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Tired of train horns, Menlo Park and Palo Alto advance plans for 'quiet zone'

Original post made on Apr 27, 2023

Palo Alto and Menlo Park have joined forces to combat a common foe: blaring train horns. But an analysis shows that one of these two cities will have a far quicker and cheaper journey than the other should it choose to go that route.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 27, 2023, 9:23 AM

Comments (4)

Posted by Nancy the real Nancy
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 27, 2023 at 7:51 pm

Nancy the real Nancy is a registered user.

I've always wondered why can't the horn be mounted at each crossing and not on the train? Once the train is a quarter mile out, the horn will alert those at the gate area at a lower decibel level.

Posted by Allen Akin
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 27, 2023 at 10:26 pm

Allen Akin is a registered user.

That is an option. However, City Staff noted in response to a public comment that the wayside horns are still likely to be audible to residents nearby, and the crossings need to have the same safety upgrades that are required for a full quiet zone.

Posted by Joel
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 28, 2023 at 12:06 pm

Joel is a registered user.

I've don't fall asleep until I hear the sound of a train passing. I'll have to install a train horn on my alarm system.

Posted by Leslie York
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 1, 2023 at 5:51 am

Leslie York is a registered user.

"I've always wondered why can't the horn be mounted at each crossing and not on the train? Once the train is a quarter mile out, the horn will alert those at the gate area at a lower decibel level."

The crossings already have red lights, bells and gates that come down. Now you want horns, too? People would complain about horns as well. The horns would have to be loud enough to get drivers' attention.

Hold the phone! I thought CPA was going to rebuild the Alma crossing in connection with some downtown renovation project. In addition, Caltrain is going to replace the trestle across the creek. Not merely thinking about, GOING TO. The trestle is very old and nearing its end of life. That means closing the crossing for trestle replacement. Caltrain says it is going to provide shuttle buses to get around the closed crossing. What's that going to do to this new median project? Has anyone thought about that?

CPA has been spinning its wheels for years over grade separation, hiring consultant after consultant and plan after plan, spending millions of dollars, and has gotten absolutely nowhere. If they weren't at-grade crossings this whole idea of a quiet zone would be MOOT. Which is it, quad gates and a quiet zone, grade separation, or year after year of more wheel spinning, consultants and studies?

Isn't anybody thinking about the big picture? Has the so-called planning commission gone comatose?

A shout-out to Gennady Sheyner for consistently excellent reporting on these issues. He really understand the issues he is covering. If anyone deserves a Tall Tree award, Gennady does.

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