A week ago we commented that the Wellington City Council is running a misleading campaign promoting its plan to reopen Manners Street for bus traffic. Today, it seems the council hasn’t been telling the truth.
The council’s urban development and transport director says “6.5 metres is the standard we use for bus lanes.” But council documents have been pretending this isn’t so. They claim the bus lanes planned for Manners Street would be only 6 metres wide.
The error is reported in this morning’s Dominion Post, which seems anxious to downplay the seriousness of the issue by calling it a “hiccup”.
The council is downplaying it too. “If you are being picky, then the figures in the consultation document aren’t exact,” says the council officer, dismissively. The council has been using a false measurement to persuade Wellingtonians to support the changes in Manners Street. And it’s “picky” to point this out?
The council’s high-profile campaign has included a drawing of Manners Street showing impossibly-wide footpaths on either side of impossibly-narrow bus lanes. The drawing is the centre of the big posters in bus stops, though it has been amended from the original (at the top of this article) to remove some pedestrians running across the street.
But today the council admits the footpaths will have to be narrower – only 4.75 metres instead of 5 metres – to make more room for buses. And its opponents claim that even this figure may be wrong because it doesn’t take bus wing mirrors into account.
The Dominion Post allocates the last paragraph of its report by briefly acknowledging that the proposal faces considerable opposition: 4730 members on a Facebook page, and more than 3300 signatures on two petitions.
Councilors have been ignoring the opposition all year. The needs of buses take first place for them.
It was the same only one month ago:
the council wasn’t telling the truth