How to incorporate volumes and calculate rates.

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How to incorporate volumes and calculate rates.


Intersection Magic can maintain a list of intersections and volume studies. This article describes how to create the required volume data file, and how to let the program know to use it.


In order for Intersection Magic to provide rate information, you must create a volume data file and register it. The volume data file is an ascii text file that can be created and edited in any text editor. The built-in editor in Intersection Magic works great for this. (You can also export this information from an existing data file. Doing so is beyond the scope of this article)

The volume data file consists of one line per intersection count. You may include multiple counts for the same intersection by using multiple lines. In this case, it is required to include a study date so that the program can determine when to apply this volume data.

An example file, without study dates, might look like this:

“Broadway & Middle St”,”30520″
“28th St & Central Bl”,”31023″
“28th St & Campus Av”,”43605″
“28th St & North St”,”25231″
“28th St & Industrial Rd”,”19202″

An example file, with study dates, might look like this:
Note that 28th & central has two studies with two different dates.

“Broadway & Middle St”,”30520″,”01/01/1998″
“28th St & Central Bl”,”31023″,”04/01/2001″
“28th St & Central Bl”,”41023″,”04/01/2002″
“28th St & Campus Av”,”43605″,”04/01/2001″
“28th St & North St”,”25231″,”04/01/2001″
“28th St & Industrial Rd”,”19202″,”04/01/2001″

For more information on how the program chooses the study to use, see How to register volume data, also in the knowledgebase.


Here are the steps to creating a volume data file for intersections:

  1. Select Edit / Open Edit Window. Enter a file name such as city.vol
  2. Enter one line per intersection. Each line should contain the intersection name, a comma, the total entering volume, a comma, and an optional date of the study.
    It is imperative that the intersection name match the name used by Intersection Magic. The order of the names does not matter.
  3. Start by entering just a few locations and test them before spending a lot of time entering a possibly incorrect format
  4. Select File / Save to save the file to disk. You may leave the file open in the editor if you like.
  5. Select Utilities / Configuration / Default File names. Click the “More >>” button in bottom left corner of the File names window. Choose the volume data file button and select the file you have just created. Select Ok enough times to exit the dialogs.
  6. EXIT AND RESTART THE PROGRAM. This step allows the program to re-load data from the new file.
  7. Create a diagram of one of the intersections with volume data. The rate should be displayed next to the count. If not, go back and check your work, especially street name spellings.
  8. If all has worked so far, continue entering new locations.

hint: a quick way of getting a properly spelled list of intersections is to create a high accident location list. Choose “as data” and only check the “name” and “volume” columns. This list is a good starting point for creating your volume data file.

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