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Author Topic: Suggestion for Regional Boards  (Read 8745 times)

webny99

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Suggestion for Regional Boards
« on: March 03, 2022, 10:35:20 PM »

Not sure if this has ever been proposed before, but wondering about combining the states that are currently "split" between different regional boards into a single board. For example, western New York is currently listed under Midwest-Great Lakes, but everyone pretty much knows that 99% of discussion about New York is in the Northeast board and would never think to check Midwest-Great Lakes. Same with PA, although there is some discussion of SW PA there.

It could look something like this:

Northeast - CT, ME, MA, NJ, NH, NY, PA, RI, VT
Mid-Atlantic - DE, MD, VA, WV
Southeast - AL, FL, GA, NC, SC
Midwest-Great Lakes - MI, MN, IL, IN, OH, WI
Mid-South - AR, KY, MS, TN, TX
Central-Great Plains - IA, KS, OK, MO, NE, ND, SD

The other regional boards not listed here don't currently have any split states. This proposal would eliminate Ohio Valley, but if that wouldn't work, you could pull WV, KY, TN, and possibly IN and OH from the boards where they're listed above.

And secondly, would it be possible to pin the general thread for each state within its respective board, as is done in the Northwest, Pacific Southwest and Mountain West boards? (This is especially pertinent for the Southeast board, where only Georgia has been pinned.)
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2022, 10:42:06 PM »

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=10379.0

Anyways, I think with how established the forum is, it's pretty hard to move a big number of threads from its old board with a new system. Though I agree that the Ohio Valley board is the culprit of part of the mess that exists. And it's not that the regional boards are heavily enforced to the smallest detail anyways. Plenty of times I posted Cincinnati stuff in the general Ohio thread in the Midwest board because it's more active there.

And secondly, would it be possible to pin the general thread for each state within its respective board, as is done in the Northwest, Pacific Southwest and Mountain West boards? (This is especially pertinent for the Southeast board, where only Georgia has been pinned.)
Yea, that would be a good idea.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2022, 10:45:22 PM by SkyPesos »
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webny99

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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2022, 07:32:01 AM »

Anyways, I think with how established the forum is, it's pretty hard to move a big number of threads from its old board with a new system.

I'm not sure any threads would need to be moved, aside from maybe a couple. All that would really have to be done is just changing the board descriptions.
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2022, 07:35:14 AM »

For Indiana, nearly all threads are in the Midwest-Great Lakes forum anyway. The only thread that went into the Ohio Valley forum was the I-265 Ohio River bridge thread.
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2022, 09:59:32 AM »

Anyways, I think with how established the forum is, it's pretty hard to move a big number of threads from its old board with a new system.
I'm not sure any threads would need to be moved, aside from maybe a couple. All that would really have to be done is just changing the board descriptions.
Well, all the Ohio Valley threads have to be moved if we’re getting rid of that board. That’s 459 threads already.

For Indiana, nearly all threads are in the Midwest-Great Lakes forum anyway. The only thread that went into the Ohio Valley forum was the I-265 Ohio River bridge thread.
Also the I-69 thread, a big one.
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2022, 10:25:09 AM »

I think at this point, most people are pretty accustomed to which boards are which, but I wouldn't be opposed to some clarification in the board descriptions. Also, I had to double check that western New York was apart of the "Midwest - Great Lakes" board. I don't think I have ever seen an NY thread there. That should be axed.

I do fully support pinning the "x-state Notes" threads on the boards so they are always easy to find right on top.
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2022, 10:35:54 AM »

The only regional board I'd change is Pacific Southwest, which should just be called "California" Most of the posts are related to California and this includes the general "California" catch all thread. Nevada would go to Mountain West and Hawaii could go with Alaska. I also agree that the state threads should all be pinned. In the Southeast board, it never made sense to me that the general "Georgia" thread is pinned, but the others aren't.
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2022, 01:35:05 PM »

This gets mentioned occasionally, and the consensus is generally to just leave things the way they are.

The thing that bugs me about the Ohio Valley board is how so much stuff from Ohio and Indiana gets posted in the wrong region.

Everything about Columbus and Indianapolis belongs in the Ohio Valley section, not the Great Lakes section. I'm not wrong. Simple water drainage factors are the proof.
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2022, 01:41:42 PM »

This gets mentioned occasionally, and the consensus is generally to just leave things the way they are.

