The last decent Wellington mayor, Kerry Prendergast, writing of the city’s transport plans, said of light rail among other criticisms of it,
“The proposal is driven by a small group of rail enthusiasts with nostalgic boyhood memories of trains”. By God, never a truer word.
It baffles me why light rail (trams) are now being proposed in Auckland and Wellington. The conflict with other traffic, whether pedestrians or vehicles is obvious.
Since the war, world-wide trams have been removed from dozens of city centres, including our own, for sound reasons.
In some cities they’ve been resurrected slightly off-centre as a tourist novelty, such as in Christchurch, Sydney (an overhead system), and Amsterdam for example, but plainly they’ve not succeeded in that role, mostly travelling empty.
Rather than this nonsense, two things would solve the Auckland CBD problem.
First, pedestrianise Queen Street and give it a clearly marked cycle lane down the centre.
Second, ban beggars and get the riff-raff off the streets. Currently, such are their numbers, they’re a deterrent to everyone in the city centre. This has been the case after dark for over a decade but now it’s a daytime problem as well.