Cantabrians are divided as to why a central city intersection needs to be controlled by 19 traffic light poles.
The lights, at the corner of High and Tuam Streets, will be used to control pedestrian, cycle, vehicle and tram traffic.
Local cafe C1 Espresso has been on the intersection for 20 years and worker Aaron Rowe says customers are as confused as staff.
"I first noticed them when I was riding to work one morning on my bike, I had my head down and all of a sudden there were these things hanging over me and I can't make sense of it," he told 1 NEWS.
"Hopefully it becomes clearer why they're there."
Sean Walsh of Isaac Construction – who have the contract for the upgrade – said Tuam Street was a major inner-city corridor that was now one-way.
He said the lights are waiting on a power consent and are expected to be in use in a few weeks' time.
The two-lane street has a 30kmph speed limit.