lives right next to Coconino County.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: KeithE4Phx on November 02, 2019, 09:44:59 PM
Your map is fine, except that all of Arizona save for the Navajo Nation should be in the Pacific time zone if DST is still to be used.  We tried Mountain Daylight Time for one year (1967), and decided that 110 degree heat at 9 PM is just too hot. 

Moving Mohave, LaPaz, and Yuma Counties to the Pacific time zone also fixes the problem of metro areas (Bullhead City AZ/Laughlin NV/Needles CA) and media markets (Yuma AZ/Imperial Valley CA) in two time zones at once.  Especially the adjacent cities of Bullhead City and Laughlin, where many casino workers work on Pacific time, but live on Mountain time.  One time I stayed in Laughlin during the winter, my life was on Pacific, but my cellphone was on Mountain.  The closest cell site to the hotel was in Bullhead City.  Really messes up the TV schedule too, since they receive stations from both Phoenix and Las Vegas on cable and OTA translators.

Our compromise of Mountain Standard/Pacific Daylight (UTC-7) time year-round works just fine.  Getting rid of DST nationwide would be even better.  Right now, only Arizona and Hawaii get it right.  :)
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: JKRhodes on November 02, 2019, 09:53:51 PM
I would move all of Western Utah into Pacific time. Currently in the summer the sun sets at almost 10 PM. In the fall, you have school kids in the Salt Lake area walking to the bus stops in pitch black darkness. Moving the time back an hour would fix that permanently.

That's an issue of daylight saving time ending too late, not time zones.

The Salt Lake City metropolitan area is almost entirely east of the 112.5 degree west separation line. If Utah had smaller counties, I would have put anything west of Tooele in the Pacific zone; unfortunately, the western counties are all huge so it isn't easy to split them up. However, after a bit of thought I am going to move three counties in southwest Utah to Pacific time because longitude favors it and they're pretty close to Las Vegas. Debated moving Kane as well but decided against it because most of the population lives right next to Coconino County.

New map here:

(https://i.imgur.com/D5V316P.png)

Politically, with the exception of geographically large states that currently have split time zones already, I think it would be a tough sell... Perhaps maintaining the current lines while retarding the time in each respective zone by a half hour would grossly achieve the same result and be an easier sell.

Edited to clarify
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: 1995hoo on November 02, 2019, 10:05:07 PM
My house, and my place of employment, need to be in Hawaiian Time during ballgames when the Nats are in the World Series—but in Eastern Time the morning after ballgames. That way one can get sufficient sleep.

(The sleep deprivation these past few weeks was rough but was totally worth it!)
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: US 89 on November 02, 2019, 11:38:13 PM
Your map is fine, except that all of Arizona save for the Navajo Nation should be in the Pacific time zone if DST is still to be used.  We tried Mountain Daylight Time for one year (1967), and decided that 110 degree heat at 9 PM is just too hot. 

The idea for this would be that the entire country would use the same DST schedule, whether that's regular DST or none at all.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: JKRhodes on November 02, 2019, 11:54:53 PM
Your map is fine, except that all of Arizona save for the Navajo Nation should be in the Pacific time zone if DST is still to be used.  We tried Mountain Daylight Time for one year (1967), and decided that 110 degree heat at 9 PM is just too hot. 

The idea for this would be that the entire country would use the same DST schedule, whether that's regular DST or none at all.

Ironically, in this day and age Phoenix routinely experiences 110 degree heat in the summertime at 9 pm due to the urban heat island effect.

I worked for an employer in a hotter part of the state that changed the work schedule in the summer months to start and end one hour earlier, so we could get out of the afternoon heat sooner... So in a way we were observing DST for our own benefit; we just weren't foisting it upon the rest of the population.

edit: corrected spelling
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: ftballfan on November 03, 2019, 12:27:35 AM
I would keep the current time zone map as is, but I would make some minor changes:
1. Most of the Upper Peninsula would move to Central Time (currently, only the four counties that border Wisconsin are in CT; the easternmost three counties in the UP would remain on Eastern Time)

2. If a TV market crosses a time zone boundary, all of that TV market would move to the time zone of the primary city of the TV market (even if it would put some areas in a different time zone than the rest of their state)
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: Finrod on November 03, 2019, 01:27:14 AM
Up until 1961, Indiana was in Central time.  Then from 1961 to 1967 the eastern half of the state was in Eastern and the western half was in Central, with an awkward zig-zag around Indianapolis.  In 1967 it was moved further west, not far from what it is today where just the NW and SW corners were on Central.  Indiana actually got federal law amended in 1972, because DST was so unpopular in most of the state, to allow states in two time zones to opt out of daylight savings.  Before then time zone observance was pretty inconsistent across the state.

When Indiana finally adopted DST in 2006, some counties in the corners got moved from one timezone to the other.  Eventually some counties got moved back, thanks to local objections.  The history overall is a complete mess and there's a rather lengthy wikipedia article about it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_in_Indiana
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: KEVIN_224 on November 03, 2019, 10:44:19 AM
INDIANAPOLIS should be on Central time. Enough said. :)
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: tolbs17 on November 03, 2019, 11:49:37 AM
INDIANAPOLIS should be on Central time. Enough said. :)
Those 4pm sunsets would be exactly like Boston. I'm sure it would be nice!
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: hbelkins on November 03, 2019, 03:52:27 PM
I've never really understood the way the boundary zig-zags in Kentucky. My counterpart in the Somerset office lives in Russell County, which is in Central time. I don't know how she handles living and working in different time zones. I'm sure she has to get up at an ungodly hour to be at work at 8 a.m. Eastern, unless she's adjusted her working schedule (as we are allowed to do). My counterpart in Elizabethtown lives in Hart County, which is also on CT.

One of the best things that ever happened in Kentucky was Wayne County (Monticello, pronounced Mont-uh-sell-oh) moving from Central to Eastern. I presume that was to accommodate the large number of people who commute to Pulaski County.

For years, my aunt and uncle lived in Grayson County, which is in CT. Most of their business (medical, shopping, etc.) was done in E-town, Shepherdsville, or Louisville. They called ET "Louisville time." Their over-the-air TV (they didn't have cable or satellite for years) was from Bowling Green and Nashville.

I don't adjust well to CT when I travel into that territory, especially since phones automatically adjust and I use my phone as my alarm clock now. If I want to get up at 8 a.m. my time, I have to set my alarm for 7 a.m.

And this time of year is brutal. It's dark at 6 here now, which means it would be dark at 5 if I was in CT. Forgive me if I can't get excited over the possibility of that happening.

Seems to me there was a time when most of eastern Kentucky was temporarily moved into Central time when I was a kid, possibly during one of the Nixon-Carter energy crises. Can't remember why, or what the intended goal of that was. I thought that having it get dark at a later hour on the clock saved energy and getting dark earlier used more energy.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: mrsman on November 03, 2019, 04:33:14 PM
Instead of talking about DST for the millionth time, let's talk about time zones!

The time zones in this country are skewed quite a bit west of where they should be based on longitude. I've gone ahead and created a map of where the boundaries should be located based on longitude, while simultaneously trying to keep metropolitan areas and other well-connected places in the same time zone.

(https://i.imgur.com/D5V316P.png)

edit: updated map

I do like this map, but I would recommend that to the extent that a boundary is just within a state line, the state line should be the boundary.

All of Maine, N.C., should be Eastern.

All of KY, TN should be Central.

All of ND, SD, MT, UT, AZ should be Mountain.



Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: US 89 on November 03, 2019, 06:12:59 PM
I do like this map, but I would recommend that to the extent that a boundary is just within a state line, the state line should be the boundary.

I agree, but not if there's a metropolitan area that straddles the border, and I also don't want to have a bunch of random time changes on north-south routes.

All of Maine, N.C., should be Eastern.

Agreed on NC. I'm keeping the two counties that border New Brunswick on Atlantic time because those areas are a lot closer (and probably better connected) to Canada than they are to the rest of Maine.

All of KY, TN should be Central.

