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Quieter railroad crossings in Loma Linda?

February 16, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Blaring whistles and ringing bells will finally be silenced in Loma Linda. Some local railroad crossings will turn into "quiet zones" instead. And it's a welcome change for residents in the city of Loma Linda.They're sounds residents living in the hills of Loma Linda hear every day, sometimes every few minutes.

"Oh we hear it a lot," said one motorist waiting at a crossing

"Well our house is the corner house, it gets the full brunt," said Loma Linda resident Martin Osbourne.

"It will wake you up in a hurry," said Loma Linda City Associate Engineer Jeff Peterson.

For residents of the city, incessant train whistles may soon be much fewer in number, thanks to something called a "quiet zone."

A new federal law says if the city and railroad come to an agreement on certain safety improvements for a crossing, that crossing will be labeled a quiet zone, and engineers will no longer be required to sound the whistle there.

In Loma Linda, the city council has approved quiet zones at both the Beaumont and Whittier avenue train crossings.

"And this is something that the people have asked that we address as quickly as possible once the federal government decided that this was an opportunity that they wanted to allow us to have," said Peterson.

Right now there are only double yellow lines here. What the city of Loma Linda is going to do is build a median that runs for 100 feet from the crossing. That way drivers won't be able to go around the crossing arms anymore. With that safety feature, engineers will no longer be required to sound the whistle.

"That would be really great, that would be really great," said a motorist.

"Well anything will help. The whistle, I don't know what the decibel level on that thing is, but anything will help," said Martin Osbourne.

Ultimately, it will be up to each individual engineer whether to sound the whistle.

Still, when this project is finished in a couple months, the sounds of train whistles may soon be outbound in Loma Linda.