Request: I would encourage the City of Plymouth, Michigan to consider taking steps to qualify railroad crossings for Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) "Quiet Zones" status which:
- prohibits trains from sounding horns except in emergencies;
- is safer than non-"Quiet Zone" railroad crossings;
- prevents drivers from going around the gates;
- potentially increases property values; and
- has been successfully done by over 500 communities in accordance with federal regulations, which have allowed this since 2006.
Background: Since 2006, a federal regulation ("Train Horn Rule" 49 CFR 222) has required trains to sound horns at railroad crossings unless certain "Quiet Zone" criteria are met. A "Quiet Zone" is a half-mile length of track where the FRA requires that trains not sound the horn except in emergencies. To meet the criteria, extra safety equipment is added such as signs and a raised concrete median along the yellow lines in the middle of the street to prevent cars from driving around the closed gates. The existing signs, gates, bells and flashing lights continue to be used.
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Residents of City of Plymouth, Michigan