I am a new user of Netwrok Analyst and I was wondering if anyone had some suggestions about how to solve a delivery route problem. I would like to somehow create a rule for a delivery route that says if a stop is within X feet of intersection, then the route must not go directly past this point. In a way I am asking for Network Analyst to find a "route of best fit" as opposed to just connecting my stops. Any ideas?
All of my stops are snapped to the road network. I mean to ask if there is a way for the route calculator to take into account how far away one of the stops in from the intersection of two roads. For example, if it is farther than 200 ft from an intersection, the route should go to this point. If the stop is less than 200 feet, the route does not need to turn onto the road and go directly past this point it can adjust the stop to the nearest intersection, instead of the exact stop location.
The real life problem I am trying to solve is to create delivery routes for vehicles with trailers that will minimize the number of turns. Where possible I'd like network analyst to recognize where it could cut out turns and replace with a stop at an intersection.
One way to solve this is to locate the stops near interesections to the intersection itself. You can do this by bringing up the route properties and on the network locations tab, in the "Snap To:" section, check on only the junctions. and set the search tolerance to 200 feet (or what ever you want it to be). Now load your stops. Many stop will be unlocated. Now change the settings back to locating on the streets, reset the search tolerance, and in the NA Window, right-click on the orders and choose to "Recalculate Location Fields" for the unlocated stops. Now you can solve the VRP layer.