An Arcade Script to Impress the Masses

I had a project to do the other day that led me to make a very simple Arcade expression as a label on a line – but the results were super impressive to those involved.

The project was to help lay out an outdoor drive-thru vaccine hub. The proposed site had a lot of parking lots available and we pretty much knew where we wanted to set up the tents for the vaccine stations, but what they needed to know was how to lay out the staging lanes … and more importantly how many cars would stack in each lane. We had to be sure that the line of cars wouldn’t back up into the main street and allow for about 500 cars to stage (based on the rate at which they can do vaccines).

Hmmm – If I could figure out how many feet it takes to stack a car, then I could just divide the length of the line by that amount and get the answer. So I found an existing drive-thru testing site to see how much room it takes per car to stack in a line. In this picture you can see where I drew lines over the staged cars to get a distance. Then I counted the number of cars in each line and divided that into the distance – with the average being about 24 feet per car.

Then I added a stupidly simple Arcade expression to the line’s label that basically divides the shape_length by 24 and rounds it to a whole number. That took about 30 seconds to do.

With that set up I can draw lines all over the parking lots and the label will immediately tell me how many staged cars that represents. In the meeting, they were pointing out different options of how they wanted the stacking configured, I was drawing lines, and immediately they could see the stack total. If one option didn’t work, I would just delete it and draw more lines. Here’s the staging in the first lot:

Within minutes we had the driving lanes configured and everyone could see the stacking totals. There was another aspect of this which was to stage cars after they left the vaccine stations (or “shooter shed”) to make sure there was sufficient stacking for the 15 minute observation time – and even a second lot for those that require a 30 minute observation time.

Even though this seemed super simple to me, it was quite impressive to the room full of people working to set up this site. And granted there were still dozens of details to work out regarding the site, GIS and Arcade nailed the staging question!!