Sunday, July 30, 2006
Alderman Reynolds works to silence train whistles
Alderman Bill Reynolds has petitioned the Kingston Common Council to decide whether or not to buy horns that would drastically decrease the annoyance of overly loud train whistles, I personally think it is a good idea said Blaber, I get more complaints on my show about the train whistles and it is not going away if anything it seems to be getting worse, I am glad Alderman Reynolds is bringing this issue to the forefront.
Reynolds wrote that train traffic through the city probably will increase in the coming years and that the horns would be a good investment. Routinely, 40-50 freight trains operated by CSX Corp. travel through the city each day.
"Over the last few years, the problem (of loud train whistles) has only worsened, particularly after the CSX Corp. purchased Conrail," Reynolds wrote. "... For several years, my constituents, and even constituents from the neighboring Sixth Ward, have asked me if there is something, anything, we could do about the problem of excessive whistling noise."
Reynolds said the matter even has affected his own family.
"My son has been ripped out of his sleep on several occasions," the alderman said. "We all know how much sleep children need. Their health can be negatively impacted by the lack of it and so can the health of some adults."
The wayside horns, estimated to cost a total of about $360,000, would be placed at the six street-level crossings in the city. When a train approaches, the horns - pointed directly at traffic - would be activated, rendering the train whistles unnecessary.
Proponents of the horns say their sound would not carry as far as that of the train whistles, which can be heard for miles around.
Reynolds, who pledged two weeks ago that he would request borrowing money to buy the horns, added that he is "asking the Common Council to consider (the) request to bond for the funds we will need to purchase wayside horns so people young and old, for the sake of their health and safety of others, can get a better night's sleep."
Alderwoman AnnMarie DiBella, who supports Reynolds' position, said the time has come to purchase the horns.
"I think there is enough compelling reasons to convince the council that this is something that needs to be done to improve a long standing problem in the city," said DiBella, D-Ward 5.
The matter probably will go to the council's Finance/Economic Development Committee first. If it reaches the floor of the full nine-member council, six "yea" votes (a two-thirds majority) would be needed to approve borrowing any money to buy the horns.
The six-street level railroad crossings in Kingston are on Flatbush Avenue, Cemetery Road, Foxhall Avenue, Tenbroeck Avenue, Gage Street and Smith Avenue.
Posted by Jeremy Blaber at 5:40 AM