I'm trying to better illustrate 1/4, 1/2 and 1 mile radii from commuter rail stations, yet I'd like portray real distances rather than basic circles. The rail stations I'm trying to highlight are strung along a rail line that runs through an the eastern section of my city, which is mostly 1950's-1960's-era suburbs. These areas generally have large and irregularly-shaped blocks, with limited street connectivity.
Thus, even though decent numbers of houses, etc. fall within the 1/4 and 1/2 mile buffers, I'm interested in illustrating true walking/biking distances as reflected by on-the-ground street connections, etc.
I know ArcMap has Cost Distance tool, but is this what I would ultimately want to use? I'm sure other planners have run into this issue, so thanks for considering my questions.