How Merge Divided Roads works

About the Merge Divided Roads tool

The Merge Divided Roads tool generates an output feature class of single-line road features in place of input multiple divided road lanes.

Matched pairs of roads or lanes are merged if they are the same road class, trend generally parallel to one another, and are within the merge distance apart. The road class is specified by the Merge Field parameter. All nonmerged roads from the input collection are copied to the output feature class.

This tool is generally used to simplify a relatively large-scale road collection at a smaller scale, where it is appropriate to depict divided highways and boulevards as a single line. At medium scales it may be preferable to retain divided roads as separate features. In this case you can use the Resolve Road Conflicts tool instead to ensure that symbolized lanes are displayed without symbol conflicts. If both Resolve Road Conflicts and Merge Divided Roads tools will be run on the same collection of roads, it is advisable to run Merge Divided Roads first.

Data preparation considerations

This tool is optimized for the spatial relationships typically found in a road network. Unexpected results may be produced if the tool is used to process other themes. It is very important that the geometry of the input features is correctly established for the tool to maintain the relationship of the features as they coexist in a road collection. Take note of the following input data requirements and suggestions:


A warning is raised if the input features are not in a projected coordinate system. This tool relies on linear distance units, which will create unexpected results in an unprojected coordinate system . It is strongly suggested that you run this tool on data in a projected coordinate system to ensure valid results. An error is raised and the tool will not process if the coordinate system is missing or unknown.

Workflow considerations

This tool is generally most effective when used in conjunction with other generalization and graphic conflict resolution tools. Here are some tips to help you use these tools together with other layers and other tools in a workflow:

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