AutoRoute 2007 Avoid Areas
I've been using AutoRoute for more than 6 months but I hadn't been aware of this option until now.

I tried it on the macro scale and it worked, eg Berlin to Paris. Draw a box, designate it as an avoid area, recalculate the route and voila the route is redirected around the box.

Hmm I thought. This would have been useful when we got stuck in a traffic jam in Germany. At the time my trusty navigator studied AR. Then she got me to do a U turn and we took a side road that turned into a dirt road. I'm from Australia so dirt roads don't faze me but it was a very interesting ride along a very bumpy two wheel trenches track. Especially as the vehicles stuck on the other side of the jam were coming the other way.

I found the spot where we had been stopped. I created a route between the two towns on either side of the jam and dropped an avoid box over the route. When I recalculated the route nothing happened. The route ran right through the avoid box. There are obvious routes around the jam spot but AR won't take them.

I've tried this at several other locations. It works at the macro level but (more testing shows that it is only sometimes) not at the micro level.

If I move the avoid box just a few mm it works. I put it back where it came from and it doesn't work.

Is this a known problem?

If so, is there a workaround?

It seems to depend on the size of the box. If I make the box too small the route goes through it. However, at the site of the jam I can't do anything to get it to generate an alternative route.

At what size box does it stop working?

The potential alternative routes are via white roads. Does it only work if there are yellow or brown roads available? - This doesn't seem to be the case as I can get it to route over white roads.

Also, if I have a straight road between A and B (west to east) with a U-shaped alternative route underneath and I drop the avoid box between the U entry and exit points it takes the U route. If I block one of the legs of the U route it says there are no routes possible even though it is plainly obvious that there is an alt route if you head west out of A and then head north, east and south and enter B from the east.

It seems that AR won't plot an avoid route that initially heads away from the destination. Is this correct?

If these were problems with AR07 (and presumably ST07) have they been fixed in later versions of ST?

Andrew Watson
Hello Andrew,

Avoid area works the same in AR as it does for S&T and MapPoint. Without going into too much detail, it generally requires an intersection to be included in the yellow avoid area.

Hope that helps,
Thank you for clarifying this.

I now see that having an intersection in the avoid area is a necessary condition.

However, it isn't the full solution because I can draw an avoid area that includes two intersections near where the traffic jam was and AR reroutes along the track we took.

If I then move the avoid area a mm or two, still encompassing two intersections, the route goes straight through the avoid area.

Maybe you'd better go into "too much detail" to explain why this happens.

Andrew Watson
Attached Images
Marvin Hlavac
Andrew, in my experience, the feature sometimes ignores the border of avoid area rectangles, just like your above picture shows. As you have discovered already, all it takes usually is just to move the rectangle a bit, or make the rectangle slightly larger.
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