Shouldn't the starting point be: where someone wants to build them?
These are the questions markets are good at answering. To counter sounding like some sort of libertarian (which I'm not), a role of government is in correcting market failures - in this case, primarily preventing or internalizing undesirable externalities. How about a zoning code that stuck to that?What would be the best way to house those people?
Honestly? I don't think they're much value there, in part because I think who lives next to you makes a whole lot more difference than what type of housing you live next to, and you have zero control over that. The nightmare neighbor could be moving in next week.Is that sense of predictability valuable?
Also, if you live in a neighborhood where someone wants to invest in building larger structures, you're probably making out like a bandit on the value of your property.
Funny, I was just having a twitter fight with someone who insisted that opposition to the 38th Ave. bike lane wasn't listened to. Four businesses managed to manipulate the process so that one of them could come out objectively ahead (got a loading zone where it used to be no-parking) and two others got to let customers park in the bike lane, but those ideologue bike people wouldn't compromise.But it seems like 90% of people being satisfied they were heard is achievable.
I was not particularly close to this, but I think this is a strange takeaway based on what I do know. One bit of which is that the Bottineau routing is a minor disaster. I take you to be saying, "sure, but it's a disaster the community wanted."Take Bottineau LRT. All kinds of people were saying "Put it on Penn!" IIRC, many of those calls came from this very site. The neighborhoods were split 50/50. Organizers put together a series of really well-run meetings that included the county and lots of residents. People got up and said what they thought. Sometimes things got a little tense. The county people stumbled a bit but found their footing. In the end a decision was made and while not everyone was happy, I didn't get the sense that a large number of people stormed out declaring, "I wasn't heard!"
To me, outcomes matter, and a bad outcome from a good process is still a bad outcome, even if everyone felt good about the process.
ETA: Actually, I think there's more to the Bottineau comparison. As I understand it (maybe primarily from things you've said), incumbent residents on Penn didn't want the train there because it would require some takings and cause disruption during construction. If that's right, it's exactly the same issue we've got with restrictive zoning: it gives too much weight to the interests of incumbents and not enough weight to future value.
Bottineau could have been routed in a way that was a real investment in the community that served actual places and people and maybe helped spur development. Instead, it's mostly going to skirt a park, because there's no one to object to building it in a rail trench. That's bad.
But most of the time it's a tactic used to kill stuff.But sometimes a slowdown can help bring people along.