Wellington City Council is hearing last-minute public feedback this week on a contentious, $11 million plan to open Manners Mall in the CBD to buses.
The council received about 500 written submissions, almost evenly split on the proposal.
It approved the change in June, but is now undertaking special consultations to revoke the mall's pedestrian status.
Most of those airing their views on Tuesday morning opposed the change to streamline bus services.
They say it is "outrageous" and "inferior" for swallowing public space.
Businessman Jim Jajjo says the world's moving forwards from streets to malls, but Wellington's moving backwards from malls to streets.
But Wellington Airport planner Mike Brown says its investments are being countered by diminishing access to and from the CBD, and committing to the Manners Mall overhaul will protect the regional economy.