The battle over the future of Queen St went to the High Court in Auckland today.
A spokesman for the lobby group Save Queen St said both sides - Save Queen St and Auckland Council - read out their submissions to Justice Geoffrey Venning, who reserved his decision.
In a statement, a council spokeswoman said today's hearing provided an opportunity for Auckland Council to explain how it is seeking to make the improvements to Queen St that Aucklanders have said they wanted.
"We await the decision of the court, which we expect late tomorrow," she said.
The two parties ended up in court after lengthy talks failed to agree on a solution on Tuesday.
The Save Queen Street Society (SQSS) advised Auckland Council last week that it would seek an injunction to halt a new $1.1 million "makeover" to the existing Queen St barriers beginning May 10, which they argue is unlawful.
The lobby group is also seeking a judicial review of council decisions about the street during and after the first Covid-19 lockdown.
Last year, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport reduced the number of traffic lanes on Queen St and widened the footpaths to allow for social distancing among pedestrians during the first lockdown. They also built raised "tables" out from the footpaths at bus stops, to allow passengers to get on and off the buses, as part of emergency works.
After the lockdowns had passed, the council retained the temporary street layout, on the basis that it would soon be introducing trials for a new street design.
Save Queen St has argued the pedestrian trial is illegal and caused "significant economic harm".
In a statement, one of the 13 SQSS committee members, property investor Andrew Krukziener, said the High Court has indicated it would be open to a substantive hearing sooner rather than later.
Save Queen St would be pushing for an urgent hearing, preferably on or before May 27, he said.
Krukziener said the society spoke to the court today about the functional deficits of the Queen St layout due to the Auckland Council emergency works.
"The society has grave concerns about council's plan to have only one lane in each direction to service all traffic without the inclusion of indented bus stops.
"Council do not appear to have an answer with regards to management of traffic flow, stating it would take a number of weeks to gather traffic statistics despite the works having been in place for over a year," he said.
Meanwhile, Heart of the City, which has joined the SQSS legal action, today encouraged Aucklanders to give feedback on Auckland Transport's proposal for Queen St, which closes in two days.
Chief executive Viv Beck said Heart of the City wants to see a beautiful and well-functioning Queen St but added the AT plans lack understanding of needs and empathy for our many city-centre users.
"Our city centre must provide effective access for people. Any change to essential functions must be made with pragmatism and common sense in view at all times.
"Auckland Transport needs to know that their plans will seriously impact many users who need to come to Queen St, and that's just not good enough," she said.
SQSS has also begun putting up digital billboards in the city with rotating comments from its Facebook page.
Among the comments are "Auckland Transport is holding us to ransom and killing the CBD" and "Goff has no idea of what he's doing to our beautiful city! 100% unprofessional."