zone may not require safety measures
By Ben Saylor
Published Jan. 31, 2007
could be easier than initially thought to establish a quiet zone,
or area in which trains may not blow their horns, in the city of
At City Councilís committee-of-the-whole meeting Jan.
16, Mayor Pamela Bobst announced that following a new study by the
city consulting engineerís office that Rocky Riverís risk index
falls below the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold (NSRT) without
any additional supplemental safety measures (or SSMís for short).
The index is determined by train traffic in a given zone.
The results came as a surprise to Bobst and other
city officials, who had been expecting the results to be higher.
Bobst attributed the difference to having the engineerís office
put updated train counts into the FRA calculator, in addition to
a change in the way the way the information was put into the calculator.
Bobst, who called these results ďstunning news,Ē said
she contacted Ron Reis, the director of crossing safety for the
Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to make sure the cityís risk
index was correct, which Reis confirmed. However, it seems the city
will still consider implementing safety measures like cameras, signage
and more. Bobst said the greatest deterrents to motorists driving
around the gates are education, fines and enforcement.
Should the city make the choice to go ahead with the
quiet zone without implementing SSMís, the zone would have to be
monitored and evaluated every year. If the number of trains passing
through the city each day increased to 10 (the example given at
the meeting), the city index would rise above the NSRT.
Law Director Andrew Bemer reported at councilís Jan.
22 meeting that the current average number of trains per day was
4.1, with seven being the highest single day total and zero the
This new development sparked discussion as to whether
implementing an evening-only quiet zone, which would run from 10
p.m. to 7 a.m., would be enough the address the noise issue. Councilman
Frank Gollinger indicated at councilís Jan. 16 meeting that residents
wanted a 24-hour quiet zone.
Bobst said she wants to have a meeting within the
next month with an FRA representative present where the public can
ask questions and offer their opinions.
ďI just think itís important to have this dialogue
in the community,Ē Bobst said.