Survey Away?

Does anyone else think it’s a bit suspicious that there’s so much traffic on the roads right now? I mean this in light of the fact that ‘staying at home’ is the number one activity most people are meant to be focusing on at the moment. It’s not that there are that many cars – less than usual, in fact – but it feels like there are more out and about than there ought to be.

There’s only so many times any given person needs to go out for supplies each week, surely… so where are all these cars going? Are they circling around the neighbourhood like so many time-looped ghost cars, setting a new bar for the concept of Australian Gothic? Or are they just taking in the scenery, to shake up the view from their home window? If that’s the case, maybe it’s fair to say that people consider their cars an extension of their homes, which kind of makes sense.

I’m thinking I might conduct some kind of survey on the topic, despite not being any kind of professional traffic engineer. Working within Melbourne, I’ll make my way across key areas that seem to be experiencing high numbers of road users, and randomly stop people to ask them where they’re going. It’s not all that scientific, I know. But like I said, I’m no engineer – just a regular Joe looking to understand what’s up and keep myself busy.

The main problem I foresee with this approach to conducting a traffic survey is that not many people are likely to want to stop and talk to me, especially under the current circumstances. Ergo, the ones who do stop may be of the higher risk-taking persuasion, or simply have more time on their hands, and the data I collect may be weirdly skewed as a result.

If only there was some way to get a less biased data pool. Maybe if I wore a high-visibility vest and brought some traffic cones with me? I don’t know. I should probably just leave it to suitably qualified traffic engineers.