In the Northfield soon to be without a cineplex discussion thread, Anne Bretts wrote about a theater chain owner/developer:
When he was still excited about the project he said that the Q-block wouldn’t have enough parking and the property owners weren’t to sell. But he said the key problem was that he wouldn’t put a movie theater next to railroad tracks because there was no effective way to soundproof the building.
When Heidi Hamilton was City Engineer, she began pursuing the possibility of making Northfield a ‘no horn zone’ for train whistles. I’m not sure what ever happened to that effort. Did it get derailed (heh) because of costs?
I was in Winona a month ago and saw one of their RR crossings with a big sign that said something like “Caution: train horn will not sound.” And earlier this year, Madison, Wisconsin created three quiet zones, according to this article in U of W’s Daily Cardinal: ‘Quiet zones’ silence city’s train whistles at select crossings: New gates, lights increase safety at railroad tracks
According to Steve Sonntag, Madison’s pavement engineer, the city passed an ordinance banning train whistles at some intersections in 2001, but a 2006 federal law requiring improvements at each railroad crossing slowed the process.
Along with gates and flashing lights, federal regulations require each crossing to have an electronic notifier to calculate the speed of the train and trigger the gate to come down. The crossings must also have a battery backup and a power-off option so engineers will know if crossing signals or gates are not functioning properly.
Sonntag said the city has completed the necessary improvements and made it safe for trains to sound horns only when an engineer recognizes “imminent danger” in the crossing.
The City of Moorhead has a quiet zone page on its website. And the citizens of Fairfield, Iowa have taken matters into their own hands with a “Railroad Crossings Citizen’s Action Committee” called the Fairfield Train Safety & Quiet Zone.
Why not a ‘quiet zone’ in Northfield?