Monday, January 3, 2011

"Quiet Zones" in Frisco

(January 3, 2011) The City of Frisco has completed the process to
establish a railroad ‘quiet zone,’ which will take effect at five railroad
crossings in the city beginning Wednesday, January 5. The ‘quiet zone’
designation means train engineers will no longer sound a train’s horn when
approaching the following street-level crossings, except in the case of an
• Southbound Dallas Parkway
• Northbound Dallas Parkway
• Frisco Square Boulevard
• Main Street
• All Stars Avenue

“Some of Frisco’s neighborhoods developed around rail lines that have been
operating for decades,” said Brian Moen, Assistant Director of Engineering
Services/Transportation. “Unless a crossing is designated as a ‘quiet
zone,’ federal law requires train engineers to sound the horn 15 to 20
seconds prior to reaching a crossing. The ‘quiet zone’ designation will
stop most of the unwanted train noise for these residents.”

The City of Frisco has been working since 2007 with the help of Burlington
Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) to make intersection improvements and
upgrades at the railroad crossings that would meet the Federal Railroad
Administration’s (FRA) Train Horn Rule design and certification
requirements. To meet FRA standards, the city had to make sure each
crossing had certain supplemental safety measures in place including
gates, flashing lights and median barriers.

“Once the quiet zone is in effect, motorists still need to follow the
same safety rules they have always followed at railroad crossings,” said
Moen. “Trains are approaching these crossings when the gates are down
even though the horns can no longer be heard. You should never attempt to
go around or under an active railroad gate.”

In addition, warning signs indicating there is no train horn will be
installed on January 4 before the ‘quiet zone’ takes effect. Train
engineers may still sound the horn to provide warning to animals, vehicle
operators, trespassers or crews on other trains in an emergency situation.

During the first few weeks of the quiet zone, it is possible that
residents will occasionally hear the train horn sounded at these
crossings. It can take time for all of the train engineers to receive
information that a quiet zone has been established. If residents continue
to hear the horn after the first few weeks, they can notify the City of
Frisco Engineering Department at 972-292-5400.

Courtesy of City of Frisco