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Maplex labels covering polygons when there is no reason to

Question asked by blackwaterstout on Jan 6, 2015

Labeling is the bane of my existence.  I've included a graphic to represent what I'm dealing with.  I have polyline layers (RED & BLUE) that overlay a polygon (Yellow border with No Color set as fill).  I'm trying to label the polyline features using maplex and need the labels to be outside of the polygon.  I've set the offset to 25 and in the label weight ranking I have the polygon as the highest weighted feature.  It stands to reason that the labels for the polylines would be placed so that they are outside of the polygon.  It's not like there are conflicts in their way.  But instead the labels are just placed right on top of the polygon. 


Is there a way I can fix this without converting the labels to annotation and hand massaging each one?  Maybe a setting I'm not familiar with?