Sunday, September 05, 2010

Help restore Indiana to central time zone

I just sent the following message to my Indiana legislators and encourage others who would like to see Indiana restored to its natural time zone to do likewise.

From: Bill Starr
To: Senator Greg Walker; Representative Sean Eberhart
Cc: Representative Eric Allan Koch; Representative Milo Smith; Representative Phil Hinkle; BCSC Superintendent John Quick
Sent: Sun, September 5, 2010 6:14:20 PM
Subject: Help restore Indiana to central time zone

I want to encourage you to support measures to help restore Indiana to the central time zone.

One practical way to do this would be to support the resolution which Representative Phil Hinkle plans to introduce in the 2011 session to request the U.S. DOT to restore Indiana to its geographically correct time zone, as we were until 1961.

While a handful of sparsely-populated counties in southeast Indiana will probably continue observing the same time as Cincinnati and Louisville no matter what the rest of the state does, we could at least see the remaining 95% of the state restored to a single time zone once again.

Besides more equitably balancing the available daylight between those who prefer more light in the evenings and those who prefer more in the mornings, returning to central time also has the potential to improve morning safety and alertness for school children.

I noticed last Tuesday (August 31) that the school bus goes by our house at 6:37 am. Sunrise in Columbus that day was 7:11 am, so pickup time was prior to civil twilight and it was already quite dark out, and only getting worse as the fall progresses.

With DST, the natural sunrise time at Columbus latitude that day is about 6:28 am (e.g., see Philadelphia or St. Louis at the middle of the eastern and central time zones respectively).

On central time, the sunrise in Columbus Tuesday would have been 6:11 am, a lot closer to 6:28 am than 7:11 am is.

Central time would give Indiana school children a lot more days of waiting for the bus and walking to school in daylight rather than darkness.

And as long as Indiana continues observing DST with the rest of the country, the impact on business of switching from eastern back to central time is likely to be minimal, if not actually positive.

Thank you for your service to the citizens of Indiana.

Bill Starr
Columbus, Indiana
Sun, 5 Sep 2010, 6:14 pm EDT