The correct use of the Avoid Area feature in Microsoft Streets & Trips
I was driving in a strange situation today that gave me this curious Streets & Trips avoid area problem.

I was driving from west of Montreal, Canada, and there were many sites with construction that caused some GPS navigation headache. The proposed S&T routes were not usable because of the construction. The real problem in this situation is that the reroute option always insist to go in the construction zone that you cannot use because of a force u-turn. It is very difficult when you are driving to draw "Avoid Area" to avoid an unusable construction zone! Today, I was dreaming of a kind of intelligent function that when I am pressing a function key, it will block by itself the route segment and use another one without needing to stop the car in a big traffic rush, and draw a rectangle.

Additionally, there was a big traffic jam on Champlain bridge, so I have drawn an avoid area to avoid this bridge. Same thing with Jacques-Cartier bridge, then I continue and when I was at Victoria bridge, the bridge was closed because of construction. But after drawing an avoid area over Victoria bridge, I was stuck there: S&T 2009 insist to use Victoria bridge anyway, even if there was an avoid area over it. How can you use a bridge that is closed for construction . When I am drawing an avoid area, it really means "avoid area".

In this situation, the only possible alternative was to use autoroute 25 sud, and cross the St-Lawrence river using Hippolyte-Lafontaine tunnel. But it seemed that S&T 2009 didn't agree with me, and didn't find this alternative itself. The only solution i have found was to put a stop point in the middle of the St-Lawrence river on road 25 to force S&T to go that way, and then it was able to route me onto that correct route.

I have included a picture showing the buggy situation of starting from point 1 to point 2 and you can see that the routing is going through the avoid area!
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Here is the workaround i have used to force S&T 2009 to really avoid the "avoid area" on "Victoria bridge" (near green starting point #1) and use route 25 sud instead by going through stop point #2.
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Tip: the avoid area yellow rectangles must include a intersection or Hwy exit. It is just the way it works.
Larry said:
Tip: the avoid area yellow rectangles must include a intersection or Hwy exit. It is just the way it works.
I have retried the same situation by drawing avoid area as you explained (must include an intersection) and it worked on S&T 2011 (I don't know for 2009 version).

Coming from S&T 2011 help file :


The area you want to detour around must contain an intersection for this feature to work.

Detour areas are saved with your map. When you clear a route containing detour areas, the detour areas remain.
So I am happy it is working correctly. It is not user friendly the way it needs to work. When you are in a traffic jam situation and you need that feature, you don't have time to read this small kind of details in the help file.

Improvement would be that the avoid area could be defined anywhere on a road and S&T should be smart enough to search for nearby intersection to be excluded as well...


I guess this is a good tip to be added in the tips section

Included a new screeshot showing S&T did a correct job finding the alternative route (the same I have found myself initially by forcing a dummy stop point on Hippolyte Lafontaine tunnel) when avoid area are well drawn including intersections:
Attached Images
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