Help Articles and Notes


Crossing Note

Use map or menu to select a data time-series calendar.

 

To view commercial freight values by port and commodity, visit the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics Transborder Data Dashboard


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ABOUT THIS WEBSITE

This website allows members of the public, agency staff and researchers to analyze historic wait time and volume data at the four land ports-of-entry between Whatcom County, Washington State and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada that make up the Cascade Gateway system of border crossings.

Data come from the northbound advanced traveler information system managed by the WA State Department of Transportation that provides real-time border crossing delay information on signs, apps, and through 511 phone systems. Southbound real-time data are provided by the B.C. Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure B.C./U.S. Border Traveller Information System. Southbound volumes are also provided by U.S. Customs & Border Protection.

The data provided are for information purposes only; no agency guarantees the accuracy of the data shared here.

CURRENT DELAYS

This section provides a quick snapshot of current delays in the Cascade Gateway. The delays shown in blue are southbound, those in red are northbound. The number shown is the cumulative delay total for all Cascade crossings (all three for commercial crossings). By hovering over the number with a mouse, individual delay averages will be broken out by port-of-entry.

CURRENT VOLUMES

This section provides a quick snapshot of how many vehicles are queued in the Cascade Gateway. The volume count is updated every five minutes. Volumes in blue are southbound, volumes in red are northbound. The volume shown is the cumulative volume for all crossings. By hovering over the number with a mouse, individual volumes will be broken out by port-of-entry.

AVERAGE DELAYS (IN MINUTES) COMPARED TO SAME PERIOD LAST YEAR

These graphs compare today’s delays in minutes (red for northbound, blue for southbound) to the same period of time last year (in gray). Note that the gray line is both directions averaged. To see more detail on any specific port-of-entry, click on the name of the port to drill down to more information.

The range of data viewed may be altered by using the filters on the right. The date ranges can be changed up to three months from the current day. Similarly, only weekdays, or weekends, may be viewed, or a specific day of the week.

At any point, choosing “Today” under “Select Day” will reset the view to the current day once more.

DAILY TRAFFIC VOLUME BY PORT, BOTH DIRECTIONS

These bar charts show daily traffic volume broken into passenger and commercial vehicles. Each color represents a port-of-entry to show a cumulative total for the Cascade Gateway for that particular day. Note the totals are for both directions. To view the data by direction, view either the Time Series data or create a Custom Query.

HOW TO DOWNLOAD THE DATA

Data from this page can be downloaded as an image, crosstab, PDF or PowerPoint by clicking the Download icon on the bottom right gray bar.


Dashboard Note

CUSTOM QUERY

ABOUT THIS PAGE

The custom query tool is for users who have a specific dataset in mind and wish to use it in their own analyses. Data will be available for download as a .CSV file only.

STEPS TO BUILD A QUERY

1. Choose a date range – Select a start date and end date.

2. Choose the days of the week to query – The default selection is all days of the week. If, for example, only weekend days are desired, unselect “Select All” and the re-select Saturday and Sunday only.

3. Select months of the year – By default all months are selected. However specific months, such as those in the summer or a specific season, may be chosen. Note that results will not be rolled together, so if January and February are selected, for example, results will show January for each year, February for each year, etc.

4. Select hours of the day – Use the sliders to select a start and end time for the day. Many of the analyses done by Whatcom Council of Governments select 8:00am – 10:00pm for border crossing data.

5. Choose how to group the day – The data may be displayed in different ways, depending on how detailed an analysis is needed. For the most detailed approach, select Group by: Day then by Minute. Note that “Minute” will choose the smallest increment available, which is 5-minute increments only.
Note that the date that shows is the FIRST date or time in the series. For example, if “Year” is selected it will show 1/1/2008 for all of 2008. Note this is important to track when choosing “All” as it will show a starting date in a range only. If a selection of 1/1/2016-12/31/2018 is made, the All field will only show 1/1/2016 for the date.

Here are some examples of how different aggregations will display:

6. Select ports and directions – Select individual ports-of-entries or directions or select “All.”

7. Select modes – By selecting “All,” data for all vehicle types for the selected ports and directions will be displayed. Or select either passenger, commercial, or bus. Passenger can be further refined to choose standard cars, NEXUS cars, and/or Ready cars (southbound only). Likewise, commercial vehicles may be refined to include or exclude FAST trucks or standard trucks (note “trucks” may also include passenger vehicles that are carrying commercial goods).

8. Select detectors – Use this option ONLY if querying individual detectors. Place a checkmark next to each detector. To pick detectors using the map, use the Detector page and right click detectors from the map and click “Create Query.”

9. Select data point(s) – Choose how data should be displayed. Typical options are usually average Delay, or Sum of volume, but multiple other aggregations are available. A separate column will be provided for each data point selected.

Crossing Measures

  • Volume – the total number of vehicles entering the port-of-entry
  • Delay – the estimated delay in minutes
  • Service rate – The number of vehicles passing over a detector in the road per hour
  • Vehicles in queue – An average number of vehicles estimated to be in the queue
  • Queue length – the length of the vehicle queue in meters

Detector Measures

  • Volume – the total number of vehicles entering the port-of-entry
  • Occupancy – Percentage of time when the detector was occupied with a vehicle
  • Speed – The average speed of vehicles over the detector in kilometers per hour. Detectors closer to the border will have less useful speeds since the queue tends to extend over them.
  • Vehicle Length – An average length of vehicles crossing the detector in meters. This may be approximated for some detectors.

