Residents are a little closer to relief from the frequent blowing of train whistles at three railroad crossings in Hamburg.
The town is planning to install "quiet zones" at the CSX and Norfolk Southern railroad crossings on Pleasant Avenue and Lakeview and Bayview roads, and has committed to put $300,000 in town funds toward the design and construction of the crossings. The money is left over federal funding from the first two quiet zones created in the town.
Construction is expected to start this spring.
"I think all the people on Pleasant Avenue and Lakeview, there’s hundreds of people up there, would be thankful for what you’ve done on this," Lakeview resident John McKendry told the Hamburg Town Board.
The quiet zone allows a train approaching an at-grade crossing to refrain from blowing its horn. The Federal Railroad Administration allows the zones when there are measures enacted to ensure the safety of motorists. Those safety measures in Hamburg will include narrow center medians, or traffic separator systems, that prevent vehicles from driving around a lowered railroad gate.
The town established quiet zones in 2014 at the rail crossings at Rogers and Cloverbank roads. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, helped secure the original $475,000, and New York State kicked in an additional $50,000.
Residents living around railroad crossings in Hamburg started pushing for quiet zones about 14 years ago. They said that while the tracks have been there for years, the volume of train traffic had increased tremendously. The town estimates 20,000 residents live within the sound of the horns.