NIMBYs put brakes on voter-backed California $10 billion high-speed rail link

The Saint ReportEnergy, Environmental Planning, NIMBY, Saint Consulting Links, saintblog, Transportation, Urban planning0 Comments

By Owen Eagan,
Division Manager, Southern California, The Saint Consulting Group

california-rail-lineFirst, California voters approved a $10 billion high-speed rail link between Los Angeles and San Francisco .Then the state found no buyers for the newly authorized rail bonds, thanks to the credit crunch. Now NIMBY and environmental forces that oppose wind farm transmission lines are moving to block 200-mph bullet trains from the West Coast.

The Saint Report looked at the credit crunch impact in January. We commend you to read Steven Hodson’s account of NIMBY opposition in The Inquisitr (see link below).

I want to add that I couldn’t agree more that NIMBYism is the root cause of much of the opposition to wind farm, solar energy and rail transit projects. In fact, this is one of the primary challenges we face at Saint Consulting when trying to educate residents about the merits of our clients’ projects.

nimbyismThe good news is that most of this NIMBYism is the result of misinformation. For example, rail transit has been shown to actually increase property values.

A study by The Warren Group found that the median price of single-family homes nearly doubled in 19 communities in Massachusetts after they gained commuter rail service (The Boston Globe, “Rail Lines Boosting Home Values,” January 12, 2003).

In any event, wherever there is NIMBYism, this vocal and active minority must be countered with other stakeholders to ensure that the best interests of the community are represented in land use decisions.

Click here for Steven Hodson in The Inquisitr: NIMBY, or why most green efforts will fail

Owen Eagan is division manager for Southern California, The Saint Consulting Group, email: eagan@tscg.biz , phone 818-239-4769

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