This is in compensation for depriving pedestrians of Manners Mall – which is intended to become a giant bus lane in illustration of the transport evolutionary pecking order cars: then buses: then pedestrians.
While I don’t believe we pedestrians should lose Manners Mall to buses, I more strongly believe that converting lower Cuba St into a shared space isn’t much compensation. Ok so Blair and Allen St might be better examples of shared spaces – but lower Cuba already operates in partial ways as a shared space – it’s small compensation to take that tiny step to make it officially one.
Instead I’d recommend Transit put their money where their mouth was when they were lobbying for the bypass – which they proclaimed would reduce “traffic flow along the waterfront,” namely Jervois and Customhouse Quays. Let’s take them at their word – rather than the daily reality – and put a shared space or two along this stretch now that the bypass has technically diminished its arterial status.
A prime location seems to me to be Post Office Square. This could become Wellington’s Trafalgar Square – a significance public and commerical space of interaction.
Mexico City has the Zocalo Square, New York has Times Square, Venice has Piazzo San Marco. Ok so extending Post Office Square into Queen’s Wharf would be slightly smaller than any of these European monsters – but still this civic space would extend the vibrancy of Queen’s Wharf into the city and become one of the much needed connections between city and sea.
Unlike Civic Square, which is protected by a wall of council buildings from the commercial heart of the city, this extension of the Outer T into the inner city would be a meeting place, a tourist mecca, a place of buskers, lunchers and coffee carts: a civic marae. What shall we call it? I understand Kumototo Plaza is already taken.