makes decision on quiet zone
By Ben Saylor
Published May 9, 2007
River City Council, in a close poll, supported the pursuit of a
24-hour quiet zone, following a discussion at last Monday’s committee-of-the-whole
Councilmen Thomas Hunt, James Moran, Frank Gollinger
and Council President Brian Hagan all voted in favor of a 24-hour
time frame in which train engineers would not be obligated to blow
their horns when passing through Rocky River. Councilmen-at-large
Brian Hurtuk and Thomas Long did not vote for a 24 hour zone, and
neither did Councilwoman-at-large Linda Bartolozzi.
Mayor Pamela Bobst had advocated for a more limited
quiet zone that would be effective only between the hours of 10
p.m. and 7 a.m.
Gollinger both stated that the feedback they received
from residents was largely in favor of a 24 hour quiet zone. They
reported similar feedback the last time the issue was discussed.
Hunt acknowledged the concern 10-7 proponents have
about safety, and how that could possibly be impacted by a 24-hour
quiet zone. But, he said, “Everyone has nothing but the safety of
the residents in mind.” He added that he “wouldn’t feel comfortable”
not voicing the residents’ support of a 24-hour zone.
Hunt also said that the fact that the city would not
be required to spend money on supplemental safety measures factored
into the majority of the support for a 24-hour zone.
“I think that has changed a lot of people’s minds,”
Gollinger also came back with “overwhelming” feedback
from residents in favor of a 24-hour zone. Like Hunt, he acknowledged
safety concerns, but said that with the safety features currently
in place on the city’s crossings, coupled with increased enforcement
as well as education about the dangers of crossings, that safety
would still be upheld. Gollinger also reminded the group that train
engineers always have the right to sound their horn in the event
of an emergency.
Hunt and Gollinger faced opposition from other members
of council. Of the 10-7 quiet zone, Bartolozzi told West Life, “That’s
all I feel is absolutely necessary at this point.”
Bartolozzi said that she wouldn’t want the city to
approve a 24-hour zone and then have to scale back in the event
of a change in train count numbers. She also said it was important
to eliminate nighttime noise, and that the 10-7 zone would address
Bobst acknowledged that many residents have been in
favor of a 24-hour quiet zone, but said that many of the ones she
has spoken to about the issue have come around after hearing her
Bobst also said it would be very difficult to institute
a 24-hour zone and then scale it back if there were complaints or
issues with that time frame.
“I think it makes a lot of sense for our community,”
Bobst told West Life before the meeting.