THE SOLUTION

All over the country, cities and counties, including 40 in Florida, have established quiet zones, which are regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration.

A quiet zone requires that other safety measures be put in place so that it is unnecessary for train engineers to blow the horns, except in the case of an emergency. These measures include:

  • Installing lights and four-quadrant gates (four long arms)

  • Installing traffic barriers to stop drivers from going around lowered gates or into opposing lanes of traffic

  • Closing the street to vehicular traffic

 

The crossings that are under consideration for the quiet zone are:

  • Prudential Drive (at Baptist Health)

  • San Marco Boulevard

  • Nira Street

  • Hendricks Avenue

  • Atlantic Boulevard

  • River Oaks Road

  • St. Augustine Road

  • Emerson Street

Two of the crossings -- Atlantic and Emerson -- are included in a $36 million state/federal project to upgrade the rail yards and tracks. However, the other six crossings are not included in that project. 

The process of making crossing upgrades starts with an engineering study to determine what needs to be done at each cross. The city budget has $250,000 set aside for a quiet zone engineering study. The money requires a 50% match. Here's what you can do.