The thing that bugs me about the Ohio Valley board is how so much stuff from Ohio and Indiana gets posted in the wrong region.

Everything about Columbus and Indianapolis belongs in the Ohio Valley section, not the Great Lakes section. I'm not wrong. Simple water drainage factors are the proof.

If we went strictly by water drainage, the Ohio Valley section would get within a few miles of South Bend, and nobody would consider that area to be part of the Ohio Valley.
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2022, 02:19:32 PM »

I think that when originally implementing the regional boards, the states should have been grouped by US Census designation (South Atlantic is FL-GA-SC-NC-VA-WV-DC-MD-DE, West South Central is TX-LA-AR-OK, etc) although some regions could have been given different names. (Reference https://www2.census.gov/geo/pdfs/maps-data/maps/reference/us_regdiv.pdf )

They don't necessarily need to be changed now, but certain minor changes could be made for the areas where users are posting in the "wrong" board such as discussed above.
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2022, 03:09:19 PM »

This gets mentioned occasionally, and the consensus is generally to just leave things the way they are.

I'm basically boiling this down to just removing the partial states from the board descriptions and pinning all the state threads. That seems like a pretty easy, minor change that would bring a lot more clarity to the regional boards.


]
The thing that bugs me about the Ohio Valley board is how so much stuff from Ohio and Indiana gets posted in the wrong region.

Everything about Columbus and Indianapolis belongs in the Ohio Valley section, not the Great Lakes section. I'm not wrong. Simple water drainage factors are the proof.

Regardless of the technical definition of Ohio Valley, content from one state in two different boards is the problem, so I think everything from those states should go in a single board. I don't really care which one, just as long as they're not split.
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2022, 06:14:59 PM »

I think that when originally implementing the regional boards, the states should have been grouped by US Census designation (South Atlantic is FL-GA-SC-NC-VA-WV-DC-MD-DE, West South Central is TX-LA-AR-OK, etc) although some regions could have been given different names.

The problem is that those are stupid. The only state in West South Central that Oklahoma has much in common with is Texas; Lousiana is practically an entirely different planet. We have far more in common with Kansas and Missouri than we do Louisiana. South Atlantic is far too large; any categorization that puts Delaware in the same category as Florida and Georgia is suspect.

And secondly, would it be possible to pin the general thread for each state within its respective board, as is done in the Northwest, Pacific Southwest and Mountain West boards? (This is especially pertinent for the Southeast board, where only Georgia has been pinned.)

I'm still adamant that the general threads shouldn't even exist. Breaking them into smaller threads is much tidier since you don't have multiple conversations interleaved and cross-pollinating and periodically getting revived when someone reads 5 pages back. It also means that old discussions can peacefully sink onto page 2 and further back. I would much rather have a thread where a question is posted, then an answer, then it goes away, than having that exchange tucked into a 1,078-page thread where four disparate conversations are going on at any given time.

But I'm apparently the only one who feels that way.
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webny99

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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2022, 06:38:59 PM »

I think that when originally implementing the regional boards, the states should have been grouped by US Census designation (South Atlantic is FL-GA-SC-NC-VA-WV-DC-MD-DE, West South Central is TX-LA-AR-OK, etc) although some regions could have been given different names.

The problem is that those are stupid. The only state in West South Central that Oklahoma has much in common with is Texas; Lousiana is practically an entirely different planet. We have far more in common with Kansas and Missouri than we do Louisiana. South Atlantic is far too large; any categorization that puts Delaware in the same category as Florida and Georgia is suspect.

I agree those aren't the greatest definitions. I don't have an issue with the regional boards we have other than the split states, so I guess the question would be, looking at the states that are split (IN, LA, MS, MN, NY, OH, PA, TN), can all of those be realistically assigned to just one board? If the answer is yes, there doesn't seem to be any drawback to doing so. It's certainly yes for New York, but I can't speak as well on the other states.


And secondly, would it be possible to pin the general thread for each state within its respective board, as is done in the Northwest, Pacific Southwest and Mountain West boards? (This is especially pertinent for the Southeast board, where only Georgia has been pinned.)

I'm still adamant that the general threads shouldn't even exist. Breaking them into smaller threads is much tidier since you don't have multiple conversations interleaved and cross-pollinating and periodically getting revived when someone reads 5 pages back. It also means that old discussions can peacefully sink onto page 2 and further back. I would much rather have a thread where a question is posted, then an answer, then it goes away, than having that exchange tucked into a 1,078-page thread where four disparate conversations are going on at any given time.