Done, except for a few counties on the eastern sides of those states that are attached to metros in other states.

All of ND, SD, MT, UT, AZ should be Mountain.

-ND and SD have a few metro areas that cross the MN or IA border, and I'd prefer to keep the entire I-29 corridor in one time zone.
-I'm keeping western Montana in the Pacific zone since the area along and west of US 93 is generally associated with the greater Inland Northwest (Spokane/CDA) region.
-There are a bunch of cities in Arizona that straddle the border with California or Nevada, and the lower Colorado River area is generally pretty removed from the rest of the state.
-St George has enough contact with northwest Arizona and southern Nevada that the region probably should share a time zone in my opinion, and I added the other two Utah counties to Pacific just to keep the general southwest Utah I-15 corridor under the same zone.

Map updated (again).
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: bandit957 on November 03, 2019, 07:37:57 PM
I agree with the map that Cincinnati should be in Central Time. That's where it naturally should be.

I realized this when I was having health problems that made it impossible to keep up with Eastern Time, especially during Daylight Saving Time.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: MikeTheActuary on November 03, 2019, 08:41:02 PM
I do like this map, but I would recommend that to the extent that a boundary is just within a state line, the state line should be the boundary.

When I did this exercise awhile ago, I did the work on a by-television-market basis, rather than a by-county basis.  It did result in some split states, but it avoided the problem of splitting a metro area, as would happen if (for example) you have Tennessee and Alabama in Central, but Georgia in Eastern (see Chattanooga and Columbus, GA).
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: vdeane on November 03, 2019, 09:03:04 PM
I've never really understood the way the boundary zig-zags in Kentucky. My counterpart in the Somerset office lives in Russell County, which is in Central time. I don't know how she handles living and working in different time zones. I'm sure she has to get up at an ungodly hour to be at work at 8 a.m. Eastern, unless she's adjusted her working schedule (as we are allowed to do). My counterpart in Elizabethtown lives in Hart County, which is also on CT.
She might just live her life on Eastern time, and just deal with the hours on the clock saying something different.  I've read that it's very common for people in Central to live on the same schedule on Eastern, just with the clock shifted an hour backwards.  This is essentially how tv programs work.

Quote
Seems to me there was a time when most of eastern Kentucky was temporarily moved into Central time when I was a kid, possibly during one of the Nixon-Carter energy crises. Can't remember why, or what the intended goal of that was. I thought that having it get dark at a later hour on the clock saved energy and getting dark earlier used more energy.
It might have been during the year that the US had permanent DST.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: bandit957 on November 03, 2019, 09:04:43 PM
I've read that it's very common for people in Central to live on the same schedule on Eastern

I do the opposite.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: Max Rockatansky on November 03, 2019, 09:54:22 PM
People in Arizona would lose their minds if any of the counties had to share a time zone with California...even though they kind of already do with no Daylight Savings part of the year.  Regarding Michigan on the Eastern time Zone I really dug the post 9 PM summer sundown.  It wasn’t like we could do anything cool outside after 4 PM in the winter growing up anyways. 
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: tdindy88 on November 03, 2019, 10:41:07 PM
I had a few interesting ideas for the Central/Eastern time zone boundary.

Starting in Ontario, move Sault Ste Marie and points west to Central, draw the line across Lake Huron and include Lambton, Chatham-Kent and Essex counties/areas in southwest Ontario into Central along with all of Michigan.

Then draw the line across Lake Erie and include all of the Toledo media market east to Sandusky as part of Central. The new time zone boundary would be drawn west to then include the Findlay and Lima areas into Central, keeping them on the same time as Detroit and Fort Wayne. The time zone boundary would be drawn south of Wapakoneta and Celina in Ohio. Everything south and southeast in the Dayton and Columbus markets would remain in Eastern. The boundary would then follow the Indiana-Ohio line south to Dearborn County, Indiana.

Union City, Ohio will get a Wendover, Nevada style option of staying in Central to remain on the same time as Union City, IN and West College Corner, IN will get the option of going to Eastern to stay with College Corner, OH.

In Indiana, only Dearborn, Ohio and Switzerland Counties would stay in Eastern to remain with the Cincinnati market. I see the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky media market remaining in the same time zone as Dayton, Columbus and Lexington to the south.

Now across Kentucky I have a more controversial idea, one that probably won't work but I'll share it anyway. Drawing the boundary across the eastern part of the state would probably be better but it most of Ohio (outside of Toledo) were to remain in Eastern then there may have to be a different option. I propose drawing the time zone boundary between the Louisville and Lexington media markets. Everything in the current Louisville DMA market would go to Central time while everything in the Lexington DMA will go to Eastern, including the capital of Frankfort.

I know with Louisville and Lexington being close (I think) it may not be the greatest idea but I see this as preserving the boundary for points further south and not messing any more with Ohio. This idea, if I'm looking at the DMA map right would move Russell County into Eastern with Wayne and Pulaski. Speaking of highways in Kentucky, this idea keeps I-65 in the Central Time Zone for its entire routing and the I-75 route stays entirely in Eastern Time once passing the boundary south of Lima. In Kentucky itself the US 27 and US 127 routes would be in Eastern Time with US 31W and US 31E staying in Central Time. Louisville and Elizabethtown would be on the same time as Bowling Green and Paducah.

From the Tennessee state line I see the boundary remaining the same all the way south to the Florida Panhandle, keeping Eastern Tennessee and Georgia in Eastern and Middle Tennessee and Alabama in Central.

Anyway, that's how I'd fix that particular boundary. I wouldn't be surprised though if there are issues with it.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: KeithE4Phx on November 03, 2019, 11:20:38 PM
People in Arizona would lose their minds if any of the counties had to share a time zone with California...even though they kind of already do with no Daylight Savings part of the year. 

But it makes sense, at least for Mohave, La Paz, and Yuma Counties.  Mohave County is closer to Nevada than Phoenix, and many of its residents in the Kingman/Golden Valley and Bullhead City/Ft. Mohave areas travel to Vegas and/or Laughlin enough to justify them being in the same time zone.  Especially once I-11 gets built.

Yuma and La Paz Counties are the Arizona half of the Yuma/El Centro TV market, which is split between two time zones.  That makes no sense whatsoever.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: bandit957 on November 03, 2019, 11:24:04 PM
We should just use the time zones that are closest to what they would naturally be, with each county assigned to the time zone of the nearest major city.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: Max Rockatansky on November 03, 2019, 11:29:58 PM
People in Arizona would lose their minds if any of the counties had to share a time zone with California...even though they kind of already do with no Daylight Savings part of the year. 

But it makes sense, at least for Mohave, La Paz, and Yuma Counties.  Mohave County is closer to Nevada than Phoenix, and many of its residents in the Kingman/Golden Valley and Bullhead City/Ft. Mohave areas travel to Vegas and/or Laughlin enough to justify them being in the same time zone.  Especially once I-11 gets built.

Yuma and La Paz Counties are the Arizona half of the Yuma/El Centro TV market, which is split between two time zones.  That makes no sense whatsoever.

A good chunk of those locals and snow birds want nothing to do with anything that might be”California.”.  The view in those communities about California (I say this having worked in Bullhead City, Kingman, Parker, Havasu and Yuma for years) is that it nothing but negative which stems back to incidents like the Parker Dam Project.  The same attitude doesn’t carry for Nevada but nobody really ever seemed bothered having to switch time zones living in Bullhead City and working in Laughlin.  It might make sense but I’m willing to bet in a “hypothetical” vote in those counties it would shot down hard. 
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: Duke87 on November 04, 2019, 12:40:25 AM
The time zones in this country are skewed quite a bit west of where they should be based on longitude.

This assessment of "should be" presumes that the idealized time zone placement involves keeping clock time as close to solar time as feasible while still only working in 1-hour increments.

I would counterargue that there is a reason why time zones are "skewed west", and point out that this phenomenon is not unique to the US, it repeats itself globally. Note how on this map (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4b/Solar_time_vs_standard_time.png) there is a lot more red (places ahead of solar time) than blue (places behind solar time). This suggests that there is perhaps a natural preference for being ahead of solar time, and this is consistent with the reason we have DST: people like later sunsets and dislike earlier sunrises.

