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54 Standardized Procedures for Personal Travel Surveys combination of both, are really appropriate for modeling purposes and for the decisions to be made from data and subsequent models. Whether this is an appropriate item for standardized procedures is somewhat questionable although it would appear that guidance would, at least, be appropriate on this issue. The extent to which travel differs during holiday periods and at certain times of the year is not entirely clear. If travel is significantly different during these times then it may be appropriate to avoid these periods in the interests of ensuring comparability among surveys. To the extent that is it possible to obtain data, it would be worthwhile to examine the effect of such time periods on survey findings and determine whether they present a problem in relation to the usual goals of household travel sur- veys. While guidelines may suggest periods that should be avoided during data collection, they may, on the other hand, recommend that no period needs to be excluded. There is a real question as to whether this issue of "atypical travel" is appropriate and whether the exclusion of certain days will result in serious biases in survey findings and transport models. 4.2.6 I-3: Collection of In-Home Activities While there appears to be general agreement among most travel-demand modelers that more detail needs to be collected about in-home activities, many agencies avoid collecting in-home infor- mation based on the perception or expectation that it would reduce response rates and lead to (greater) incompleteness of data. There are fears of how the public would react to a transportation agency asking questions about what people do in their homes. As a result, most surveys do not ask about in-home activities or ask only about work at home and everything else at home. The per- ceptions associated with this issue have never been proved in any structured test. It would be worth- while, in our opinion, to conduct a side-by-side survey in which some respondents are asked for full details of in-home activities while others are asked only for abbreviated data on working at home and everything else. When information is collected on in-home activities, there are great inconsistencies in the level of detail of information that is obtained. For example, the Oregon and Southwest Washington household travel survey, which attempted to collect detailed in-home data, set a minimum time of 30 minutes for an activity to be reported in detail. Another strategy, used in the Baton Rouge Area Household Time-Use Survey (Stopher and Wilmot, 2001) was to instruct people to use "Other at Home" to designate any personal and intimate activities that they do not wish to report on in detail. While both of these approaches are valid, there appears to be significant potential for consistency in this area. It is recommended that recent activity surveys be examined to evaluate the different options that have been used to collect in-home activities, (e.g., time limit in Portland and the min- imal description of in-home activities in DallasFort Worth). The usefulness of the activity data that resulted from these alternative procedures should be evaluated before any standardized pro- cedures are suggested. It may also be useful to examine recent surveys for additional evidence as to whether requests for this detail appear to have had impacts on response rates. The literature on time use (Robinson, 1977 and 1991; Robinson and Godbey, 1997) should also be helpful in this regard because this is presumably an issue that has been faced and dealt with in time-use surveys in sociology and psychology. 4.2.7 I-4: Ordering of Questions The ordering of questions can be crucial in obtaining good responses in a survey. Although lit- tle empirical research has been done on the ordering of questions, there are a few basic principles that are considered good practice in most survey settings. Sensitive questions--income, race, etc.--are generally placed as near to the end of the survey as practicable to minimize the potential of non-response. "Fun" questions, particularly those that ask respondents for their opinion on a