The distant sound of a train whistle may bring an air of nostalgia for some people, but for those forced to hear it up close every day, it can be disruptive and distracting. Now the frequent sound of blowing train horns in downtown Oklahoma City will be a memory thanks to the development of a quiet zone that was completed last week.
The Federal Railway Administration defines a quiet zone as “a stretch of track where the FRA has agreed that trains are not required to routinely sound the horn at each public crossing except in emergencies, such as someone on the track or workers within 25 feet of the track or at the discretion of the crew, as appropriate.”
Before the quiet zone designation, the FRA required train engineers to sound the warning whistles at least 15 seconds in advance of all crossings. The horn sound is at a volume between 96 and 110 decibels, near the average human pain threshold for sound – not a selling feature for those wanting to build, renovate or lease downtown. In fact, commercial and residential growth in the area is what began the discussion and planning for a quiet zone. City staff, property owners, residents and business leaders worked together on the project for several years. Thanks to them, the east side of downtown is now more peaceful and attractive.
Read the full article in The Journal Record