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Breathing Room

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Within the next few days, the city will begin a pilot program to reduce pedestrian congestion on Powell Street near Union Square. Audi is picking up the initial bill for removing all the parking spaces on Powell between Geary and Ellis to provide for expanded walkways, custom furniture, and potted plants. The project will be completed in mid-July and has a six-month pilot time frame -- but we could see more room to walk past Christmas if the program proves popular. Of course, something similar was done in 2009, and pedestrians proved baffled by the extra space. [SF Examiner]