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Author Topic: Fixing the US's time zones  (Read 6178 times)

US 89

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Fixing the US's time zones
« 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.



edit: updated map
« Last Edit: November 03, 2019, 08:48:20 PM by US 89 »
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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #1 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
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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #2 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.
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michravera

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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #3 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.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #4 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?
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oscar

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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #5 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.
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US 89

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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #6 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.
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oscar

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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #7 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.
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vdeane

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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #8 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.
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hbelkins

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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #9 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?
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renegade

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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #10 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.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2019, 06:19:58 PM by renegade »
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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #11 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.
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US 89

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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #12 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.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2019, 03:09:52 PM by US 89 »
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KeithE4Phx

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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #13 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.  :)
« Last Edit: November 02, 2019, 09:52:25 PM by KeithE4Phx »
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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #14 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:



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
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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #15 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!)
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US 89

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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #16 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.
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JKRhodes

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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #17 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
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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #18 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)
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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #19 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
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KEVIN_224

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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2019, 10:44:19 AM »

INDIANAPOLIS should be on Central time. Enough said. :)
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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #21 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!
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hbelkins

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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #22 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.
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mrsman

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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #23 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.



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.



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US 89

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Re: Fixing the US's time zones
« Reply #24 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).
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