Robin Whittaker 0

Burlingame Quiet Zone -- NO TRAIN HORNS AT NIGHT

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The residents of Burlingame have noticed a huge increase in the number of freight trains passing through Burlingame via the Caltrain tracks in the past few months; along with the increase in frequency, there is a huge increase in the horn volume. This would not be so much of an issue if it happened during the day, but this is happening during the middle of the night, and most of the time, two or three times a night for several nights in a row. And the horn is blown constantly, not just once or twice. Needless to say, this is affecting the residents sleeping in the entire neighborhoods where the Union Pacific trains are blowing their horns. We would like to have the Burlingame City Council make it a priority to eliminate the noise pollution caused by the train horn and establish a Quiet Zone for our city. The following links show how to establish a QZ. http://www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/1318 Other cities have already established Quite Zones. For instance San Diego (http://www.quietzonesd.info/) and Richmond CA (http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/index.aspNID=1167.) There are both Federal and State regulations that govern the sounding of train locomotive horns. Federal regulations called the Final Rule on the Use of Locomotive Horns at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings, 49 CFR 222 (Horn Rule), require that trains sound their horns as a warning to highway users at public highway-rail crossings. California Public Utilities Code Section 7604 requires that trains sound their horns at all private and pedestrian crossings as well. The Horn Rule allows localities to establish quiet zones, which prohibits the routine sounding of horns at quiet zone designated rail crossings. In order to establish a quiet zone, the City must first provide a written Notice of Intent to the Federal Railroad Administration, California Public Utilities Commission, and the railroad carrier operating over the impacted right-of-way. The Notice of Intent has a 60-day comment period. If there is a private and/or pedestrian grade crossing in the proposed quiet zone, a diagnostic team (composed of representatives of the impacted railroad carrier, the Federal Railroad Administration and the California Public Utilities Commission) must evaluate whether or not the quiet zone meets the above stated criteria. After expiration of the 60-day comment period (or after completion of diagnostic team recommendations, if any) the City must provide a Notice of Quiet Zone Establishment with a minimum 21-day notice period. The quiet zone is established upon expiration of the 21-day notice period. Thereafter, the routine sounding of horns at the quiet zone crossing is prohibited. --------------- It is bad enough we have to deal with the High Speed Rail issues in Burlingame, we shouldn't have to deal with this as well. There has never been a better time to petition our elected City officials to act on a matter that affects the community almost equally. Please join us in accomplishing this effort. -----------------

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Robin Whittaker

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