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About This Study

Black and white photo of metro subway railThis study is composed of three surveys that the FHWA conducted in 2000.
Each survey measured public satisfaction from a slightly different perspective:

  • The Operations and Planning/Environment Survey studied the public's satisfaction and concerns with roadway transportation, recommendations for improvement, highway-related travel patterns and travel times, and the effects of transportation systems on communities.
  • The Infrastructure Survey was based on the 1995 NQI National Highway User S urvey. It looked at changes in the public's satisfaction with specific characteristics of the nation's roads. It also included questions focused on satisfaction from a community perspective.
  • The Federal Lands Highway Survey gathered customer feedback regarding access to and within Federal lands. The survey measured satisfaction with and the importance of a comprehensive set of roadway characteristics. The findings supplement other Federal Lands Highway measures.

Taken together, these surveys form a more complete picture of the public's satisfaction with the roadways and transportation in communities.

Survey Design and Administration

The FHWA designed and administered each survey to meet the specific needs of its sponsoring organization. For example:

  • The Operations and Planning/Environment Survey focused on establishing a baseline for traditional and emerging issues. A wide-ranging questionnaire was designed to assess nationwide perspectives on general highway operations, travel patterns, work zones, signals, accidents, congestion, and effects of transportation systems on communities.
  • The Infrastructure Survey consisted of two forms to manage survey length but still assess a wide variety of topics. One form compared satisfaction levels with the elements of the 1995 NQI National Highway User Survey; the other form assessed satisfaction from a community perspective. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics assisted in the design and administration of this survey.
  • The Federal Lands Highway Survey was conducted on-site with drivers at six National Parks and six National Forests to determine the gap between satisfaction and the importance of roadway characteristics.

The following table provides a more detailed description of how the FHWA designed and administered each survey.

Survey Design, Administration, and Sample

  Operations and Planning/Environment Survey Infrastructure Survey Federal Lands Highway Survey
Survey
Design

Participants were asked 29 survey questions and 15 screening/demographic questions.

Participants were asked 17 survey questions in Form A, 21 survey questions in Form b, and 21 screening/demographic questions. Participants were asked 9 survey questions and 8 deomographic questions.
Likert-scale,1 randomized multiple choice, and open-ended questions were used. Likert-scale and randomized multiple-choice questions were used. Liker-scale questions were used.
Survey Administration A Random Digit Dial (RDD) telephone survey was conducted with U.S. adults (aged 18 and older) between June 21 and July 1, 2000. CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview) technologies were used to enhance data collection and facilitate data coding and analysis. An RDD telephone survey was conducted with U.S. adults (aged 18 and older) between May 31 and June 25, 2000. CATI technologies were used to enhance data collection and facilitate data coding and analysis. Direct personal interviews were conducted at six National Parks and six National Forests between May 25 and August 29, 2000. Randomized versions of the questionnaire were used to eliminate response bias. Interviewers recorded responses in the field.
In each household called, the individual with the most recent birthday and over the age of 18 was selected to answer the survey questions. The participating household member was selected randomly from a list of the household members' initials. The driver of each participating traveling party was interviewed.
Average completion time was 24 minutes. Average completion time was 13 minutes. Interviews generally took 5 minutes or less.
Population Sampling A sample was selected to be representative of the nine Census Divisions. A sample was selected so that survey results could be used to make inferences about adults in the U.S. household population. The sample was based on the nine Census Divisions. Specific locations to conduct interviews were randomly selected from a list of locations that travelers visit for recreational activities. In addition, travelers were randomly selected according to the time they entered a specific location.
A sample size of 11,969 resulted in 2,057 completed surveys. This size produces a margin of error of 2%. A sample size of 9,089 resulted in 2,030 completed surveys. This produced a margin of error of 2%. A sample of a least 96 travelers was interviewed at each site. A total of 1,236 travelers were interviewed. This produced a margin of error of 3%.
The non-response rate was 27%. The non-response rate was 16%.

The non-response rate was less than 1%.

1A Likert-scale is a continuum of responses where the low end represents a negative response and the high end respresents a positive response.

Profile of Respondents

In each survey, the FHWA asked participants questions about themselves to create a profile of respondents. This information helped to determine satisfaction levels and the needs of particular population subgroups. The following table shows the profile of respondents for each of the three surveys conducted.

Survey Respondent Profile (percent)

  Population
Subgroup
Population
Estimate
Operations and
Planning/
Environment
Survey
Infrastructure
Survey
Federal Lands Highway Survey
Year  
1999
2000
2000
1995*
2000
Total   272,691,000 2,057 2,030 2,205 1,236
Gender and Age Male 49 48 41 49 72
Female 51 52 59 51 28
18-34 23 24 27 35 24
35-54 30 41 42 38 55
55+ 21 35 31 26 21
Residence by
Census Region
North East 19 19 21 15 8
Mid-West/North Central 23 23 24 27 13
South 35 35 34 35 30
West 23 23 21 23 42
Other-Int'l NA NA NA NA 7
Primary Trip and Vehicle Type Commute to/from
Work/School
  51 NA 30 NA
For Business   6 NA 14 4
Shopping/Errands   27 NA 26 NA
Recreation   11 NA 30 94
Other   5 NA 0 2
Car   65 67 66 21
Van   7 9 9 11
SUV   8 8 5 23
Truck   19 12 17 15
Oversized   NA NA NA 28
Other   0 3 3 2

*The 1995 study was conducted as the NQI National Highway User Survey.

NA=Not applicable.



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