The Florida East Coast track is part of the history of San Marco and people who either live in the neighborhood or frequent the shopping district are accustomed to the blasts of the horns of passing trains. Train engineers are required by federal regulation to blow the horn four times to alert traffic of their approach at the nine train crossings between the trestle bridge across the St. Johns River to Emerson Street.
In recent years, the number of trains coming through the neighborhood has increased. Between 24 and 32 trains travel through San Marco every day, according to federal data. And the trains are getting longer and louder. Some trains can be as long as a mile and require a larger locomotive to pull them. The larger locomotives have a bass note in their whistle so, though they may stay within the decibel level required by federal regulations, they sound louder.
The noise pollution from the train whistles interrupts sleep and affects home values.
There is a solution — a quiet zone.