I am trying to use ArcGIS ModelBuilder to create a toolbox that places a buffer of 1 mile around X location, but does not cross major highways. Effectively, I am geo-fencing in real estate comps.

In the model below, for every "active" (property in green) I put a 1 mile buffer to capture all properties "closed" (in blue), then use an intersection to exclude it from crossing the major highways and excluding and closed properties over the boundary.

Unfortunately, this does not work.

Any thoughts on the proper way to do this?

Here is an image of the roads or boundaries that I already have and do not want my buffers to cross.


Here is an image of the current ModelBuilder I have, however it is wrong and does not work.


Here is an image of just a standard 1 mile buffer around X point. enter image description here

Here is more closely what I am trying to accomplish. Essentially, the logic is buffer up to 1 mile or until you hit a major highway. enter image description here

Revised ModelBuilder using Smiller's comments enter image description here

Results of revised ModelBuilder enter image description here

  • David, Could you edit your question with a sketch of what your intended output would be, it is difficult to understand what your are trying to achieve with intersections, clips and buffers...
    – Hornbydd
    Commented Feb 22, 2019 at 18:09
  • What license level do you have? With Advanced license you could try: 1) create polygons from the road network (feature to polygon tool) 2) Create 1 mi buffer 3) intersect the two layers. (Or the feature to polygon tool with both the streets and your 1mi buffer might work)
    – SMiller
    Commented Feb 22, 2019 at 18:14
  • 1
    @Hornbydd I added two additional photos. One of a basic 1 mile buffer, then a second of what ideally I want to happen. Does that help? Essentially, the logic is buffer up to 1 mile or until you hit a major highway in all directions. Commented Feb 22, 2019 at 19:24
  • @smiller I tried as you mentioned. Active > 1 Mile Buffer with Roads Network > Feature to Polygon. Then intersect both of those and get a resulting intersecting polygon. It still just creates a standard 1 mile buffer with no regard for the road boundaries. Commented Feb 22, 2019 at 19:25
  • Could you post an example of the output from "feature to polygon" for the roads? Make sure you are including just the major roads (the road types that you want to be your cutoffs.)
    – SMiller
    Commented Feb 22, 2019 at 19:46

2 Answers 2


Below is the logic that will work on a selected point, you would attach it to an iterator if you wanted to do do all your "active" houses. I leave that for you to work out!


Output would be:


Things to note:

  1. Houses have a field that distinguishes them, I simply added a field called type and called it active.
  2. Houses are label points for the feature to polygon tool, this passes the active type value into the polygon. As only one polygon intersects a single point (active house) the others have activity of nothing and it is those that you delete.
  3. The select by attribute is selecting all polygons that are not type active.
  4. Roads do not need to be buffered they are simply the line network.
  • This looks promising! Will try shortly and let you know. Thanks! Commented Feb 22, 2019 at 20:24
  • I have to work out some of the kinks and fine tune for my purposes. However, generally speaking this works perfectly and exactly as intended. Thanks for the feedback! Commented Feb 22, 2019 at 22:16

Maybe I do not understand your question completely. But as far as I understand, you could use the "near" function to calculate the minimum distance from every green point to the highway, then use this distance to create buffers?

  • I think that would just create smaller buffers right? If there is a highway .2 miles north of a green point then that would just create a .2 mile buffer around green. I neee it to create a polygon buffer where it may go .2 miles north because it stops at the highway, but still goes up to 1 mile in all other directions, unless it hits another highway boundary. Commented Feb 22, 2019 at 15:53

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