discusses quiet zone time frames
By Ben Saylor
Published March 28, 2007
Council expressed differing views on what sort of time period their
proposed quiet zone would run.
Mayor Pamela Bobst brought up the issue at council’s
March 19 committee-of-whole meeting, which hadn’t been discussed
at length since earlier in the month, when Evelyn Hendricks of the
Federal Railroads Administration attended a public meeting to answer
questions about establishing a quiet zone in Rocky River.
“I want to move ahead on this,” Bobst told council
at the March 19 meeting. She then recommended an evening only quiet
zone, meaning train engineers would not be obligated to blow their
horns between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. The engineer always
has the right, however, to sound the horn if he/she feels there
is a danger.
Along with the 10-7 time frame, Bobst said safety
enhancements would be implemented at crossings (asopposed to more
costly supplemental safety measures), along with a program of education
on crossing safety at the school level as well additional police
enforcement at the crossings. Bobst said she had already spoken
to retired Rocky River Schools Superintendent Dennis Allen about
the education part of the plan, and that he is “extremely supportive”
of the city’s efforts.
Bobst also said that she would prefer to take the
step of establishing a partial quiet zone, and then possibly expand
the time frame based on the results of the 10-7.
Ward 1 Councilman Thomas Hunt said that the “overwhelming
response” he has received from residents in his ward favored a 24
hour, seven days a week quiet zone. Hunt acknowledged the concern
for safety in such a quiet zone’s implementation.
“But I think with the right education, it can work,”
Ward 3 Councilman Frank Gollinger also said that the
feedback he received from residents largely supported a 24-7 quiet
zone. While Gollinger also mentioned both his own concern and that
of his residents for safety at crossings, he noted that engineers
may still blow their horn if they feel there is a danger.
Gollinger also said that having a blanket 24-7 quiet
zone would help prevent confusion, and would also accommodate people
who sleep at odd hours and families with sleeping infants.
Councilwoman-at-large Linda Bartolozzi said, “At this
time I’d be only in support of the 10-7,” arguing that train noise
is not the only nuisance noise city residents have to deal with,
citing highway noise from I-90, lawnmowers and airplanes. Bartolozzi
said that these noises cause more of a nuisance to more residents
than the blast of a train horn.
Ward 2 Councilman James Moran said the evening hours
are the most important in terms of regulating noise, and that a
24-7 quiet zone “might be going too far.”
Councilman-at-large Thomas Long said he intended to
support Bobst’s proposal for the 10-7 quiet zone.
Councilman-at-large Brian Hurtuk was not present at
the March 19 meeting.
Bobst told the council to go back to their wards and
consult further with their residents on what they would like in
a quiet zone.
Of council’s divided preferences for time-frames,
Bobst said she was not surprised.
“I’m not surprised by that because I think we’re all
listening to what residents have said,” Bobst said.
She also said she was concerned about the fact that
Rocky River would be only the second city in Ohio to have a quiet
zone, the first being Moraine.