|« Quiet Zone Begins Tuesday!||May Crime Looks Familiar »|
It has been a while coming. North Garland residents asked me over three years ago if we could have a Quiet Zone along the KCS railroad line in Garland where the trains wouldn't blow their horns at all hours of the day and night. When I raised the question in committee, I learned the transportation staff had already started to research the same idea. Actually getting a Quiet Zone for as many crossings as we have is a large challenge. Additionally, for many District 1 residents, if the Murphy Rd crossing wasn't included, it didn't seem it would do much good. Robert Wunderlich, director of transportation and engineering for the city, asked the Sachse City Council to include Murphy Rd in the Quiet Zone and they agreed.
So, where are we? Here's the news the Council received today from Mr Wunderlich:
At long last, the Quiet Zone along the KCS railroad will go into effect next Tuesday, July 12, 2011. The horns will no longer routinely sound at all 20 KCS crossings in Garland and the Murphy Crossing in Sachse.
Please keep in mind that old habits are hard to break and we can expect train engineers to continue sounding the horns until they form a new habit. Also, even with a quiet zone, the train engineer may always sound the horn in case of an emergency. This includes situations when a vehicle, person or animal is on the track; when any maintenance work is being done; or other potential danger exists. However, laying on the horn for the entire route through the city should diminish and eventually stop.
We have taken measures to improve safety at all our crossings. The pavement markings have been refurbished and NO TRAIN HORN signs have been added to advance warning signs (bagged until Tuesday). Medians or channelizing devices have been placed at all crossings that did not already have them, except on one-way streets where the gates cover the entire approach. The quiet zone includes one private crossing that serves a single-family home along SH 78 just south of Murphy Road. We have added stop signs to the railroad crossbuck signs and cleared vegetation to provide additional sight distance at that crossing.
We will be required to review the Quiet Zone with the Federal Railroad Administration every three years to make sure all the requirements are still met.
My first concern would always be safety over convenience and lost sleep. However, I'm comfortable we will be able to maintain safey and to keep things much quieter. As Mr Wunderlich cautions, some engineers may not immediately know about the Quiet Zone or remember and they may blow the horns anytime they see an emergency situation. If you hear a horn, don't call the police and ask them to chase the train down to give the engineer a ticket. Not gonna happen, okay?
|<< <||> >>|