Train noise in east Greeley, particularly in the context of downtown development, has been a topic of conversation for decades.
We’ll withhold final judgment until the final horn blows, so to speak, but at least initially we are encouraged by recent discussions that seem to indicate there might be a solution to this long-time problem.
A meeting last week in Fort Collins, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet said train horn regulations need to be more flexible and that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. That comes on the heels of an announcement in late October that the Federal Railroad Administration will be reassessing its train noise rules and plans to seek comment from communities dealing with the issue.
We’re guessing officials Greeley and Windsor, among many other communities in Weld County, will have lots of comments.
Joel Hemesath, Greeley’s director of public works, said residents here would be in favor of new noise rules, which currently mandate that trains must sound the horn for 15-20 seconds as they approach all public grade crossings. For those who stay at the downtown hotel and convention center, or for those who may have attended a meeting at the Greeley Chamber of Commerce, which is housed in the old train depot on 7th Avenue, a relaxing of those rules would be good news.
We understand the concern about safety at railroad crossings. And we understand that at some crossings in some communities, the 20-second rule may be appropriate.
But we think a train blaring its horn for 20 seconds is inappropriate at some intersections in east Greeley. We’re glad to see the federal government’s wheels have begun to turn on this long-standing issue, and we’ll be hopeful that changes may really be on the way.