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Status of train horn quiet zone

Original post made by Patrick on Oct 25, 2012

Does anyone know how to find our status on establishing a quiet zone? Seems odd that a city in our stage of development would still have train horns.

From an Oct 16 2007 article:

In response to requests by downtown residents, the Pleasanton City
Council tonight will consider establishing several railroad quiet
zones and setting aside about $1.6 million to $2 million for the
additional warning signals and maintenance required.

Establishing a quiet zone would prohibit the sounding of train horns
at any time.

Downtown Pleasanton has four public street-level railroad crossings
-- at Santa Rita Road, St. Mary Street, West Angela Street and Rose
Avenue. There is also a crossing at Castlewood Drive in Alameda
County, which also affects Pleasanton residents, but for now, the
city is considering quiet zones only at the four crossings in

The city will have to install four-quadrant gates at all downtown
crossings, as eliminating the horn blowing increases the risks of
an accident. The city staff has estimated that each four-quadrant
crossing will cost $400,000.

The Union Pacific Railroad staff told the city that it would be
responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the gates at a cost of
about $20,000 per year per crossing.

Comments (12)

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 25, 2012 at 11:01 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I'd inquire with the City as to the status on upgrading the crossings.

Posted by me, a resident of Downtown
on Oct 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I was wondering about why train horns are allowed in the middle of the night when I heard one at 230 this am.

Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown
on Oct 25, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Were there trains running when you bought your home? Did the city promise you that the horns would be stopped? Explain why the city (read "all of us taxpayers") should spend millions of dollars to stop what was already going on when you bought your home.
Why don't you purchase a home under the departure path at an airport and then sue the airport to stop the planes?

Posted by me, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2012 at 1:20 am

whoa resident.... cool your jets.
Who said anything about suing and millions of dollars.
Geeze.... all I said was I wonder why they allow train horns at 230am.

Doesn't seem like they need to be blowing the horn that loud at 2 am. No the city made no promises and I didn't ask for any. I wasn't out here at my house at 230 am or 530 am to know that they would allow horns. It doesn't make Pleasanton very Pleasant does it?

No, I'm the fool. But I still wonder why they need constant horns at 230 am.

Posted by Tennessee Jed, a resident of Jensen Tract
on Oct 26, 2012 at 7:04 am

My place backs-up to the RR tracks. The trains [and horns] go by so often I don't even notice them anymore. I love trains! I suppose if I didn't, then I might be annoyed by the rolling sound and the horns.

Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland
on Oct 26, 2012 at 9:16 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

The engineers are required to blow the horn before every crossing. Sitting in bed listening, you can track the progress of the train and estimate how streets they have to intersect, each one a potential hazard for those who don't observe the crossing gates.

Posted by Liberalism is evil, a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Oct 26, 2012 at 9:39 am

It's obviously a matter of too much regulation. Before we know it, Obama will pass federal legislation making trains blast their horn every half-block when passing through urban areas. Trains, the BART system, uptick in murders in and around Ptown, this all started with Obama and won't end until we remove him and get a deregulator into the Presidential suite.

Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown
on Oct 26, 2012 at 10:20 am

"the Pleasanton City Council tonight will consider establishing several railroad quiet zones and setting aside about $1.6 million to $2 million for the additional warning signals and maintenance required."

Read the post. Why should we pay millions to stop something that was already in place when Patrick moved there.

"They" don't "allow" the horns. The horns are required for safety so that when you disregard the crossing gates the state provides a margin of safety. In other states horns are not used during late night hours. That would be other states where the citizens are not so entitled and people actually stop at the tracks to look before crossing. That would not likely be anyone in Pleasanton. Entitlement is the rule here not the exception.

Posted by Max, a resident of Downtown
on Oct 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Union Pacific stopped being receptive to the concern of train horns and maintains a policy of safety precautions. Several events changed the discussions.
These tragedies would not have been prevented by horns in fact I can still hear the horn blasting around 2pm Feb.19 2010. I still think of her and several others who made unfortunate choices when I hear the train horns. The horns are a fact of life and part of our history, learn to tune them out or wear ear plugs.

Web Link
February 19, 2010
The 14-year-old student was killed shortly after 2:30 p.m. Friday when she was hit by a Union Pacific freight train just west of the Santa Rita Road crossing next to the high school in what police determined was an apparent suicide.

Web Link
Monday, October 29, 2007
The teen killed by a train early this morning is being identified as a junior at Amador Valley High School, pending a coroner's official report. The death is said to have been intentional, according to police.

Posted by New to pleasanton, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 14, 2012 at 7:46 am

So resident, your saying that we should all except all inconveniences if they existed when we moved in? There's no justification to improve the situation of 1,000s of residents? $2M to make it so I (and 1,000s of other residents) don't get woken up at 3am every morning seems like a bargain.

Posted by hmmm, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 14, 2012 at 9:04 am

Give the 2m to the schools.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 14, 2012 at 9:29 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Or spend the $2MM on the quiet zone, watch property values downtown raise due to the improvement in the quality of life, and enjoy the resultant increase in revenue. Assuming, of course, that quiet zones raise property values...

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