Indeed, I have found personally that when I travel, places which are towards the western edge of time zones are more pleasant to be in than places that are towards the eastern edge of time zones - because when operating on a normal schedule the places towards the western edge afford me more daylight to work with.

Ergo, I am going to argue instead that our time zones are not skewed far west enough. I concocted this myself a few months ago:
(https://i.imgur.com/Yudewrq.png)
This includes time zones ranging from GMT-4 (pink) to GMT-11 (red)

This map presents an "always round up" scenario. Except for some small pockets near the eastern edges, solar noon will fall between 12:00 and 13:00 local time when DST is not in effect. (Almost) everyone gets to live ahead of solar time instead of behind it.

Note that this was a quickly thrown together thing so it could stand some potential tweaking in order to better align some areas with the nearest large city. But it's meant to demonstrate the general idea, not to be perfect.


Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: jp the roadgeek on November 04, 2019, 01:50:07 AM
I've shown this one before.  The northeast corridor should all be on one time, and that is AST.  I've divided my map based on metropolitan areas and DMA's.  I've renamed MST as Western Standard Time, but for description purposes below, I'll use MST

(https://live.staticflickr.com/1773/29067492267_76e1837e89_o.jpg)
States that are divided

NY: Rochester and Buffalo EST, rest AST
PA: Philly, Harrisburg, Scranton DMA's, Pike, and Fulton County AST; Pittsburgh, Erie, Altoona DMA's plus Mercer, McKean, and Potter Counties EST
MD: Garrett County EST, rest AST
WV: Washington and Harrisonburg DMA counties AST, rest EST
VA: Washington, Richmond, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Norfolk AST; Roanoke, Bristol, and Greensboro DMA area EST
NC: Norfolk DMA counties AST, rest EST
MN: MSP DMA EST, rest CST
IA: Quad Cities DMA EST, rest CST
MO: Hannibal/Quincy, St Louis, Cape Girardeau DMA's EST, rest CST
AR: Memphis and Jackson DMA counties EST, rest CST
LA: New Orleans DMA EST, rest CST
MT: Billings, Glendive, and Bismarck DMA counties CST, rest MST
WY: Salt Lake City DMA counties MST, rest CST
AZ: Apache County CST, rest MST
WA: Spokane DMA MST, rest PST
OR: Boise DMA counties MST, rest PST
CA: Siskiyou County PST, rest MST

Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: jakeroot on November 04, 2019, 02:48:29 AM
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
The entire west coast should just be MST (or "Western" on your map). I can understand putting the PNW in the same time zone as BC's Lower Mainland, but...

...If I'm not mistaken, CA, OR, WA, and BC have all passed legislation to adopt permanent DST, which would have the same effect as moving ahead one time zone. It's pretty much agreed on the west coast that longer evenings are preferred over longer mornings, so proposals on this thread really ought to consider moving the Pacific coast in MST.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: jeffandnicole on November 04, 2019, 06:48:35 AM
I've shown this one before.  The northeast corridor should all be on one time, and that is AST.  I've divided my map based on metropolitan areas and DMA's.  I've renamed MST as Western Standard Time, but for description purposes below, I'll use MST

(https://live.staticflickr.com/1773/29067492267_76e1837e89_o.jpg)
States that are divided

NY: Rochester and Buffalo EST, rest AST
PA: Philly, Harrisburg, Scranton DMA's, Pike, and Fulton County AST; Pittsburgh, Erie, Altoona DMA's plus Mercer, McKean, and Potter Counties EST
MD: Garrett County EST, rest AST
WV: Washington and Harrisonburg DMA counties AST, rest EST
VA: Washington, Richmond, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Norfolk AST; Roanoke, Bristol, and Greensboro DMA area EST
NC: Norfolk DMA counties AST, rest EST
MN: MSP DMA EST, rest CST
IA: Quad Cities DMA EST, rest CST
MO: Hannibal/Quincy, St Louis, Cape Girardeau DMA's EST, rest CST
AR: Memphis and Jackson DMA counties EST, rest CST
LA: New Orleans DMA EST, rest CST
MT: Billings, Glendive, and Bismarck DMA counties CST, rest MST
WY: Salt Lake City DMA counties MST, rest CST
AZ: Apache County CST, rest MST
WA: Spokane DMA MST, rest PST
OR: Boise DMA counties MST, rest PST
CA: Siskiyou County PST, rest MST



This map should indicate Philly would be nearly completely dark by 4pm around the shortest day of the year from Mid-December to Mid-January.

I also noted elsewhere unintended consequences. This map would also mean much of the green area will have kids walking home from school during dusk or in darkness. People also want kids starting school later...and that would only force more kids into darkness. Heck...many kids would still be in school as the sun sets!
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: GaryV on November 04, 2019, 07:43:12 AM
All we need to do is legislate that the sun shall not rise later and set earlier in winter, and we'd be all set.    :bigass:
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: oscar on November 04, 2019, 07:58:24 AM
All we need to do is legislate that the sun shall not rise later and set earlier in winter, and we'd be all set.    :bigass:

Just move to the equator. Or Hawaii (~11 hours of daylight at the winter solstice, no DST), which is close enough.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: bandit957 on November 04, 2019, 09:13:20 AM
The reason the Eastern Time Zone goes so far to the west is to keep pace with the New York Stock Exchange - which few people actually care about.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: jp the roadgeek on November 04, 2019, 09:15:08 AM
This map should indicate Philly would be nearly completely dark by 4pm around the shortest day of the year from Mid-December to Mid-January.

I also noted elsewhere unintended consequences. This map would also mean much of the green area will have kids walking home from school during dusk or in darkness. People also want kids starting school later...and that would only force more kids into darkness. Heck...many kids would still be in school as the sun sets!

Quite the opposite.  By going to AST, it would mean 5:30 sunsets in December for the Philly area.  Yes, it would probably mean an 8:30 AM sunrise, but the kids would be out of school well before the sun sets. 
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: jeffandnicole on November 04, 2019, 09:26:52 AM
This map should indicate Philly would be nearly completely dark by 4pm around the shortest day of the year from Mid-December to Mid-January.

I also noted elsewhere unintended consequences. This map would also mean much of the green area will have kids walking home from school during dusk or in darkness. People also want kids starting school later...and that would only force more kids into darkness. Heck...many kids would still be in school as the sun sets!

Quite the opposite.  By going to AST, it would mean 5:30 sunsets in December for the Philly area.  Yes, it would probably mean an 8:30 AM sunrise, but the kids would be out of school well before the sun sets. 

Then everyone is going to school in darkness.  Either way...its not solving numerous issues brought up by others.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: tradephoric on November 04, 2019, 10:26:36 AM
Here is a map of the idealized time zones for America if they followed their 15 degree longitude.  As you can see from the pink lines the current timezones in America skew to the west.

(https://i.imgur.com/qjmtZwz.png)

Over the coming years there is a high likelihood that the Federal government will amend the Uniform Time Act of 1966 and make DST permanent.  If DST becomes permanent, many states will debate if they should stay on DST or join Hawaii and Arizona and run standard time year-round.  Naturally states on the western edge of a timezone would be the most likely to want to join standard time (to prevent late sunrises in the winter).  If states like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Texas, and Oklahoma decided to switch to standard time, the 'timezone skew' to the west we currently see would go away.  The map below really isn't a new timezone map, but it's how things might shake out if the nation went to permanent DST (ie. Michigan would still be part of the eastern timezone but they would opt out of DST).

(https://i.imgur.com/0EejPYN.png)
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: MikeTheActuary on November 04, 2019, 11:17:03 AM
In a prior iteration of a time zone/DST thread, I explored what time zone boundaries in the US might look if they were drawn so as to minimize the "error" in which points of time during a day we believe ought to be "light" or "dark" (e.g. before 5am ought to be "dark"; school and morning commute ought to be "light"; it ought to be "dark" by 9:30pm) as viewed from the primary city in each market.  I assumed no more DST time changes.

