Well, it's done. The changeover to the southbound leg of the bypass happened without incident at just after 6 this morning, and while it's hard to tell for sure, there don't seem to be any major snarl-ups around town. Tomorrow will be a bigger test, once commuters hit the new layout in force, but we'll still have to wait for a while before we can see whether it achieves what it set out to do. Of course, the original proponents of the project are proactively covering their arses on that point, just in case.
What is already clear is that the claims of an "improved pedestrian environment" in Ghuznee St were misleading to say the least. As I suspected, while there are still some pavement widenings to come, there are some areas where the footpath has been narrowed to an alarming degree. Some of this is indeed to create bus stops (as LX said), but the section that I was most concerned about has been cannibalised to create car parks. There is absolutely no justification for this from a traffic flow point of view: it's just a nasty piece of opportunism. At least now pedestrians know where they stand: in this case, on a narrow, dangerous stretch of asphalt.
And while we're at it, now that yet another section of Ghuznee St footpath has been chomped away to provide a turning lane into Victoria St, is there any way to stop Budget Rentals from blocking what's left of it with their big ugly cars?