Ditto, I stick mostly to Utah with a few forays into areas of neighboring states that I know. I like cleaning up small towns that have never been edited. When working highways, I won't touch construction outside my local area except as a response to an unlock request.
As to the locking situation, that is due to a change that occurred a few months ago where previously a level 3 AM could unlock anything locked by higher, thus previously most of us level 3 or higher locked everything we thought was working right because a local AM could unlock and fix as needed. That means there are a ton of locks out there that today under the current system we would not put in place. Also contributing to the problem is that lock levels get promoted with the User, so everything I locked as a level 3 is now locked at lev 5. Most of those locks I would choose to leave a 3. Waze has said they are looking at these issues but I can't recall rumors of how they plan to address it.
Nearly every CM agrees that the local knows the roads far better. But we've also all seen issues where someone signs up, immediately figures out how to request AM status and then starts messing things up. Some interchanges can take weeks or even months of tweaking to get them working right, and them some newbie comes through not liking the way it "looks" and "fixes" it undoing all the time and effort put in previously. Thus more locks are put into place at level 5, often at the request of local's who see the need to protect a working layout.
It goes both ways, it's both a help and a hinderance to the goal of a smoothly operating road network and nav app. We are aware of the concerns, and most fives and fours will not lock outside their local area unless asked to by a local AM.
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