I also imposed a constraint that zip code boundaries must not split television markets, using DMAs as a proxy for metropolitan areas.

Here's what my preferred map looks like, after a bit of cleanup:
(https://i.imgur.com/kdkCLP3.jpg)

Note that the main time zones are UTC -4˝, UTC -5˝, UTC -6˝, and UTC -7˝.  If I forced the time zones to be UTC -4/-5/-6/-7/-8 with my algorithm, we end up with boundaries that would probably be viewed as unacceptable (DC and NY in different time zones; New Orleans/Memphis/St. Louis/Minneapolis all on the line; SF and LA in different time zones).

There are a few places in the country that are still "problems":

Detroit & Toledo -- the ideal boundary passes through these markets. Detroit should be in Eastern under my algorithm, while Toledo should be in Central.  I think there would be resistance to having Detroit and Toledo in different time zones...so I've colored the map to show the difficulty.  (Lima, OH is also given this "in between" coloring.  It should be Central, but I could see some pressure to keep it with Toledo or Columbus.)

Michigan LP excluding Detroit -- Most of Michigan should be in Central.  However, I foresee resistance to having Detroit in a different time zone than most of the LP of Michigan.  When you combine this with the Detroit vs Toledo consideration, it opens up the possibility of having a time zone in between Eastern and Central (UTC -5 instead of UTC -4˝ or -5˝).

Fargo, ND -- Sioux Falls SD and Fargo ND are close to where my algorithm says the Central/Mountain TZ line should run.  Sioux Falls calculates as being just barely Central, and I anticipate it would want to stay with Central due to economic ties with Minneapolis/St. Paul and Des Moines.  Fargo calculates as being just barely Mountain...but I could see local pressure to go with Central time.  I shaded the map to highlight the possibility.

North Platte, NE -- My algorithm indicates it ought to be on Mountain time, but it's a small market, and I could see local pressure to stay on the same time zone as central/eastern Nebraska.

Wichita Falls, Abilene, San Angelo, Laredo -- My algorithm indicated these markets are a better fit for Mountain time than Central...but I know there's going to be local pressure to be on the same time zone as Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio.

Yuma, AZ -- Indicates as Pacific time.  I can see pressure to go with either Pacific or Mountain time...and I could also see this DMA being split between the two.

Eastern Idaho / Western Montana -- The indicated boundary between Pacific and Mountain time meanders through this region.  I would anticipate the boundary through this region to be driven more by popular/economic pressure than by my algorithm.

Alaska -- The algorithm I use to minimize "error" in the lightness/darkness of critical parts of the day only really makes sense in temperate parts of the world.  Up in Alaska, where days can be either very long or very short...there's going to be "error".   Anchorage should be one hour behind Pacific time.  For the rest of the state...I think locals would be better at figuring out what to do.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: michravera on November 04, 2019, 11:44:55 AM
I've shown this one before.  The northeast corridor should all be on one time, and that is AST.  I've divided my map based on metropolitan areas and DMA's.  I've renamed MST as Western Standard Time, but for description purposes below, I'll use MST

(https://live.staticflickr.com/1773/29067492267_76e1837e89_o.jpg)
States that are divided

NY: Rochester and Buffalo EST, rest AST
PA: Philly, Harrisburg, Scranton DMA's, Pike, and Fulton County AST; Pittsburgh, Erie, Altoona DMA's plus Mercer, McKean, and Potter Counties EST
MD: Garrett County EST, rest AST
WV: Washington and Harrisonburg DMA counties AST, rest EST
VA: Washington, Richmond, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Norfolk AST; Roanoke, Bristol, and Greensboro DMA area EST
NC: Norfolk DMA counties AST, rest EST
MN: MSP DMA EST, rest CST
IA: Quad Cities DMA EST, rest CST
MO: Hannibal/Quincy, St Louis, Cape Girardeau DMA's EST, rest CST
AR: Memphis and Jackson DMA counties EST, rest CST
LA: New Orleans DMA EST, rest CST
MT: Billings, Glendive, and Bismarck DMA counties CST, rest MST
WY: Salt Lake City DMA counties MST, rest CST
AZ: Apache County CST, rest MST
WA: Spokane DMA MST, rest PST
OR: Boise DMA counties MST, rest PST
CA: Siskiyou County PST, rest MST



This map should indicate Philly would be nearly completely dark by 4pm around the shortest day of the year from Mid-December to Mid-January.

I also noted elsewhere unintended consequences. This map would also mean much of the green area will have kids walking home from school during dusk or in darkness. People also want kids starting school later...and that would only force more kids into darkness. Heck...many kids would still be in school as the sun sets!

Permanent DST is the only idea that was *SO* bad that it received overwhelming bipartisan support for enactment and the overwhelming bipartisan support for repeal about 8 months later. Forbid it in the US!
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: tradephoric on November 04, 2019, 11:56:20 AM
Permanent DST is the only idea that was *SO* bad that it receive overwhelming bipartisan support for enactment and the overwhelming bipartisan support for repeal about 8 months later. Forbid it in the US!

Tell me why there was overwhelming bipartisan support for the repeal of permanent DST back in the 70s.  What drove it to be repealed?
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: michravera on November 04, 2019, 12:34:43 PM
Permanent DST is the only idea that was *SO* bad that it receive overwhelming bipartisan support for enactment and the overwhelming bipartisan support for repeal about 8 months later. Forbid it in the US!

Tell me why there was overwhelming bipartisan support for the repeal of permanent DST back in the 70s.  What drove it to be repealed?

Basically all of the reasons that everyone hates DST in November multiplied by 80.
1) Kids going to school in the dark (and many more waiting for buses or walking to the bus stop in the dark)
2) Traffic accidents in the morning
3) Energy savings (the purpose for which it was enacted) didn't materialize and the big concern about it (because of the Arab Oil Embargo) disappeared.

I have said that, if we find that having afternoon daylight is useful, we can have DST. But, we can't magically make more daylight. If afternoon daylight were as desirable as some people seem to think, people would jump at the chance to work 4AM to Noon. Any takers? Yeah, a couple. But not everyone who could be accommodated!
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: MikeTheActuary on November 04, 2019, 12:42:01 PM
An update to the map I posted in reply #44:
(https://i.imgur.com/zWrAMbp.jpg)

It occurred to me that if I were going to allow for the possibility of "Michigan Time" between Eastern and Central, I ought to allow for the possibility of "Texas Time" between Central and Mountain.

Technically El Paso is too far west for "Texas Time" in this scheme...but I assume that there would be pressure to get most of Texas into one time zone if the idea of being a half-hour different from neighboring areas could be tolerated.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: hbelkins on November 04, 2019, 01:41:35 PM
The time zones in this country are skewed quite a bit west of where they should be based on longitude.

This assessment of "should be" presumes that the idealized time zone placement involves keeping clock time as close to solar time as feasible while still only working in 1-hour increments.

I would counterargue that there is a reason why time zones are "skewed west", and point out that this phenomenon is not unique to the US, it repeats itself globally. Note how on this map (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4b/Solar_time_vs_standard_time.png) there is a lot more red (places ahead of solar time) than blue (places behind solar time). This suggests that there is perhaps a natural preference for being ahead of solar time, and this is consistent with the reason we have DST: people like later sunsets and dislike earlier sunrises.

Indeed, I have found personally that when I travel, places which are towards the western edge of time zones are more pleasant to be in than places that are towards the eastern edge of time zones - because when operating on a normal schedule the places towards the western edge afford me more daylight to work with.

Ergo, I am going to argue instead that our time zones are not skewed far west enough. I concocted this myself a few months ago:
(https://i.imgur.com/Yudewrq.png)
This includes time zones ranging from GMT-4 (pink) to GMT-11 (red)

This map presents an "always round up" scenario. Except for some small pockets near the eastern edges, solar noon will fall between 12:00 and 13:00 local time when DST is not in effect. (Almost) everyone gets to live ahead of solar time instead of behind it.

