I've got my network built and working however I have a lot of stops that need to be visited in a specific order. Is there any way to assign a priority factor to each stop or to a group of stops on one road?
The stops have a SEQUENCE field that contains the visit order. By default it is in the order the locations were entered/loaded into the stops table. You can change the sequence number as needed for your priority. You can do this by moving them up or down by draging the stops in the NA Window or you can set it load from a sequence field. More details here: http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#//004700000045000000
Also note that stops can take in arrive and depart time windows so that is honored while solving a path.
I'm not sure that the SEQUENCE is enforced strict enough. I'm trying to route snow plows and the road priority/ stop order is very important. I've looked into using other software for this but I'm a student and thus very limited.I've been assured that Arc is up to the task.
The sequence is the way the stops are visted. As long as you do not check on the "Reorder stops to find optimal Route", the sequnce is honored. If you find a case where this does not happen then please let me know.
Given that you are trying to solve a snow plough routing scenario, what are you inputing? Do you want the software to figure out the sequence or you are going to enter the stops in a certain way? At this point I would like to point to you that you should ask who ever as "assured" you that arc is up to the task, what task is arc going to do? I say this because the route solver with the "reorder stops to find optimal route" is called the Traveling Salesman Problem solver. The goal being to visit a set of stops in the best way. Snow plough routing is about visiting "edges" in the best way. And that is called the chinese postman problem or sometimes called arc routing or euler tour. ArcGIS is not designed to solve the euler tour. You can achieve good results by placing a stop on every edge and then setting a stop curb approach property to "No u-turn" and setting the solver u-turn at junctions property to deadends only.
Thank you for your quick response! You have been very helpful Jay.
I am fully aware that arc routing cannot be done fully using the VRS in ArcGIS. Unfortunately for me I have no choice but to force the network analyst to create these routes using the stop method. I have not tried the curb approach property yet but it sounds promising. I think because I didn't have that "no U-turn" property set the routes weren't completely covering the streets. Do you have any advice about covering multiple lanes? I was thinking of just using the stops to force the route to back over the road for every lane.