Quiet Zone for Train Horn Noise
We, the undersigned, petition the City Council of Glendale to establish the City of Glendale as a Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) approved train horn Quiet Zone (QZ). We want the City Council to remedy the noise pollution problem caused by the train whistle by: 1. Having City Council place an item on the agenda at the next Council meeting to discuss a Motion to establish a QZ for our city. 2. Having City Council file a written Notice of Intent to the FRA. (See below for Establishing a Quite Zone.) The City of Glendale is a wonderful city to live in. However, the noise caused by the train whistle, at all hours of the day and night, are detracting from almost all of the positive reasons for living in this city; Especially knowing that the FRA has made it possible, through the establishment of a QZ, for local governments and municipalities to virtually eliminate all of the noise pollution caused by the damaging sound levels of the train horn when passing through a grade crossing while maintaining and in some cases, increasing the safety level. It has been well documented and researched to the benefits of a full night sleep and the harms that lack of sleep can cause the human body and mind. There are numerous articles and studies done on how sleep deprivation can impair your mind and body; how lack of sleep can impair ones judgment, actually causing more accidents and more illness. During sleep and rest the body fights infection, illness and other ailments and regenerates the mind. Therefore, places of healing like hospitals, elderly care centers, safe houses, churches and most importantly your home need to have an environment, among other things, that are conducive to restful sleep to help people heal from their ailments and illness. For reference, between Sonora Avenue and Chevy Chase Drive, there are 5 at-grade railroad crossings with a new one on the way at Flower Street. This puts 4 at-grade railroad crossings between Sonora Avenue and Doran Street - a 1 mile distance. FYI, the proper signal for a crossing is long, long, short, long and is to begin about 15-20 seconds (about 1,500 ft at 25 mph) and end at the crossing. Since the distance between the crossings is only a little over 5,000 feet, you can see that the whistle noise can/will be almost constant through much of the residential neighborhoods north of the 134. THAT IS NO EXCUSE for playing a symphony at 2 AM / Nor at 6:00 AM or 6:00 PM when all the commuter trains sail through 10 minutes apart. The additional safety equipment required at the 'whistle-less' at-grade crossings should also make these at-grade crossings much safer than they are now. The addition of the new crossing at Pelanconi should have sufficient additional funds included with its cost to retrofit the existing crossings in the city. With this new equipment, it should be much harder for another major crash to occur by a suicide bent individual. We would like to have City Council make it a priority to eliminate the noise pollution caused by the train horn and establish a QZ for our city. Establishing a Quiet Zone 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 crossing must have: o Minimum Length of at least one-half mile along the railroad track (except where a new quiet zone is added to an existing quiet zone). o Active grade crossing warning devices that include both flashing lights and gates that control traffic over the crossing. In addition, the crossing must be equipped with constant warning time devices (regulating when the gate arms drop), if reasonably practical, and power-out indicators. o Advance Warning Signs that advise the motorist that train horns are not sounded at the crossing. 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.