Note that this was a quickly thrown together thing so it could stand some potential tweaking in order to better align some areas with the nearest large city. But it's meant to demonstrate the general idea, not to be perfect.

If your pink is Atlantic and your purple is Eastern, I can live with that.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: vdeane on November 04, 2019, 01:46:35 PM
The time zones in this country are skewed quite a bit west of where they should be based on longitude.

This assessment of "should be" presumes that the idealized time zone placement involves keeping clock time as close to solar time as feasible while still only working in 1-hour increments.

I would counterargue that there is a reason why time zones are "skewed west", and point out that this phenomenon is not unique to the US, it repeats itself globally. Note how on this map (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4b/Solar_time_vs_standard_time.png) there is a lot more red (places ahead of solar time) than blue (places behind solar time). This suggests that there is perhaps a natural preference for being ahead of solar time, and this is consistent with the reason we have DST: people like later sunsets and dislike earlier sunrises.

Indeed, I have found personally that when I travel, places which are towards the western edge of time zones are more pleasant to be in than places that are towards the eastern edge of time zones - because when operating on a normal schedule the places towards the western edge afford me more daylight to work with.

Ergo, I am going to argue instead that our time zones are not skewed far west enough. I concocted this myself a few months ago:
(https://i.imgur.com/Yudewrq.png)
This includes time zones ranging from GMT-4 (pink) to GMT-11 (red)

This map presents an "always round up" scenario. Except for some small pockets near the eastern edges, solar noon will fall between 12:00 and 13:00 local time when DST is not in effect. (Almost) everyone gets to live ahead of solar time instead of behind it.

Note that this was a quickly thrown together thing so it could stand some potential tweaking in order to better align some areas with the nearest large city. But it's meant to demonstrate the general idea, not to be perfect.



If we did that, I would hope DST would be abolished, because if not, it would lead to some absurdly late sunrises.  Although, globalizing that idea, maybe it would be a good idea to move the Prime Meridian to Casablanca, adjusting the offset boundaries accordingly so that more places could be in the "correct" time zone?
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: tradephoric on November 04, 2019, 02:00:35 PM
Tell me why there was overwhelming bipartisan support for the repeal of permanent DST back in the 70s.  What drove it to be repealed?

Basically all of the reasons that everyone hates DST in November multiplied by 80.
1) Kids going to school in the dark (and many more waiting for buses or walking to the bus stop in the dark)
A lot of research has been done involving the circadian rhythm of school aged children that wasn’t known back in the 70s.  Today, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that middle and high schools start at 8:30 a.m. or later to give students the opportunity to get the amount of sleep they need, but most American adolescents start school too early.  In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics data from 2015-16, only 14.4% of high schools start the school day at 8:30 a.m. or later.  I would argue that a change to permanent DST in this country should be accompanied by hour later school start times throughout the country.  That way the lighting conditions of kids going to school would be the same as the pre-DST conditions while at the same time leading to school start times that more closely match AAP recommendations.

2) Traffic accidents in the morning
You aren’t looking at the whole equation if you are only considering morning fatalities.  A 2004 study analyzed the effects of daylight saving time on US pedestrian and motor vehicle occupant fatalities and estimated that permanent DST would reduce pedestrian fatalities by 171 per year and reduce motor vehicle occupant fatalities by 195 per year. 

The effects of daylight and daylight saving time on US pedestrian fatalities and motor vehicle occupant fatalities
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0001457503000150

3) Energy savings (the purpose for which it was enacted) didn't materialize and the big concern about it (because of the Arab Oil Embargo) disappeared.
After Bush extended DST in 2005, the Department of Energy studied the impacts of extended Daylight Saving Time on national energy consumption.  The Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended the duration of Daylight Saving Time in the spring by changing its start date from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday in March, and in the fall by changing its end date from the last Sunday in October to the first Sunday in November.  A report was released to Congress in October 2008 that concluded “the total electricity savings of Extended Daylight Saving Time were about 1.3 Tera Watt-hour (TWh). This corresponds to 0.5 per cent per each day of Extended Daylight Saving Time.” 

Impact of Extended Daylight Saving Time on National Energy Consumption
https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/05/f22/epact_sec_110_edst_report_to_congress_2008.pdf

And even if DST doesn’t reduce energy consumption during the hot summer months, not many people are complaining because people enjoy more sunshine during their summer evenings.  This is mainly conceptual, but below is a rough idea of the potential energy savings Daylight Saving Time provides by month (ie. negative energy savings during the hot summer months but positive savings during the cold winter months compared to standard time).  If there is a 0.5% energy savings when DST was extended into November back in 2005, what energy savings might we see if it was extended year-round? 

(https://i.imgur.com/HKkHuCe.png)
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: vdeane on November 04, 2019, 02:20:29 PM
I don't see how DST would save any energy at all in the winter.  Yes, you'd have natural light for another evening hour, but you'd also lose natural light for a morning hour.  Most people do not wait until 8:30 AM to roll out of bed because we work for a living, and that's in the eastern half of a time zone - in the western half, sunrise wouldn't be until 9:30!

Re: school children, the easiest way to get later start times for middle/high school is to swap them with primary/elementary school, so somebody would still be stuck waiting for the bus or walking in the dark.  Not to mention that shifting the clocks forwards would cancel out any gains from moving the school start time in the first place, bringing us right back to where we are now.  Circadian rhythms, after all, are based on the sun, not clocks.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: michravera on November 04, 2019, 03:10:33 PM
Tell me why there was overwhelming bipartisan support for the repeal of permanent DST back in the 70s.  What drove it to be repealed?

Basically all of the reasons that everyone hates DST in November multiplied by 80.
1) Kids going to school in the dark (and many more waiting for buses or walking to the bus stop in the dark)
A lot of research has been done involving the circadian rhythm of school aged children that wasn’t known back in the 70s.  Today, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that middle and high schools start at 8:30 a.m. or later to give students the opportunity to get the amount of sleep they need, but most American adolescents start school too early.  In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics data from 2015-16, only 14.4% of high schools start the school day at 8:30 a.m. or later.  I would argue that a change to permanent DST in this country should be accompanied by hour later school start times throughout the country.  That way the lighting conditions of kids going to school would be the same as the pre-DST conditions while at the same time leading to school start times that more closely match AAP recommendations.

2) Traffic accidents in the morning
You aren’t looking at the whole equation if you are only considering morning fatalities.  A 2004 study analyzed the effects of daylight saving time on US pedestrian and motor vehicle occupant fatalities and estimated that permanent DST would reduce pedestrian fatalities by 171 per year and reduce motor vehicle occupant fatalities by 195 per year. 

The effects of daylight and daylight saving time on US pedestrian fatalities and motor vehicle occupant fatalities
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0001457503000150

3) Energy savings (the purpose for which it was enacted) didn't materialize and the big concern about it (because of the Arab Oil Embargo) disappeared.
After Bush extended DST in 2005, the Department of Energy studied the impacts of extended Daylight Saving Time on national energy consumption.  The Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended the duration of Daylight Saving Time in the spring by changing its start date from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday in March, and in the fall by changing its end date from the last Sunday in October to the first Sunday in November.  A report was released to Congress in October 2008 that concluded “the total electricity savings of Extended Daylight Saving Time were about 1.3 Tera Watt-hour (TWh). This corresponds to 0.5 per cent per each day of Extended Daylight Saving Time.” 

Impact of Extended Daylight Saving Time on National Energy Consumption
https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/05/f22/epact_sec_110_edst_report_to_congress_2008.pdf

And even if DST doesn’t reduce energy consumption during the hot summer months, not many people are complaining because people enjoy more sunshine during their summer evenings.  This is mainly conceptual, but below is a rough idea of the potential energy savings Daylight Saving Time provides by month (ie. negative energy savings during the hot summer months but positive savings during the cold winter months compared to standard time).  If there is a 0.5% energy savings when DST was extended into November back in 2005, what energy savings might we see if it was extended year-round? 

