This morning, I sat down at my computer excited to fill out a survey I had received over the weekend from the US Department of Transportation. They sent me both a postcard and a letter saying that they wanted my feedback about my “experiences traveling through the US-75 Corridor.” For those of you outside the Dallas Metroplex, US-75 is one of three main north-south running roads which brings drivers to and from downtown Dallas.
The FAQ states that the purpose of the survey is “to learn how Dallas area residents use US-75 as well as other roads and DART light rail in the corridor.”
I went to the website and entered the password they provided me. The first question asked was about how often I travelled the corridor during rush hour. The answer that best represented my usage was “Weekends only.” After I clicked next, I received the following page in reply:
In case you eyes are weakening like my it reads:
Thank you for your interest in this survey.
Unfortunately, we cannot invite you to participate further because this study focuses on the experiences of people who regularly travel on US-75 on weekdays.
If you would still like to provide feedback, please email comments to email@example.com.
So you see, they are not interesting in the opinion of Dallas area residents; they are interesting in the opinions of rush-hour travelers. My bet is that the results of this survey will be used to justify more public transit.
This is the way governments and so-called urban planners operate. They ask obvious questions to a carefully chosen demographic to get the answers they want. For example, this survey I am sure asks about the congestion on US-75 and asks if it would be better to have more light rail service.
I have emailed and asked for the complete set of questions, we will see if I am correct. If you are in the Dallas area, you might want to ask to participate in the survey, you can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.