In less than a week Jamestown should become a little quieter. The quiet zone is expected to go into effect on Dec. 28, and marks the culmination of nearly five years of work by city officials, according to Jeff Fuchs, city administrator.
Construction work on the parking lots in downtown Jamestown is over and the long process to establish a quiet zone at five railroad crossings through town has reached its last step.
City Administrator Jeff Fuchs said the quiet zone application is with the Federal Railroad Administration. In fact, he said, it’s been at the FRA longer than expected.
Jamestown is holding a special election today. Residents will be asked to decide whether to establish a quiet zone for all rail crossings in the city. Take the time to cast your ballot and be counted.
Residents may vote from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today at the Civic Center in the Exchequer Room.
The quiet zone coalition has yet to prove the value of a quiet zone. As a safety professional, I have seen no factual evidence proving quiet zones are safer. During the time Fargo-Moorhead has had the quiet zone, there’s been two serious accidents. There were none in Bismarck, Grand Forks, Minot or even Jamestown. How is that safer?
As we prepare for the quiet zone vote on Tuesday, I would like to remind people that the quiet zone is not the reason that the Third Avenue West crossing will be closed. The crossing will be closed whether or not the quiet zone vote passes. The city leaders have already decided that.
I am bothered by the mindset of the proponents of the quiet zone when they attempt to calm our foreboding with soothing statements that a typical property owner will see only an increase in property taxes of approximately $1 per year for 10 years.
I think it is no wonder that there is much opposition to the proposed and soon to be voted on quiet zone at the railroad crossings in Jamestown. I cannot find a single person who knows what these “quiet zones” will be like.
The whistles blow, and blow and BLOW. Conversations stop and wait for the whistle noise to subside. We can’t stop the trains from going through town, but we CAN stop the constant whistles. We CAN stop the UNNECESSARY noise! A quiet zone would do that and more.
The special election on whether to establish a quiet zone in Jamestown is Tuesday. By voting “yes,” residents further community development, make the existing railroad crossings in the city safer and bring peace and quiet to some neighborhoods — all for as little as about $1 per year for 10 years. It’s very little money that brings great benefits to all residents and to our community.
Why do we need to vote again on the quiet zone? I am referring to an upcoming vote regarding the Jamestown quiet zone. Is this another grant-driven project? Previously, our city thought it necessary to spend approximately $1 million on the First Street West Bridge (traffic estimated at around 20 vehicles using the bridge per day).
The issue of how to help the downtown of Jamestown was number one in a survey that was taken back in 2003 or 2004. While we have made considerable progress in recent years in adding new and great businesses to our downtown, we still need to make additional improvements.
On May 5, Jamestown residents will vote whether or not to make the railroad crossings in Jamestown safer. While approval of the measure will silence the annoyingly loud train horns as required by the federal Swift Rail Act, the real benefit to Jamestown drivers and pedestrians will be significantly safer crossings.
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