(https://i.imgur.com/HKkHuCe.png)

Conceptual? Is that another name for "I strongly believe it because I want it to be so, but have no evidence for it"?
Look. I was there. It was a bad idea then. It would be a worse idea now (if only because we know better and don't have to repeat the mistake).

All that I have to say is "How many people sign up to work 4AM to Noon?" The answer is "not enough to fill the jobs that require them without incentive pay!" CASE CLOSED!
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: GaryV on November 04, 2019, 03:16:36 PM

 If there is a 0.5% energy savings when DST was extended into November back in 2005, what energy savings might we see if it was extended year-round? 



We tried that once.  (See Nixon, Oil Embargo.)  It didn't work - more energy was used in the winter DST.  Part of the problem is that when it gets light so late in the morning, you turn on the lights so you can see.  And forget to turn them off.

There was a political cartoon in the era.  Nixon was speaking:  "This is how you make a blanket warmer.  First you cut one foot off this end.  Then you sew it onto the other end.  It's called Daylight Saving Time."
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: tradephoric on November 04, 2019, 03:18:01 PM
I don't see how DST would save any energy at all in the winter.  Yes, you'd have natural light for another evening hour, but you'd also lose natural light for a morning hour.  Most people do not wait until 8:30 AM to roll out of bed because we work for a living, and that's in the eastern half of a time zone...

If we really wanted to reduce energy consumption in this country, we would run standard time during the summer and DST during the winter.  We got it backwards.  In the winter when people are trying to heat their homes, maximizing the waking hours of daylight helps reduce energy consumption (the sun is a natural heating source).  OTOH, in the summer when people are trying to cool their homes, the sun being out doesn’t help that effort and minimizing the waking hours of daylight would help reduce energy consumption.  The 2005 Energy Department study even touches on AC usage as a reason why some southern portions of the United States exhibited slightly smaller impacts of Extended Daylight Saving Time on energy savings when compared to northern regions...

During Extended Daylight Saving Time, electricity savings generally occurred over a three- to five-hour period in the evening with small increases in usage during the early-morning hours. On a daily percentage basis, electricity savings were slightly greater during the March (spring) extension of Extended Daylight Saving Time than the November (fall) extension. On a regional basis, some southern portions of the United States exhibited slightly smaller impacts of Extended Daylight Saving Time on energy savings compared to the northern regions, a result possibly due to a small, offsetting increase in household air conditioning usage.

in the western half, sunrise wouldn't be until 9:30!

You are assuming that the 48 states that currently observe DST would continue to observe DST if the nation went to permanent DST.  It's important to realize as part of the Uniform Time Act of 1966 that States can opt out of DST.

Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: tradephoric on November 04, 2019, 03:54:15 PM
Look. I was there. It was a bad idea then. It would be a worse idea now (if only because we know better and don't have to repeat the mistake).
We tried that once.  (See Nixon, Oil Embargo.)  It didn't work - more energy was used in the winter DST.  Part of the problem is that when it gets light so late in the morning, you turn on the lights so you can see.  And forget to turn them off.

Ok guys, but where is the study that shows permanent DST was a failure at reducing energy costs back in the winter of 1974?

All that I have to say is "How many people sign up to work 4AM to Noon?" The answer is "not enough to fill the jobs that require them without incentive pay!" CASE CLOSED!

For someone who wants to enjoy more evening daylight after they get home from work during the winter, working 4AM to Noon is an option.  It's just not a practical option for most people.. but that doesn't mean they wouldn't enjoy the extra sunlight.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: tradephoric on November 04, 2019, 04:34:03 PM
1975:  The Daylight Saving Time Study (DOT)

Significant results related to DST were found in four areas:  national electricity use was reduced by about 1%; national motor vehicle fatalities were reduced by about 0.7%; national school-age children fatal accidents were not significantly affected; and violent crime was reduced by 10 to 13% in Washington, D.C.

http://a.abcnews.com/images/2020/DOT%20DST%20study.PDF


Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: kphoger on November 04, 2019, 04:59:23 PM
Let's get back to time zones.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: tolbs17 on November 04, 2019, 05:16:11 PM
What do you think about making Columbus Central?

30 minute timezones would come in handy. Especially for Maine. If anything, move Maine 30 minutes forward. not an hour.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: tradephoric on November 04, 2019, 05:28:32 PM
OK, it's just hard to separate time zones from DST.  If this map assumes we stay on the current DST system, i really hate this map.  It would put Detroit in Central time meaning the sun would set at 4:02PM during the winter solstice.  I thought 5:02PM sunsets was bad enough in the winter but 4:02PM sounds horrible.

(https://i.imgur.com/GSumlqQ.png)
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: jakeroot on November 04, 2019, 05:54:33 PM
Let's get back to time zones.

In states where permanent DST is being considered, adjusting their standard time is an alternative option. The two concepts are related, and we are not off-topic.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: kphoger on November 04, 2019, 05:55:30 PM
I'm fine with someone making a map that incorporates current DST times, no DST, or permanent DST (the latter two being functionally the same), but not debating the merits of one system or the other.  That's been hashed to death.

It seems to me that DST benefits northern areas more than it benefits southern areas, so maybe aiming for perpendicular-ish time zone boundaries isn't what's needed.  Maybe they should follow more of a diagonal.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: jakeroot on November 04, 2019, 06:49:27 PM
It seems to me that DST benefits northern areas more than it benefits southern areas, so maybe aiming for perpendicular-ish time zone boundaries isn't what's needed.  Maybe they should follow more of a diagonal.

Interesting idea. The only Google reference I can find to "diagonal time zones" is this article from the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba (https://www.gov.mb.ca/legislature/hansard/27th_1st/hansardpdf/78.pdf), dated 1963. Go to page 1953, where MLA Gildas Molgat proposes a new way of looking at time zones; much of the PDF is about the discussion of extending DST.

Quote from: Gildas Molgat, CD
We had originally introduced the motion in the House recommending what we felt was a reasonable compromise on this matter, and I appreciate that it is a question of compromise because you're not going to please everyone whichever way you go at it. It seems to me really that what is required in the long run is a new look at our time zones. I think the time zones were set up many years ago in different circumstances, and also that they do not necessarily apply the further north you go, because the facts are that in the southern regions, let's say in the southern part of the United States, in mid -summer the days are not as long as our own days are, and while a time zone may be applicable there to extend the time zones, as we do on a straight north-south line, means that in effect they are not in keeping with what the sun actually is doing and that they have a different effect at the southern fringe of the time zone than they have at the northern fringe of that time zone. It seems to me what is really required to settle this is to have our time zones actually on a slanted basis, and that this would permit then for a proper relationship. Now this sounds odd, I appreciate, but it is in fact what the sun does. My honourable friend from Thompson can certainly vouch for that because in mid -summer he has an extremely long day up there by comparison even to ourselves, so I would suggest that what is needed in the long run is a review of this right across the country and an analysis of whether we wouldn't be better off to change our time zones completely and have a new basis applicable more in keeping with what the sun is doing. I still prefer the compromise in this particular case that we had suggested originally.

Basically, you're not the first to think of this!
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: renegade on November 04, 2019, 09:40:07 PM
None of these solve anything. :crazy:
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: bandit957 on November 04, 2019, 10:07:48 PM
The real debate should be which major city each county should be assigned to, and which cities are considered major. I'm all for assigning each major city to the time zone where it would naturally be.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: Duke87 on November 05, 2019, 01:57:49 AM
https://i.imgur.com/Yudewrq.png (https://i.imgur.com/Yudewrq.png)

If your pink is Atlantic and your purple is Eastern, I can live with that.

Yes, purple is Eastern.

If we really wanted to reduce energy consumption in this country, we would run standard time during the summer and DST during the winter.  We got it backwards.  In the winter when people are trying to heat their homes, maximizing the waking hours of daylight helps reduce energy consumption (the sun is a natural heating source).  OTOH, in the summer when people are trying to cool their homes, the sun being out doesn’t help that effort and minimizing the waking hours of daylight would help reduce energy consumption.

