Railroad Quiet Zone
Mayor responds to Questions about Quiet Zone Ordinance 9/12/2022
- Why is the CSX removal of the quiet zone traffic sensing loops a Village restoration expense?
Answer: The quiet zone was created by a contract among the Village, CSX, the Ohio Rail Development Commission and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, which required certain additional safety equipment to compensate for the lack of train horns. Extra gates were installed at each crossing, maintenance of which falls to CSX. Traffic detection loops were be buried in the pavement to detect the presence of vehicles in the crossing area, maintenance of which falls to the Village, even when the maintenance is necessitated by the actions of CSX.
- $30,000 per crossing is much higher than the maintenance expense estimates shared with residents previously.
Answer: The $30,000 figure is significantly higher than the Village was told to expect. It represents a high-end estimate to allow the work to proceed without seeking additional funds from Council, which could delay the work by as much as a month.
- How much of the total expense is CSX paying?
Answer: Their responsibility is for maintenance of the gates.
- What are our plans to avoid this expense in the future?
Answer: As indicated, we assumed the expense by contract. We cannot avoid it.
- What is the current privately donated fund balance for the Community Fund? Weren’t these funds also use by Council for items like parking lots that would otherwise would be a taxpayer expense?
Answers: First, there is $65,000 in the Community Fund that is designated for quiet zone expenses. Second, no resident-donated funds were used for parking lots. The fencing, on the lot on the East side of the tracks across from the Depot Museum was required by the quiet zone agreement and paid from quiet zone funds. Repaving and landscaping were funded by the unrestricted grant of $50,000 paid by CSX for the closing of the Albion crossing.
A Quiet Zone is a designated area where trains are not permitted to routinely sound their horns while passing rail crossings. In the Village of Glendale, there are two crossings - one at Sharon Avenue and one at Oak Avenue. Train engineers must obey the posted 'no whistle' signage. Trains are only allowed to sound their horns under certain circumstances, including when passing another train or in the event of a possible emergency (such as someone on the tracks or too close to the tracks).Are quiet zones safe?
Yes. Federal Law imposes strict safety requirements in order to establish a Quiet Zone. Under the law, the Village installed "quad gates" at each of its intersections. "Quad gates" have twice the gates as a standard crossing, blocking traffic on both sides of the road for a passing train. Additionally, magnetic sensors have been installed alongside the rails at each crossing. These sensors notify the engineer of an oncoming train, as well as the computer operated gates, that an obstruction may be present on the track.Who Paid for the quiet zone?
Private donations, as well as funding from The Federal Government, the State and CSX Transportation, covered all necessary expenses for the construction of the safety equipment in the Quiet Zone. Additionally, because the fencing required by CSX caused changes in the configuration of the municipal parking lot off of S. Troy Avenue and closed the pedestrian crossing near the Depot Museum, the Village will be using Quiet Zone donations to fund improvements to the parking lot and the pedestrian crossing at Sharon Avenue. In short, no Village taxpayer dollars have been spent as a result of the Quiet Zone.
Many residents report an increase in their quality of life as a result of the Quiet Zone. While the railroad is integral to the history of Glendale, the horns in recent years had become louder and more frequent than in the past. Thanks to the Glendale Quiet Zone, residents and visitors can still enjoy watching trains pass through the Village while enjoying the now more peaceful serenity of Glendale's park-like community.