I am working on a project currently that relates to creating service areas for points across California based on streets. I created a python script that can take a point and create a buffer around it, get intersection points of where the buffer intersects streets and then create a smaller buffer around those points. This would continue until the buffer size would be 0. An example is starting with a 5 mile buffer and work down in one mile increments until reaching 0. This was our original make-shift idea of creating service areas without a network analyst license. I realized after doing this though that this does not take into account at all that matter of possible barriers. Such as a river in-between 2 parallel streets – this form of analysis might include that parallel street even if there was not a nearby bridge to actually cross over into the street. I am now trying to find an alternative method that can do something similar but account for possible barriers like that of the service area tool in Network Analyst (I am trying to find a workaround due to licensing limitations).

Do you have any possible ideas of a way I can do this type of analysis without having to use Network Analyst?

2 Answers 2


you could possibly use thessien polygons to deliniate barriers and execute a one mile buffer around those and use the dissolve tool to create a service area of your buffers.

  • Unfortunately I don't believe that is in the right direction I am trying to go. In a sense I am just trying to find a workaround to allow for creating service areas for points based on streets. So I need to create a network data set in some manner (without network analyst extension) and create service areas based on the network data set created with a given distance. If I am wrong or misunderstanding your methodology please let me know. I appreciate the help either way
    – user27352
    Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 20:26

I did so using ModelBuilder. Workflow went something like this:

Select by distance all roads within 20' of your point of interest (POI) Buffer your point of interest by 20'. Clip the selected roads by your buffer Merged the clipped roads with your POI. iterate iterate iterate, until the sum of 20' increments equals the distance you want to cover.

Making the 20' distance smaller increases accuracy, but at the cost of processing time.

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