I would like to merge divided roads from openstreetmap, and a tool that keeps getting mentioned is Skeletron, for example here.

I tried the tool on a small geographic area, and the results are fairly poor. I used zoom 18 as input, and received this:

Based on the documentation, and the linked paper, I was surprised to get a result like that. I feel like I must be doing something wrong. Is there a way to get a more high quality result?

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I haven't used that particular tool but the results look fairly typical of unsupervised snapping when the line vertex order doesn't respect the street topology and the geometric accuracy is poor.

Not sure if by merge you simply mean create a topologically connected set of roads or merging parallel dual carriageway. But one option is to buffer with merge and take the skeleton of that. One needs to check the geometric generalisation is acceptable for your end use and check complex junctions topologically correct though - particularly vis 3d.

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