Residents Near Railroad Crossing Want Quiet Zone

Issues with Oak Creek's recycling yard must be worked out first.

Oak Creek is considering asking the state commissioner of railroads to establish a "quiet zone" near a railroad crossing in the 600 block of W. Puetz Road.

Residents for years have wanted something to be done about loud horns sounding as trains approach the crossing, said Alderman Dan Bukiewicz, who represents the area.

Sounding of the train horn is a railroad safety requirement that coincides with safety gates and lights activating when a train is coming up on an at-grade crossing. But Oak Creek could implement certain measures, like markings on the centerline of the street, to allow for the quiet zone.

The crossing in question is for the Canadian Pacific Railroad, which transports cargo trains as well as Amtrak passenger trains to Chicago.

Before any quiet zone can be implemented, however, the city must work out the issues it would present for the nearby . Because of the new features needed to accommodate a quiet zone, the entrance to the recycling yard would have to be re-engineered. That would cause big problems for trucks getting in and out, Street Superintendent Mike Lampe said.

The Oak Creek Common Council on Tuesday decided to hold the proposal so city officials could take a second look.

Incidentally, Oak Creek's former state senator, Jeff Plale, was recently . He will begin his six-year term after confirmation in the state Senate. 

J Beaulieu September 09, 2011 at 04:55 AM
A "Quiet Zone" requires more than pavement markings, it requires a center median extending out from the crossing to prevent drivers from pulling out to pass drivers stopped by the crossing arms, and directional horns aimed down the roadway. It is the need for a center median that likely causes the need to re-engineer the entrance to the recycling center.
Mark Schaaf September 09, 2011 at 01:24 PM
Thanks J.
Resident of O.C. Paul September 09, 2011 at 01:36 PM
I love it when people that are sensitive to noise, smell, and find certain sights offensive, move into an area. Don't they do a little research to find out what is in that area that is noisy, smelly, or visually unappealing before they even consider buying the place...NO...Instead they buy the place, and then force everyone around them to conform to their needs, and the people and businesses have been in the area alot longer than the newly moved in.
Carla September 09, 2011 at 04:15 PM
After living about a block from the train crossing for over 30 yrs I have no objection to hearing the train or its whistle. Years ago you could hear the planes, trains and ships in the harbor more often and louder than you can today. You also used to hear the bell from the church on the corner of 13th & Puetz. That was long before the area on either side of the tracks was covered with condos, apartments and houses on top of one another. Unlike Drexel Ave. where the road was lowered and a bridge added because of too many accidents at the train crossing, the crossing at Puetz has remained virtually unchanged. The whistle blowing is an immediate warning that the trains passage is imminent and impatient drivers should wait for the train to pass. I have noticed a steady increase in traffic at that crossing over the years. Along with rude drivers blasting megawatts of noise from their vehicles for no reason that make my windows rattle at all hours of the day and night. There is no reason to complain about the occasional noise and traffic backups at this crossing. If you really can't stand the whistle of the trains perhaps you can convince someone that a new bridge is necessary at this crossing. Otherwise put the matter in a different perspective and think of all the people whose lives may be saved because of a whistle. Or you can move somewhere else.
maria November 03, 2012 at 09:49 PM
I have been an Oak Creek Resident now for about a couple of months. I guess you can say I live right beside the crossing. I'm not sure about anyone else but I have suffered from Insomnia since day one. Prior to moving to my current location, I lived in a different district in Oak creek and didn't feel the need to search the area. If the Apartment would've warned me or disclosed of this nuisance, I wouldn't have ever signed a contract. I can't see the tracks but I see the train hiding behind a storage unit building. The apartment management doesn't feel it's their problem to help me solve the issue. I will not succumb myself to get use to the terrifying extremely loud unexpected horn blares from a train. It's unsafe and unhealthy to myself, my child and all the neighbors if you like it or not. If you get use to that horn blaring every 1/2hr to an hour 24/7, what happens when your fire alarm sounds and you are now immune to the loudness? Will it be a concern then? There is a solution. Silence the horns while they pass at throughout the night! I only mention night because I put children first. Other countries have done it to crossings that have gates and lights. Train track was there first right?! It's taking a toll on our health. I don't feel the residents of Oak Creek should have to pay higher taxes for this because It's the concern of each individual apartment that was built. Require apartments to disclose this in their contracts and tell them to install noise barriers.


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