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Downtown Raleigh residents renew plea for railroad quiet zones

Posted September 10, 2013

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— Downtown Raleigh residents are again asking the city to create "quiet zones" that would minimize train noise at the four railroad crossings in the western part of downtown, but city leaders say they have no immediate plans to do so.

The city studied the issue in 2009, and looked at installing new crossing equipment that would allow trains to pass without sounding the horn. But that solution would cost between $1 million and $3 million, and Mike Kennon, manager of Raleigh transportation operations, said it's unlikely to happen.

"Because of all the unknowns with Union Station and the high-speed rail, we've not moved forward with the project," Kennon said. 

Plans for a federally funded high-speed rail from Washington, D.C., to Charlotte would make the new crossing equipment obsolete. There's no timeline, however, on the high-speed rail project's completion, Kennon said. The city and state Department of Transportation also plan to build a new passenger train station – Raleigh Union Station – on West Martin Street.

Jim Belt, president of the Downtown Living Advocates, said he and other downtown residents have complained to the city about the horns, and believe now is the time to act.

"People are moving in by the thousands, so that's a lot more people this will be an issue to," Belt said.

Kennon said city leaders are sympathetic to the noise complaints.

"But we feel like we need to spend our tax dollars wisely," he said. 


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  • RaleighMan Sep 12, 2013

    Five On Your Side should really look into this. I hear the truth of the matter is that this project is being delayed by the city's ongoing QUIETER FIRE TRUCK project.

  • Bob3425 Sep 12, 2013

    Don't use common sense scubagirl, it confusing.

  • Scubagirl Sep 12, 2013

    "People are moving in by the thousands, so that's a lot more people this will be an issue to," Belt said.

    Well then, I would suggest that they do their homework BEFORE they move in and talk with others. If you don't like train noise DO NOT MOVE NEAR A TRACK!!! There, that makes it NOT an issue.

  • Billy the Kid Sep 12, 2013

    Don't buy a condo near a train crossing. Wow that was easy!

  • HANS FOR PRESIDENT!!!!! JK Sep 12, 2013

    "People are moving in by the thousands, so that's a lot more people this will be an issue to," Belt said.

    If they move in and then claim it's an issue, hopefully those complaints fall on deaf ears (no pun intended). Want a quiet zone? Sure, no problem. It's called NOT DOWNTOWN

    Downtown Living Advocates???? What's that all about anyway? If you were doing a halfway decent job of downtown living advocacy.......TELL ABOUT THE TRAINS WHEN THEY GET THERE!!!!

  • ConservativeVoter Sep 12, 2013

    These people are unbelievable.

    They buy condos next to the train tracks and then complain about the noise the train makes.

    If anything, these people should be asking the builder for their money back.

    Obviously, the builder is at fault for putting the condos next to the train track.

  • Six String Sep 12, 2013

    Well, we could spend $3M dollars to fix the problem. Then I guess the city would want to raise taxes to cover it. I wonder how many of the downtown residents would scream bloody murder over "no new taxes"? This is part of the downside of living in an urban environment. If you want quiet, move to the top of a mountain.

  • busyb97 Sep 12, 2013

    Good for the city to say no, The horns serve a purpose....usually life saving ones too, especially at an intersection.

    Dont like it...MOVE!

  • nonPC Sep 12, 2013

    The government is acting responsible for once...not throwing money away on a project that would go obsolete before its finished and these yahoos are complaining....

  • wufpaker Sep 12, 2013

    For the entire 4 years I lived at NCSU I was in a dorm (Metcalf) that is a stone's throw (literally) from the tracks. The same train running through downtown goes by that dorm. After a week one gets used to the noise and it becomes part of the cityscape. Don't like it? You complainers knew about those tracks before you moved into your downtown space. Get over it!