The Saint Index: United States, 2011



Quantifying and tracking attitudes towards real estate development.

Special Report: Linear

Perhaps the hardest type of land use to get approved is a “Linear Land Use.” That is any project that is long, narrow and passes through many communities — high speed rail, oil-and gas- pipelines and electric transmission lines, for example. Linear Land Use projects have all of the negatives of a single-site proposal and few of the positives. They attract NIMBYs and environmentalists and historic preservationists, and the builders are hard pressed to identify meaningful economic benefits that any one community along the route will receive.

Most Linear Land Use Projects benefit someone else other than the community they intersect. So NIMBYs turn out to fight. The phenomenon is illustrated in the Saint Index results concerning a rail project: people are opposed if the train won’t stop in their town, but more support such a project if it includes a local station.

PIPELINE

POWER TRANSMISSION LINE

RAIL LINE WITH A LOCAL STOP

RAIL LINE WITH NO LOCAL STOP