Booth Measures

  • Volume By Mode – Volume as calculated by the booth status data system
  • State Vehicles – Vehicle counts based on license plate state or province

10. After all selections are completed, click the Generate CSV button to download the data file. No data will be displayed on screen. If a large amount of data have been queried, the file may take


Find data by BTS Freight Data
This is help about the BTS freight data.

Find data by crossing

CALENDAR

ABOUT THIS PAGE

This view allows users to see data by crossing on a calendar view. Choose to view the data a year, month, or day at a time. Once the data is visible in the calendar view, clicking on an individual month will drill down to a day, and from that day to a table with data broken out by five-minute increment.

Data available include:
Volume  --  the total number of vehicles entering the port-of-entry
Delay  --  the estimated delay in minutes
Service rate  --  The number of vehicles passing over a detector in the road per hour
Vehicles in queue  --  An average number of vehicles estimated to be in the queue
Queue length  --  the length of the vehicle queue in meters

SELECTING A CROSSING

Use the drop down arrow to select a crossing, direction, and/or mode. Note that data may be shown at the cumulative levels of crossing or direction. For example, if "Pacific Highway Southbound" is chosen, this will show the volume count for all modes  --  standard cars, NEXUS cars, trucks, and buses.
Only one crossing can be shown at a time. To view data for more than one crossing at a time, use a Custom Query.

SELECTING A YEAR, MONTH, OR DAY

Year: Data go back to fall of 2007.
Month: Select a month to see a calendar view of that month. OR simply choose "Select" to see the full year of data for that year.
Day: Select a day to see the five-minute increment view of the day. OR simply leave it on "Select" to see the full month data.

SELECTING DATA POINTS

Place a checkmark next to each data element to be viewed on the calendar. They will be shown simultaneously.
Note: The Volume data are based on loop detectors and at the time of this writing, are often off by a substantial factor. We recommend using the volume data for comparison purposes only  --  compare to other periods of time in the dataset, but do not use as actual volume counts. For more accurate volume counts at the ports-of-entry, contact the Whatcom Council of Governments.

DATA AVAILABILITY

The system receives 288 packets of data every day from partner agencies  --  one for every five-minute increment. If less than 80 percent of those packets are received, the color block is changed from green to yellow (50-80% of packets received) or red (0-50% of packets received). We recommend filtering out any days that do not have green availability tags if planning to use the data for analyses.


Find data by Detector

DETECTORS

ABOUT THIS PAGE

Loop detectors provide volume count, speed, and other data that make up the border wait time systems. This section of the data allows users to gather lane and detector-specific data.

WHEN TO USE DETECTOR DATA

Detector-level data are best when performing any analysis that is at a lane-by-lane comparison. They also provide more information about the flow of traffic as volumes can be collected at various points along a route to determine where traffic joins or exits a roadway. Lastly, detector data are useful to compare to crossing data to check for accuracy.

MAP PAGE

The primary detector page shows a map of all the detectors in the Cascade Gateway border crossing network. Users may zoom in and use the hand icon to move around the map to choose a different location. Loops are color-coded based on the primary mode of the lane they are located in.

Hovering over a loop detector on the map will show the loop's name. Clicking on the loop detector will bring up that specific loop page.

TO SELECT MULTIPLE LOOP DETECTORS TO LOOK AT

The primary view of the detector section examines one loop detector at a time. To look at data for multiple loop detectors simultaneously, right-click on each loop as selected. This will make a list on the left of the screen. Once the list is complete, click "Create Query" and this will open a Custom Query with those detectors pre-populated into the query tool.

INDIVIDUAL LOOP DETECTOR PAGE

Each loop detector has its own calendar view. Choose to view the data a year, month, or day at a time. Once the data is visible in the calendar view, clicking on an individual month will drill down to a day, and from that day to a table with data broken out by five-minute increment.

Data available include:
Volume -- the total number of vehicles entering the port-of-entry
Occupancy -- Percentage of time when the detector was occupied with a vehicle
Speed -- The average speed of vehicles over the detector in kilometers per hour. Detectors closer to the border will have less useful speeds since the queue tends to extend over them.
Vehicle Length -- An average length of vehicles crossing the detector in meters. This may be approximated for some detectors.

CHANGING A DETECTOR

After a detector is chosen by the map view and selected, users may still choose another detector by using the drop-down arrow to select a different detector. However they will need to be familiar with the naming conventions of the detectors to find the one they are interested in.

SELECTING A YEAR, MONTH, OR DAY

Year: Data go back to fall of 2007.
Month: Select a month to see a calendar view of that month. OR simply choose “Select” to see the full year of data for that year.
Day: Select a day to see the five-minute increment view of the day. OR simply leave it on “Select” to see the full month data.

SELECTING DATA POINTS

Place a checkmark next to each data element to be viewed on the calendar. They will be shown simultaneously.

DATA AVAILABILITY

The system receives 288 packets of data every day from partner agencies – one for every five-minute increment. If less than 80 percent of those packets are received, the color block is changed from green to yellow (50 – 80% of packets received) or red (0-50% of packets received). We recommend filtering out any days that do not have green availability tags if planning to use the data for analyses.


Freight Note
<p><span lang="EN-CA">The following data is provided courtesy of the <a href="https://www.bts.dot.gov/content/border-crossingentry-data">Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) Bureau of Transportation Statistics North American Transborder Freight Data</a>. Full querying capabilities, other ports, and details are available on their website:<a href="https://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/TBDR_BC/TBDR_BCQ.html ">https://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/TBDR_BC/TBDR_BCQ.html </a>.</span></p>

This site collects and archives data from our regional partner agencies who provide real-time border delay information on their websites, linked below.

BC Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure logoBC Ministry of Transportation
& Infrastructure
Washington State Department of Transportation logoWashington State
Department of Transportation