The circle shows an intersection with several lines representing a main road that I would like to be just one line. I'm attempting to find a way to merge all main roads in this manner, as efficiently as possible, without affecting the smaller roads such as cul de sacs. I have a lot of maps to go through. Is this even possible, or will I have to target and remove all superfluous roads manually?

enter image description here

I'm looking to achieve something closer to this:

enter image description here

I'm working with Adobe Illustrator CC

  • Not sure I understand. Specifically what you mean by "lines" and merging them... are you looking for something like THIS?
    – Scott
    Mar 3, 2021 at 18:15
  • Rather like THIS
    – Kensing
    Mar 3, 2021 at 18:42
  • You may be able to merely increase the stoke weight for those center lines. Hard to say without examining the file construction, which is somewhat off-topic here.
    – Scott
    Mar 4, 2021 at 19:05
  • @Kensing since this is very much a digital map related task, maybe you might have a better luck over at gis.stackexchange.com but it might mean getting into different applications.
    – J.E
    Mar 5, 2021 at 12:11

1 Answer 1


There's no way to do this automatically in Illustrator, even if you have a kickass set of CAD plugins. Your best bet is to move all the paths that represent arterials onto their own layer, so you can manipulate them without messing anything else up. Clean up each "road" so that it's only a single path (i.e. delete all but the center line) and then increase the weight until you have the desired width. If you're lucky and the paths aren't thousands of tiny straight segments positioned end to end you could then outline those paths and you will then have more options for fill/stroke & shape manipulation (CAD programs sometimes e this with drawings exported into a format readable by Illustrator)

Repeat this for every road type if you think you might need to.

Layers are your friends; learn to love (and use) them.

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