KNAU and Arizona News
8:39 am
Thu July 9, 2009

Flagstaff's Quiet Zone Update

Flagstaff & Phoenix, AZ – Earlier this year, the city of Flagstaff was told by the Arizona Corporation Commission to stop work on its train horns project, a plan to reduce train horn noise in the city limits. City staff reportedly was unaware the commission had jurisdiction and moved forward with their plans without permission from the state. Yesterday, representatives from the City of Flagstaff and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway testified before the commission in Phoenix. Chairwoman Kris Mayes says it's clear many see a need for a quiet zone.

MAYES There's tremendous support in the city of flagstaff because there's so much noise associated with the dozens of trains that come through flagstaff every day. There's clear support from the community and now we're just taking a look at the safety implications of this proposal.

Next, an administrative law judge will issue an opinion on the case and then the commissioners will make a decision on the fate of Flagstaff quiet zones. Kris Mayes says because the city has already started the project, it could be completed relatively soon.

MAYES So I think it's just a matter of weeks before the city is ready to go with the wayside horns. They have a lot of the infrastructure prepped and ready to go. So if the commission were to approve it it would be a pretty quick thing.

Under the plan, train engineers would no longer sound horns in the city limits except when needed. 2 East side intersections would utilize wayside horns, devices built near the tracks to emit a horn sound at the crossing to alert people of an approaching train.