Train noise pollution
Several weeks ago my friend visited Edmonds for the first time. We were in downtown Edmonds when a train rolled through town, blasting its horn. My friend was shocked at the painful intensity of the blasts.
He asked if Edmonds realized what a negative impression the trains’ noise must have on visitors and residents. When I mentioned the uproar about more coal trains in the future, my friend just shook his head and asked why we don’t take care of the immediate and obvious problem right before us. He suggested I spend some time on the Internet to see how other cities have quieted their train crossings.
Since 90 percent of train noise comes from the trains’ horns, many cities have installed railroad quiet zones in cooperation with the railroads.
The basic idea is that the city installs appropriate safety features and warning devices at the crossings so that the trains don’t need to blow their horns.
The Federal Railroad Administration has an entire website devoted to how a community can qualify as a railroad quiet zone. The Internet has dozens of city studies leading up to a quiet zone. See for yourself, just Google the words Railroad Quiet Zone Study.
Qualifying for a railroad quiet zone would take some time and effort on the part of the city but the good people of Edmonds might be willing to approve an expenditure that has such a noticeable and pleasing environmental benefit.
Can you imagine what a positive difference a railroad quiet zone would make for Edmonds’ citizens, businesses and visitors? Count me in.