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Fort Collins Strives to Silence Train Horns

m_e_mccarron, Flickr

Have you ever been enjoying an afternoon in Old Town Fort Collins, only to be suddenly bombarded by a deafening train horn?  Of course you have.  We ALL have!  Well, it looks like the city of Fort Collins has finally had enough of the ear-shattering horns blaring their way down the Mason corridor, and are exploring options to silence them once and for all.

According to the Coloradoan, the city feels the loud train horns are keeping residents awake and interfering with local businesses.  (Thank you, Captain Obvious!)

Although trains long sounded their horns while passing through the city, the situation got worse in the mid-2000s when a new federal regulation went into effect. The rule requires trains to sound their horns for at least 15 seconds before entering any level crossing, and requires the horn to be at least 96 decibels.

[via The Coloradoan.]

So apparently, there are two ways to silence those awful train whistles as they roll through town: 1) Spend millions of dollars on “quiet zones’ with special crossing gates; or 2) just change the regulations set by the Federal Railroad Administration.

While the city of Fort Collins is considering spending the estimated $6.5 million for the quiet zone gates, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall (both from Colorado) are trying to get the federal regulations changed.  They say the problem isn’t just in Fort Collins, and limiting the changes to just one city simply wouldn’t be fair.  In other words, a widespread problem demands a widespread solution.

Speaking as someone who to lived a block from the Mason corridor for three years, and was rudely awakened from a peaceful slumber at least once a week by those obnoxious horns, I say change the regulations.  It’s the best way to solve this issue for everyone.  Because I wouldn’t wish that terrible noise on anyone!

Which plan for silencing the trains do you think is best?

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