February 02, 2006

Quiet Zone Soon Within Reach

By Fred H. Arm
At last, the end is in sight for the creation of our quiet zone here in Point Richmond. MouthTrain.jpg
The new Quiet Zone has since February 1st legally gone into effect for the North area of Richmond near Parchester Village. Our Richmond Avenue Quiet Zone may be in effect before the end of March. The Garrard, Cutting, and Canal Street Quiet Zone are still in legal limbo until we hear from the PUC about a waiver of one of their minor requirements. I am hopeful that obstacle will soon be removed.

The Railroad, BNSF, have already reared their ugly head by objecting to the Quiet Zone in the North. They seemed to have found tire tracks on the median that were designed to prevent cars from going around the gates and therefore protested that the crossing was too unsafe to stop their locomotives from blowing their infernal horns. Luckily, the Federal Government is supporting us against their objection- - so far. I feel this battle has just begun to get ugly. By the time we get our QZ here at the Point I am sure the gloves will come off.

The Federal fines are fairly stiff for violations of the Quiet Zone by a railroad; however, I wonder just how much actual enforcement will actually take place. I am of the opinion that the City needs to take a real aggressive stance by forcing an environmental impact report upon their arrogant noisy, butts. If the railroads do not comply, we must simply prohibit them from polluting our air, obstruction our public roads, and disturbing our sleep and peace. No one is above the law in this 21st Century. Railroads once upon a time enjoyed almost a sort of diplomatic immunity for their offensive environmental intrusions and offensive conduct. The laws are already here on the books. We need only the determination and the guts to enforce them. We have merely our government’s and our own complacency to overcome.

Posted by fredarm at February 2, 2006 04:07 PM