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Chinatown's Broadway Readies Trees, Benches for Cleanup Act

In October, local designers Mike and Maaike staged a hypothetical intervention for the North Beach strippy strip of Broadway, installing neon fortunes and a San Francisco version of Rome's Spanish Steps. The real, years-long intervention by the Chinatown Community Development Center is still under way though, and about to enter Phase III, which covers the segment of Broadway from Columbus to the Broadway Tunnel, Streetsblog reports. (Phase I was sidewalk widening, benches, and bulbouts from the Embarcadero to Montgomery, with the "Language of the Birds" art installation in Phase II.) The issue: general crowding and streetscape grossout. Based on a number of surveys of the community, the plan envisions trees, benches, and sidewalk widening on that particular drag of Broadway — though if the sidewalk can't be widened, everyone would rather just forego the trees and benches altogether, given the already cramped conditions. A planner describes the crowding that forces people into the street: "In one particularly terrible scenario, an elderly man stepped off the curb and tripped. He actually fell to the ground face down due to the uneven sloping of the corner."
· In Search of a Better Pedestrian Realm for Broadway in Chinatown [Streetsblog]
· Broadway Brainstorm: Neon Fortunes and Spanish Steps [Curbed SF]