Traffic counts

not really sure how to read this diagram…can someone explain? This is from NCARB’s practice exam.

Hi @potoczakhalle ! Thank you for your question.

While this diagram may appear overwhelming at first, try to focus on its purpose and key information. The diagram displays vehicle count and direction of traffic. As we use it to analyze potential sites for the new coffee shop, we are mainly concerned with how many cars will pass a given site.

Reading the prompt, we have the following takeaways:

  • Access to the coffee shop will be from Main Boulevard
  • Cars cannot turn left unless they are at an intersection
  • The coffee shop will only be open from 5:00am - 12:00pm

We can infer that the goal is to obtain a site with the highest potential amount of customers, and therefore, the most traffic flow.

Given this information, we know that we must refer to the top diagram (the one you have highlighted) and identify how many cars will pass a given site (and result in the largest potential customer base).

From there, you simply use the key to calculate total vehicle counts for each direction of travel, in relation to each site. The numbers indicate total cars traveling in that specific direction, which are indicated by arrows. If you picture yourself at each intersection, facing each different direction, it might help you visualize this information more clearly.

I hope this helps. Happy studying!

Kiara Galicinao, AIA, NCARB
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