Bennet, Polis, Perlmutter, Buck Reiterate Need for Train Quiet Zones in Colorado

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Washington, DC, April 15, 2016 | comments

Bennet, Polis, Perlmutter, Buck Reiterate Need for Train Quiet Zones in Colorado

Lawmakers Submit Letter to FRA urging for Change in Train Horn Requirements

Today, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), and Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), submitted a letter to the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) reiterating the necessity for more consistent and flexible requirements for train horn Quiet Zones across communities in Colorado. Following requests on behalf of Coloradoans, lawmakers have been advocating to re-open the FRA’s train horn rule for public comment over the last ten years. On March 7th, the FRA began the review of its train horn regulations and made public comment available for 120 days. While urging the FRA to act quickly and constructively with the rulemaking process, Colorado lawmakers are still encouraging Coloradans to offer feedback during the review period.

“Colorado communities have voiced concerns for years about the FRA’s inflexible train horn rules,” Bennet said. “This review is an opportunity for the agency to listen to how businesses and residents are affected by train horns and work toward a solution that ensures public safety while improving quality of life. Coloradans should continue to offer their feedback to ensure the FRA considers changes to the rule that reflect the needs of our communities.”

“Over the last decade Coloradoans have expressed their annoyance over the irritating train horn, especially in our downtown areas,” said Polis. “While it’s reassuring that the FRA has decided to reopen the train horn rule, it’s time for a solution that prioritizes safety, while also reducing noise pollution. We’ve heard our constituents’ and businesses overwhelming opinion, and encourage the FRA to commit to swift, and meaningful action on behalf of our residents.”

“I’ve heard loud and clear from my constituents about the nuisance of train horn noise and the impact it has on families and businesses,” said Rep. Perlmutter. “I’m glad the FRA is finally hearing our calls for reforms and is working to improve the train horn rule. Our communities want to work with the FRA to improve safety at rail grade crossings, and I urge the FRA to listen to impacted communities and improve the rule to maintain safety while increasing flexibility and allowing for the use of innovative technologies.”

"I'm encouraged that the Federal Rail Administration has reopened the train horn rule for public comment, and I urge the FRA to take into consideration the concerns of the community on this issue," stated Rep. Buck. "Train horn noise can be a major annoyance to Colorado families, especially at 2 o'clock in the morning. I'm confident we can find a solution that reduces the impact of train horn noise on Colorado communities while ensuring that our rail crossings remain safe and effective."

Communities throughout Colorado, including Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, Greeley, Commerce City, Arvada, Castle Rock, Westminster, and Windsor, among others, have expressed concerns with the application of the FRA’s train horn noise rules.

This announcement follows a request by members of the delegation in December 2015urging the FRA to reopen the rule and inviting Administrator Sarah Feinberg to visit Northern Colorado to meet with the communities and see first-hand how the train horn rule is affecting businesses and residents in the region.

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