There’s been a bit of flack about the new bus lanes in Wellington city. They’ve cost lots of money, ripped up a popular pedestrian mall, and cars are still allowed to share most of the new road after all that.
However when it comes down to the risk to pedestrians (three have been struck while crossing the new lanes), why can’t people just use common sense? If you cross a road, you look both ways. You cross at the crossing. You don’t weave in and out of buses to save a couple of minutes or a few metres of walking. The number of people who just casually walk out in front of buses and traffic in general is disturbing (as well as damn annoying and frightening when you’re driving).
Having said that, I also think bus drivers need to share the road better as well. Having been a public transport user for years, there’s a lot to complain about. Despite the slow speed limit in the city, in my experience, bus drivers do speed, and often. They go through yellow and even red lights, often accelerating to do so. They don’t give way at pedestrian crossings. Of course I’m not saying all bus drivers do these, but certainly some do.
I can’t really comment if these new bus lanes have improved public transport and congestion as I have not had to use them, but as it stands, the mall is now a normal road. It should be treated as such, and buses and pedestrians need to act responsibly as they should on all roads everywhere.
And to all drivers everywhere: don’t be a dick and block pedestrian crossings – that does not help anyone and makes you look like a stupid driver (and I may take a photo and share it with the world).