I’m getting bored with the stories of people getting bowled over in the buslanes already, and I bet the Council wishes they would go away too – but the severity of the accidents that have occurred so far means that we haven’t the end of this – not by a long way. With Tramways Union spokesperson suggesting that the bus drivers might ‘blacklist’ the site and revert to a different street until it is resolved, that’s a PR disaster in the making, and our new Mayor and Council have got a real problem on their hands. After a Kerry-led Council spending $11million on putting buses through the Mall, it would take an awful lot of roadkill to have to reverse that decision.

First up, the Council have decided on some Public Education – that’s right, hand out leaflets, stick up posters, all telling people the bleeding obvious: there’s a series of large yellow buses coming down the old pedestrian path. Just in case you had forgot. Or were blind. Or really stupid. There’s a number of ways they have attempted to do that – with small ‘Look Left Look Right’ placards, with painted words ‘Look Right’ on the kerb edge, and with the slightly puzzling but much more amusing imaging of a large cock nestling amongst some nice knees.

I can only presume that this is meant to be the answer to the question “Why did the chicken cross the road?” and yet it seems that the Council itself needs a small education in bird sexing – that’s a cock rooster right there, not a lady chicken. Small difference of course – but very important to the rooster concerned I would imagine.

The press have picked up on this of course – with the Dom Post having printed this sign which was on display in Manners St – after accident number 2, ie before the really far more serious accident number 3. It’s the typographic equivalent of crying wolf – having said Blood on the Tracks for a less serious accident, what did they do for the far more serious accident? Well, a “Hair went flying” article seems a bit of a understatement after that. Seeing as the woman concerned has allegedly faceplanted into the concrete kerb at speed, even if it is on a completely separate part of the busroute and not on the actual new narrow Manners Mall route

So we wake today to find that the worst of all things has happened – in the sense of Urban Design at least. Yellow tape being erected to stop people crossing the road? And mention of ‘jaywalkers’ ducking under the tape? Of course people are going to cross the road – what else do you expect us to do – walk down the length of Manners Mall to cross over the street at the lights? That’s never going to happen – and it is ridiculous to think that it might – it’s “Our” street, and we’ll cross it when we want to. Don’t even think of mentioning barriers – don’t go there!

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