But I'm apparently the only one who feels that way.

Interesting. I can totally see your point, as sometimes the general threads can have a lot going on. I guess the other side of it is that we already do have separate threads for a lot of general questions, major projects etc., so a good portion of the discussion in the general threads might simply not occur if the thread didn't exist. I know there's been questions I've had that I put in the general thread that I didn't feel warranted their own thread.

What about more frequent splitting from those threads, for example, if a question generates 10+ replies, splitting it into its own thread?
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2022, 06:47:44 PM »

Mods aren't nitpicking about this anyway. Because 95%+ of Minnesota discussion falls into the Great Lakes subsection since 80% of the state's population lives in the eastern half of the state, there's really no reason to farm out the oddball interesting Moorhead project to the other board.

However, if it interests you you can see how painstakingly vtk divided Ohio with justifications about why she chose the lines she did.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2022, 06:50:46 PM by TheHighwayMan394 »
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2022, 07:05:37 PM »

And secondly, would it be possible to pin the general thread for each state within its respective board, as is done in the Northwest, Pacific Southwest and Mountain West boards? (This is especially pertinent for the Southeast board, where only Georgia has been pinned.)

I'm still adamant that the general threads shouldn't even exist. Breaking them into smaller threads is much tidier since you don't have multiple conversations interleaved and cross-pollinating and periodically getting revived when someone reads 5 pages back. It also means that old discussions can peacefully sink onto page 2 and further back. I would much rather have a thread where a question is posted, then an answer, then it goes away, than having that exchange tucked into a 1,078-page thread where four disparate conversations are going on at any given time.

But I'm apparently the only one who feels that way.

Interesting. I can totally see your point, as sometimes the general threads can have a lot going on. I guess the other side of it is that we already do have separate threads for a lot of general questions, major projects etc., so a good portion of the discussion in the general threads might simply not occur if the thread didn't exist. I know there's been questions I've had that I put in the general thread that I didn't feel warranted their own thread.

My philosophy is that if the topic is distinct enough you can write an unambiguous title for it, it doesn't duplicate another thread, and it's something someone might actually be able to have a discussion about (i.e. it's not something that only the person posting it will care about), it warrants its own thread. Not every thread will reach multiple pages and that's perfectly fine.

From an admin standpoint, merging threads is far easier than splitting them (merging is "select merge target, choose which title the new thread will use and which board it will be in, execute", while splitting a thread can devolve into basically going over the thread and selecting posts one-by-one to split out). If for no other reason than that, I'd prefer erring on the side of smaller threads.

Quote
What about more frequent splitting from those threads, for example, if a question generates 10+ replies, splitting it into its own thread?

The problem is that, as mentioned above, thread splitting can get pretty tedious, especially if it's not a clean "split off everything after this point". If there are two or three lines of conversation going on in one thread, it gets messy. This is especially true if a user makes a single post responding to two different users on two different lines of conversation, as happens sometimes. There is no software mechanism for splitting an individual post in half or duplicating a post and keeping the correct authorship information on it, so the mod can only choose whether that post belongs in thread A or B, and hope that nobody replies to the off-topic half of the post in the wrong thread.
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2022, 08:47:53 PM »

If we went strictly by water drainage, the Ohio Valley section would get within a few miles of South Bend, and nobody would consider that area to be part of the Ohio Valley.

Excellent point. As a matter of fact, creeks that enter St. John and Crown Point in Lake County also don't drain into the Great Lakes.

Regardless of the technical definition of Ohio Valley, content from one state in two different boards is the problem, so I think everything from those states should go in a single board. I don't really care which one, just as long as they're not split.

I agree that the states split between two boards is a very confusing and sub-optimal situation. It has been a problem all along. As far as not caring which board, I disagree. Despite clear regional differences within states like Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, they are all Great Lakes states - I have nothing whatsoever against southern states, but these states are northern states.

The Ohio River Valley board is the only one that is defined by a river valley which seems weird and somewhat arbitrary. The boundary between the areas is vague and subjective as proven by the different interpretations in this thread.
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2022, 08:32:32 AM »

Despite clear regional differences within states like Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, they are all Great Lakes states - I have nothing whatsoever against southern states, but these states are northern states.

I remember this exchange a few years ago, but I can't find it with a search.

