I was only there for the last half hour. So it's good to read your report (LaidBack).
I only went to meet someone 'afterwards' - but as you say, it overran.
The realities are that it's all too late.
Too many bad decisions have been taken over many years.
The tramline currently being 'delivered' is not the route that should have been a priority in public transport terms. This is one of the reasons the previous boss of Lothian Bosses took early retirement.
Whether or not the the tram will be 'good' remains to be seen - assess that in a couple of years after it starts running. When that is is still unknown - as, apparently, is the exact location of the final stop 'near' the airport!
The original design concept was that cycling wouldn't be allowed on Princes Street. Apart from being a bad idea in a city where a reasonable number (by UK standards) of people already cycled, there would be no chance that the police would be willing to enforce it.
Another original notion was that there would be no buses on Princes Street. The idea was that most buses would terminate at Haymarket and the East End (somewhere).
People would be expected to transfer to the tram - which at one time wasn't even meant to have a stop in Princes Street!
There's a lot wrong with the ideas behind the tram and the delivery process is a shambles. It may well be (as people repeated last night) that current hostility will turn to a call for more routes as has happened in some other cities. Perhaps, but it would have better not to have so comprehensively alienated so many people in the first place - residents, traders, shoppers, drivers and cyclists.
The latter are of course something of a minority - but a vocal one and (in Edinburgh) fairly well organised. But in spite of the best efforts of Spokes, its members and others, messages haven't got through.
The Council now has a policy of 15% of journeys by 2020. But this clearly doesn't include Princes Street. Perhaps it shouldn't, but it COULD have done - but not with prevailing systems and mindsets.
Lesley Riddoch's frustration as Chair was constantly audible. Her final words were a plea for some vision, pointing out that without David Begg stubbornly insisting on innovation like Greenways things would be even worse!
There can be little doubt that (for cyclists) Princes Street with trams will be perceived to be more dangerous than (pre tramline) Princes Street with buses.
One measure of the scale of the 'business as usual' (plus trams) reality is that the Lothian Bus fleet is expected to go down from 519 to about 500 - with 80% still going along Princes Street.
From the end of this month it will (if the work is finished...) be possible to experience cycling along Princes Street again - with added tram tracks.