Train whistles are outdated mode of public safety
To the Editor: Thank you for covering the "train whistle" issue lately. I'd like to explain why I approached the city about "quiet zones," intersections where trains no longer blow their whistles in favor of alternatives like crossing arms and cl...
To the Editor:
Thank you for covering the “train whistle” issue lately. I'd like to explain why I approached the city about “quiet zones,” intersections where trains no longer blow their whistles in favor of alternatives like crossing arms and closures.
When I moved to Avenue C, at nearly every neighborhood gathering, the subject of loud train whistles was discussed. My neighbors unanimously condemned the noise, often vehemently. When I would casually mention that at my last apartment in Minneapolis, the city successfully silenced the train whistles, my neighbors were surprised that it was possible to reduce the train noise in our own backyard. After two summers of such conversations, some neighbors asked me if I would look into it, and I agreed.
Trains don't need to blare their horns all along the St Louis River through town all day and all night. It's actually safer to close some intersections (like at Market Street, where there is an unused crossing but the train is still obligated to blow its horn) or simply close them at night (like either Eighth Street or 10th Street, or both) and install crossing arms on Broadway Street (which is expensive, but [I believe] is actually much safer than a couple of flashing lights and a loud, disruptive train whistle).
Train whistles are an old-fashioned, out-dated way of making crossings safe. There are more modern and safer ways to protect residents, and it's time to make this investment in safety and quality of life. I know most of my neighbors agree, because they have told me so. I'm glad the city is listening.
Pete Radosevich, Cloquet