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  Train Horns and Quiet Zones
November 14, 2013

Click here for Train Horns – A Modern Public Health Plague.

A number of Richmond residents complain regularly about train horns, and some have suggested an ongoing working group be formed to address train horn issues in Richmond. Also, recently, City Manager Bill Lindsay passed on to me a memo from three city managers in Colorado he had met at a conference who were also banding together to try and do something about the egregious FRA Train Horn Rule.

I have attached a draft summary I prepared about the Richmond situation.

As far as Richmond goes, the complaints I get seem to be mostly about:

·         Horn blowing at grade crossings, some of which are private crossings, that are not in quiet zones and excessive horn blowing at those crossings.
·         Horn blowing as “yard signals” rather than grade crossings.

A lot of the above can be addressed only by changing state and federal law. One of the most important things we can do is create a groundswell of communications to our state and federal legislators to get laws changed. Most of them think that horns are all about safety, and they are reluctant to get involved in an issue they perceive could blow back on them after an incident when someone is injured or killed. What they don’t get is that the harm from horn noise, particularly at night, is far more serious than the prospect of motor vehicle/train collisions.

If you would like to be added to the Train Horn Working Group and get regular updates as well as share your experiences with the group, let me know.