Nnnn... so, first of all, it needs to be kept in mind that only 40% of energy used by buildings in the US is used by residential buildings. To get the full picture you can't just focus on what people are doing in their homes, you need to also focus on what businesses are doing.

As things stand, the daily temperature in the summer tends to peak around 5 PM (with DST), with it being fairly close to peak for a few hours before and a couple hours after. This peak occurs right around when a lot of people are leaving work.
In a scenario where standard time were used in the summer, this peak would be at 4 PM instead - and this would have the effect of creating a larger overlap between the hottest hours of the day and the hours of the day when offices (among some other commercial, industrial, or civic/institutional buildings - depending on their operating hours) are occupied.

Might this be counterbalanced by a smaller overlap between the hottest hours of the day and when residences are occupied? Maybe, but there would not be savings realized during this time period in residences where someone is home in the afternoon.


Something else to consider here is the impact that a clock shift has on the overlap between occupancy and when an onsite solar PV array is generating electricity. Currently, areas with a lot of solar production are already starting to see some of their peaks for utility electric demand shift later into the evening, with it starting to be driven by when solar production drops off rather than by when air conditioning usage peaks.
A shift to standard time in the summertime would exacerbate this by increasing the number of hours in the evening/night when people are awake and using electricity but solar PV systems are producing little to none of it.
This would then, in an a PV-dominated area, increase costs by increasing the required energy storage capacity. And this would generate a gross increase in energy consumption simply by virtue of the fact that energy storage is imperfect; over the course of charging and discharging batteries you lose some energy to heat, and you also then have to consume energy to keep the batteries cool.


I don't think it can reasonably be asserted with any level of confidence whether the impact on overall nationwide energy consumption of switching to standard time in the summer would be positive, negative, or a wash. There are too many different variables involved.
Even if we were to empirically try it, there are going to be confounding variables that cannot be fully controlled for.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: bandit957 on November 05, 2019, 08:35:07 AM
Is there a website where you can type in your location and it gives the actual natural time?
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: GaryV on November 05, 2019, 10:01:47 AM
Is there a website where you can type in your location and it gives the actual natural time?
Search for the naval observatory.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: tradephoric on November 05, 2019, 11:22:23 AM
I don't see how DST would save any energy at all in the winter.  Yes, you'd have natural light for another evening hour, but you'd also lose natural light for a morning hour.  Most people do not wait until 8:30 AM to roll out of bed because we work for a living, and that's in the eastern half of a time zone - in the western half, sunrise wouldn't be until 9:30!

Read page 3 of this U.S. Department of Energy report if you want to see how relatively small increases in energy consumption during the morning was more than offset by large decreases in energy consumption during the evening when DST was extended (EDST). 

https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/05/f22/epact_sec_110_edst_report_to_congress_2008.pdf

Also few people living along the extreme western edge of a timezone would experience 9:30AM or later sunrises during the winter.  The only areas along the extreme western edge of a timezone that would experience sunrises at 9:30AM or later under permanent DST would be sparsely populated areas of the Upper Peninsula, North Dakota, and Montana.

Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: kalvado on November 05, 2019, 11:32:57 AM
Is there a website where you can type in your location and it gives the actual natural time?
Not absolutely exact, but you may use https://www.timeanddate.com with your location.  Last column you will see  is "solar noon", you want it to be 12.00 for natural time.
Since solar noon drifts with time of year, you actually want it to be 11.43 today (largest deviation throughout the year). Any deviation between 11.43 and whatever you get in the last column is your offset from ideal
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: GaryV on November 05, 2019, 12:47:37 PM
The study cited a couple posts above was from when DST was extended into early March and to the first week of November.  It doesn't cover the winter.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: michravera on November 05, 2019, 01:18:25 PM
OK, it's just hard to separate time zones from DST.  If this map assumes we stay on the current DST system, i really hate this map.  It would put Detroit in Central time meaning the sun would set at 4:02PM during the winter solstice.  I thought 5:02PM sunsets was bad enough in the winter but 4:02PM sounds horrible.

(https://i.imgur.com/GSumlqQ.png)

I would love to see a timezone map that showed zones with blending colors on adjacent time zones that showed the following basic criteria:

Sun never rises after 7:29 (or no nautical darkness after 6:45)
Sun never sets before 16:31 (or no nautical darkness before 17:15)
Sun is never overhead before 11:14
Sun is never overhead after 12:46

It may be hard farther north to avoid both rises after 7:29 (and nautical darkness after 6:45) and sets before 16:31 (or nautical darkeness before 17:15), but the map should show the section where that is impossible in a whitened color of the best fit while placing it on a time zone that avoids such failure for the longest portion of the year.
Areas that could be part of two time zones and meet all 4 basic criteria should be in a blended color (maybe something special, if they could be part of three).
There may be some boroughs in Alaska and counties in Canada's northern areas that are too large to keep on one time zone under my criteria. If so, do your best, but otherwise whole counties should stay on one zone. Media markets and urban affinity can be considered, but can not override the four basic criteria.


Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: webny99 on November 05, 2019, 01:39:47 PM
Let's get back to time zones.

Time zones and DST are inseparable, as we're finding out.
I wonder if this will be the first of many "DST in disguise" threads we'll have over the next few years.

Case in point:
Given approximately 9 hours of daylight during the winter, 7-8AM sunrise and 4-5PM sunset is optimal. Thus: the span of each time zone.Technically, properly aligning the time zones according to the above would not be related to DST, since we're on standard time in the winter. However, when we have DST lasting so late in the year that sunrises were later last week than they will be on the winter solstice, we have a major problem, and everything we just solved gets messed up come mid-October. Unacceptable.

Now, as a guide, the places that have an even 9 hours of winter daylight are roughly on/near the 43rd parallel.
(Edited to add: the above may have answered part of michravera's inquiry as to where it isn't possible to have pre-7:30 sunrise AND post-4:30 sunset. Not quite possible here, as we have 8:59 of daylight on the winter solstice! Interestingly, Syracuse has almost exactly your requirement (7:30 sunrise, 4:30 sunset). So, depending on your theory, Syracuse should either be the midpoint or the western boundary of EST. I'd prefer midpoint!)

So, there's the guidelines: now make the time zones.  ;-)
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: 1 on November 05, 2019, 01:41:55 PM
When we run into another dzlsabe-type thread, should we start talking about DST to force a lock?
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: tradephoric on November 05, 2019, 01:49:38 PM
The study cited a couple posts above was from when DST was extended into early March and to the first week of November.  It doesn't cover the winter.

Yes, that study only analyzed the extended DST.  But just think, during the winter people need heat and light right?  Maximizing the amount of time the sun can provide these two necessities while Americans are awake during the winter should help reduce energy costs.  Anybody who disagrees with this would have to argue one of these 3 points.

1.  Permanent DST doesn't maximize Americans waking hours of daylight during the winter.
2.  The sun doesn't provide natural heat and light.
3.  Americans don't turn down their thermostats or tun off the lights when they go to bed.

Perhaps with more waking hours of light in the evening, people will go out more during the winter and there would be an increase in fuel consumption.  But the business community probably won't mind if people are out and about an hour longer during the winter spending their money at shops and restaurants.  What a horrible thing.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: 1 on November 05, 2019, 01:51:45 PM
The study cited a couple posts above was from when DST was extended into early March and to the first week of November.  It doesn't cover the winter.

Yes, that study only analyzed the extended DST.  But just think, during the winter people need heat and light right?  Maximizing the amount of time the sun can provide these two necessities while Americans are awake during the winter should help reduce energy costs.  Anybody who disagrees with this would have to argue one of these 3 points.

1.  Permanent DST doesn't maximize Americans waking hours of daylight during the winter.
2.  The sun doesn't provide natural heat and light.
3.  Americans don't turn down their thermostats or tun off the lights when they go to bed.

Perhaps with more waking hours of light in the evening, people will go out more during the winter and there would be an increase in fuel consumption.  But the business community probably won't mind if people are out and about an hour longer during the winter spending their money at shops and restaurants.  What a horrible thing.

