The Spreydon-Heathcote Community Board has asked the Christchurch City Council to temporarily drop the bus lanes on Colombo St, between Brougham St and Moorhouse Ave due to problems that had been raised by the September 4 earthquake. However, I’m not so sure the Board don’t have a view to make this stick and aren’t using it as an excuse to drop the lanes altogether.
Board chairman Phil Clearwater said bus lane problems had been raised by the September 4 earthquake. Clearwater, while supporting public transport, believed the bus lanes had been too damaging for businesses. To me this seems to have a bit of a “once the bus lanes are down let’s make this permanent” ring to it. I also fail to see how he supports public transport! What does he propose instead?
Sydenham Business Group spokesman Eric McKenzie said the decision to bring in the bus lanes had been “seriously flawed” and that businesses had “taken a huge hit” as a result of the earthquake, and believed the bus lanes created more problems.
I still have yet to see someone produce substantial and clear evidence that bus lanes destroy businesses in the way that these people claim. Bus lanes are in almost every other city in the world, and so far they don’t seem to be causing to many problems in Christchurch. What was “seriously flawed” about them? How, and where, have they destroyed businesses? What problems do they create? These concerns seem to be largely unfounded.
While I can see some validity in helping businesses out that have had a hard time recently, what we don’t need is people using the earthquake as an excuse to get rid of bus lanes, which is all that I can really see happening here. Hopefully the Council see sense and either don’t bother, or set a very firm timeline. I’m not even sure if all the Colombo Street bus lanes are even operating at the moment anyway, due to the earthquake cordons, which would seem to further illustrate my point!