Someone else: All of Kentucky belongs in the South.
Me: Is there really that much of a difference when you cross the river into Cincinnati?
Same person: No, Cincinnati has more in common with the South than what's typically thought of as the Midwest.
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2022, 06:50:14 PM »

Despite clear regional differences within states like Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, they are all Great Lakes states - I have nothing whatsoever against southern states, but these states are northern states.

I remember this exchange a few years ago, but I can't find it with a search.

Someone else: All of Kentucky belongs in the South.
Me: Is there really that much of a difference when you cross the river into Cincinnati?
Same person: No, Cincinnati has more in common with the South than what's typically thought of as the Midwest.

Actually, most people in Kentucky think that the people who are in the three northernmost counties have more in common with the Midwest than the South.

Very much the same for Louisville.

But in reality, very little of Kentucky is what I call "southern." It's more of an Appalachian state than anything else.
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2022, 06:56:21 PM »

Despite clear regional differences within states like Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, they are all Great Lakes states - I have nothing whatsoever against southern states, but these states are northern states.

I remember this exchange a few years ago, but I can't find it with a search.

Someone else: All of Kentucky belongs in the South.
Me: Is there really that much of a difference when you cross the river into Cincinnati?
Same person: No, Cincinnati has more in common with the South than what's typically thought of as the Midwest.

Actually, most people in Kentucky think that the people who are in the three northernmost counties have more in common with the Midwest than the South.

Very much the same for Louisville.

But in reality, very little of Kentucky is what I call "southern." It's more of an Appalachian state than anything else.

The I-24 corridor felt pretty southern to me when I drove through there this past summer, but that might be too far west to get any Appalachian feel to it.

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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2022, 06:56:47 PM »



Despite clear regional differences within states like Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, they are all Great Lakes states - I have nothing whatsoever against southern states, but these states are northern states.

I remember this exchange a few years ago, but I can't find it with a search.

Someone else: All of Kentucky belongs in the South.
Me: Is there really that much of a difference when you cross the river into Cincinnati?
Same person: No, Cincinnati has more in common with the South than what's typically thought of as the Midwest.

Actually, most people in Kentucky think that the people who are in the three northernmost counties have more in common with the Midwest than the South.

Very much the same for Louisville.

But in reality, very little of Kentucky is what I call "southern." It's more of an Appalachian state than anything else.

My mother considers herself a Southerner and from Appalachia, despite being born in WV and growing up in Floyd County, KY.

The complications from the Civil War alignments persist. :D

That said, when she talks about "Eastern Kentucky," the line is very far to the southeast.  She doesn't consider Lexington to be Eastern KY, for example, but "Horse Country" and the like.

What is interesting is that she and my relatives do think they have more in common with Louisville than Cincinnati.  The connection to Huntington and Charleston also is strong (main TV stations came from Huntington when I was a kid).
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2022, 05:17:16 PM »

We've talked about this before.
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2022, 06:54:15 PM »

We've talked about this before.
Thank you for reviving a thread after a week to tell us.
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2022, 07:17:56 PM »

The only regional board I'd change is Pacific Southwest, which should just be called "California" Most of the posts are related to California and this includes the general "California" catch all thread. Nevada would go to Mountain West and Hawaii could go with Alaska. I also agree that the state threads should all be pinned. In the Southeast board, it never made sense to me that the general "Georgia" thread is pinned, but the others aren't.
Most of the population in Nevada is more tied to California than the Mountain West. Las Vegas and Reno/Tahoe are almost extensions of California with lower taxes. I guess Nevada could be split so the few projects that occur east from Winnemucca could be added to the Mountain West. But then Nevada would be dealing with the same problems as Minnesota and Ohio.
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2022, 10:21:58 AM »

I accidentally happened to notice how Pennsylvania is divided into three boards, but only two of them have descriptions about which part of P-A is included in that board. Northeast seems to encompass the entire state, while portions are subdivided into Midwest-Great Lakes and Ohio Valley.

Perhaps adding "eastern" to "Pennsylvania" in the Northeast board would help in terms of geographical accuracy.

For that matter, part of Penna could go in Mid-Atlantic. After all, Breezewood is certainly not in the northeast, or is it in the midwest nor the Ohio Valley.
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Re: Suggestion for Regional Boards
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2022, 10:48:40 AM »

It amazes me that people care that much about the little details of how the regional boards are organized.

 


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