"Waking hours of daylight" is not what we are trying to maximize. The body naturally wakes up after it gets light and goes to bed after it gets dark.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: tradephoric on November 05, 2019, 02:00:55 PM
"Waking hours of daylight" is not what we are trying to maximize. The body naturally wakes up after it gets light and goes to bed after it gets dark.

In American society, people go to bed after they know who won the super bowl.  It doesn't matter if the sun set 3 hours or 4 hours prior to the conclusion of the big game.  Only after the big game do Americans go to bed.  Yet the kids still got to be at school the next day by 7:30AM, leaving it  impossible for them to get the recommended amount of sleep their developing brains need and still make it to school on time.  In this country our kids are destined to fall into two categories...

1.  Social outcasts who don't know who Tom Brady is.
2.  Mushed brained kids who watch the super bowl but don't get enough sleep.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: 1 on November 05, 2019, 02:03:40 PM
"Waking hours of daylight" is not what we are trying to maximize. The body naturally wakes up after it gets light and goes to bed after it gets dark.

In American society, people go to bed after they know who won the super bowl.  It doesn't matter if the sun set 3 hours or 4 hours prior to the conclusion of the big game.  Only after the big game do Americans go to bed.  Yet the kids still got to be at school the next day by 7:30AM, leaving it  impossible for them to get the recommended amount of sleep their developing brains need and still make it to school on time.  In this country our kids are destined to fall into two categories...

1.  Social outcasts who don't know who Tom Brady is.
2.  Mushed brained kids who watch the super bowl but don't get enough sleep.

That's one day a year. Also, DST would not change either the Super Bowl time or the school starting time, nor would shifting every time zone by one hour.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: renegade on November 05, 2019, 02:07:36 PM
When we run into another dzlsabe-type thread, should we start talking about DST to force a lock?
We are already there.  This is another thread that should have been locked an hour ago.   :sombrero:
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: webny99 on November 05, 2019, 02:13:39 PM
[quote author=tradephoric In this country our kids are destined to fall into two categories...

1.  Social outcasts who don't know who Tom Brady is.
2.  Mushed brained kids who watch the super bowl but don't get enough sleep.

I'm not a kid anymore... but when I was, I didn't fall into either of those categories, because I knew who Tom Brady was, but didn't watch the Super Bowl. I very well could  have been lacking sleep, but for different reasons.

However, I don't think the Super Bowl is of any relevance to this discussion. Saying we should go to permanent DST because of the Super Bowl is like saying the Thruway should be widened for Bills games, except 8 times more ridiculous*. There are many powerful and convincing arguments for making changes to DST, but the first Sunday in February is not one of them. Not even close.


*There are 8 Bills games per year, and only Super Bowl.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: kalvado on November 05, 2019, 02:21:24 PM
(Edited to add: the above may have answered part of michravera's inquiry as to where it isn't possible to have pre-7:30 sunrise AND post-4:30 sunset. Not quite possible here, as we have 8:59 of daylight on the winter solstice! Interestingly, Syracuse has almost exactly your requirement (7:30 sunrise, 4:30 sunset). So, depending on your theory, Syracuse should either be the midpoint or the western boundary of EST. I'd prefer midpoint!)
7.30a sunrize - 4.30p sunset requires 10 hours of daylight for uniform implementation.
That is, at the edge of time zone you should go from 7.30a-5.30p to 6.30a-4.30p daylight. Of course, assuming 1 hour steps.
And for reference - Atlanta has the shortest day of 9.54...
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: tradephoric on November 05, 2019, 02:47:52 PM
However, I don't think the Super Bowl is of any relevance to this discussion. Saying we should go to permanent DST because of the Super Bowl is like saying the Thruway should be widened for Bills games, except 8 times more ridiculous*. There are many powerful and convincing arguments for making changes to DST, but the first Sunday in February is not one of them. Not even close.
*There are 8 Bills games per year, and only Super Bowl.

It's not just the super bowl obviously. The weekend after the super bowl you got the Oscars.  The next weekend there will be some other awards show the kid wants to watch.  Even if the kid wants to go to bed, the parents are probably watching their favorite prime-time TV show or late local news or late night monologue... with the TV blaring in the living room as the kid is trying to fall asleep.  The point is there are so many social norms in this country that dictate when Americans decide to go to bed and it's not based when the sun sets.  If these nightly social norms don't change (ie. the super bowl is always the same time) then our morning social norms should (ie. school start times). 
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: jeffandnicole on November 05, 2019, 02:51:56 PM
However, I don't think the Super Bowl is of any relevance to this discussion. Saying we should go to permanent DST because of the Super Bowl is like saying the Thruway should be widened for Bills games, except 8 times more ridiculous*. There are many powerful and convincing arguments for making changes to DST, but the first Sunday in February is not one of them. Not even close.
*There are 8 Bills games per year, and only Super Bowl.

It's not just the super bowl obviously. The weekend after the super bowl you got the Oscars.  The next weekend there will be some other awards show the kid wants to watch.  Even if the kid wants to go to bed, the parents are probably watching their favorite prime-time TV show or late local news or late night monologue... with the TV blaring in the living room as the kid is trying to fall asleep.  The point is there are so many social norms in this country that dictate when Americans decide to go to bed and it's not based when the sun sets.  If these nightly social norms don't change (ie. the super bowl is always the same time) then our morning social norms should (ie. school start times). 

Being that social norms went from TV stations signing off to TV stations being on all night, and from early morning news starting earlier and earlier, these social norms you speak of aren't in line with what most people believe.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: US 89 on November 05, 2019, 04:14:28 PM
In American Eastern Time society, people go to bed after they know who won the super bowl.

FTFY.
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: kphoger on November 05, 2019, 04:38:06 PM

It seems to me that DST benefits northern areas more than it benefits southern areas, so maybe aiming for perpendicular-ish time zone boundaries isn't what's needed.  Maybe they should follow more of a diagonal.

Interesting idea. The only Google reference I can find to "diagonal time zones" is this article from the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba (https://www.gov.mb.ca/legislature/hansard/27th_1st/hansardpdf/78.pdf), dated 1963. Go to page 1953, where MLA Gildas Molgat proposes a new way of looking at time zones; much of the PDF is about the discussion of extending DST.

Quote from: Gildas Molgat, CD
We had originally introduced the motion in the House recommending what we felt was a reasonable compromise on this matter, and I appreciate that it is a question of compromise because you're not going to please everyone whichever way you go at it. It seems to me really that what is required in the long run is a new look at our time zones. I think the time zones were set up many years ago in different circumstances, and also that they do not necessarily apply the further north you go, because the facts are that in the southern regions, let's say in the southern part of the United States, in mid -summer the days are not as long as our own days are, and while a time zone may be applicable there to extend the time zones, as we do on a straight north-south line, means that in effect they are not in keeping with what the sun actually is doing and that they have a different effect at the southern fringe of the time zone than they have at the northern fringe of that time zone. It seems to me what is really required to settle this is to have our time zones actually on a slanted basis, and that this would permit then for a proper relationship. Now this sounds odd, I appreciate, but it is in fact what the sun does. My honourable friend from Thompson can certainly vouch for that because in mid -summer he has an extremely long day up there by comparison even to ourselves, so I would suggest that what is needed in the long run is a review of this right across the country and an analysis of whether we wouldn't be better off to change our time zones completely and have a new basis applicable more in keeping with what the sun is doing. I still prefer the compromise in this particular case that we had suggested originally.

Basically, you're not the first to think of this!

In general, it is nations and states that are far from the equator that use DST, though there are exceptions to that rule.  Note that, for residents in Tucson (no DST), having extra time in the middle of the summer to spend outside in the afternoon isn't exactly as appealing of a thing as it is for residents of Saskatoon (effectively permanent DST).
Title: Re: Fixing the US's time zones
Post by: Scott5114 on November 05, 2019, 04:54:26 PM
Since this has become a backdoor DST thread, this thread is now observing (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/Themes/Button_Copy/images/icons/quick_lock.gif)ST.