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College Park awaits 'quiet zone' decision
by Bill Baldowski
June 27, 2012 03:39 PM | 1252 views | 1 1 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
College Park has applied for federal funding in an effort to create “quiet zones” and other traffic safety measures at all railroad crossings along Main Street, the city’s primary thoroughfare.

According to College Park Public Information Officer Gerald Walker, the government is expected to announce within 30 days the cities which have had their grant applications for this project approved.

In addition to the extra safety factors this grant would help create, Walker said, it would also reduce the noise created by passing trains.

“The estimated cost to establish a new quiet zone in College Park is $670, 000,” Walker said. “If we are awarded the funding, College Park would be required to provide 50 percent in matching funds.”

Earlier this month, College Park City Engineer Jackson Myers addressed the council during its work session at city hall.

Myers explained the creation of quiet zones would reduce 100 percent of the noise from train traffic up and down the rails running parallel to Main Street.

In addition to Main Street, two other street-railroad crossing areas would be included in the project. These crossings would be Rugby Avenue at Main Street and Harvard Avenue at Main Street.

There are approximately 18 trains passing through the CSX-owned rails in College Park daily running at speeds up to 40 miles per hour.

College Park Councilman Ambrose Clay supports the project, calling it “one of the best reports I have seen as long as I have been on council.”

A number of merchants and other business owners along Main Street expressed their support of the city establishing such quiet zones at railroad crossings if College Park were to successfully secure the federal grant.

Many of the merchants, Myers said, believe the quiet zones would also greatly enhance their businesses.

“Quiet zones make for a better College Park,” Myers said.

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