I'm currently trying to map out an optimized route for reading water meters in our district. We use an automated meter reading radio system, so we just have to drive past the meters to get the reading. No stopping is required. The problem is, I can't find a way to make this work with the network analyst routing tool. The results I'm getting include driving down each side of the road to get meter readings on each side, but in reality that isn't required. Driving down the road will grab the meter readings on both sides of the road. So the routing that's been created by network analyst includes a lot of unnecessary doubling back and traversing the same road more than once. It all seems a bit counter-intuitive in the end, because logically the next stop is actually 100 steps into the sequence. Has anybody else in the utility industry (or anywhere else) come across this problem?
You should be able to set the Curb Approach of each stop to "Either side of vehicle" so it doesn't care which side you approach it from. This should allow you to pick up stops on both sides of the street when you drive down it.
I do have it set to either side, but it still doesn't seem to be optimizing the route. In some cases, when I preserve a specific first stop, I get a route that is faster than not having a preserved first stop. I'm wondering if I have a setting wrong.