space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Focus on safety for spring turkey season
* Area Teams Ready To Begin Diamond Seasons
* " Baseball Preview"" Marines Will Rely on Strong Pitching Staff
* Hundreds of Walleye Waters Offer Great Fishing in 2018
* Bulldogs Look For Continued Success in New Conference

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

Marinette Residents Seek Quiet from Train Whistles

Issue Date: October 11, 2012

The only discussion during Public Comment time at the start of the Marinette City Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 2 was in reference to proposed quiet zones in which blowing of train whistles would be prohibited in some or all parts of the city, as requested on petitions signed by hundreds of city residents. The gentleman reminded the Council that train whistles are intended to aid in the safety of traffic crossing railroad tracks.

Later in the meeting, however, the council initiated the process of establishing a train horn quiet zone by a unanimous vote authorizing an exploratory study. No money is to be spent at this point. The issue came up again at the Civic Affairs, Traffic and Lights and Cemetery Committee meeting at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8, where it had started a month earlier in response to a petition presented by Betsy Jaeger of 1939 Stephenson Street.

At the Sept. 10 committee meeting, Jaeger, speaking on behalf of a dozen citizens present in favor of the quiet zone, stated most of the train traffic is between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., and it seems within the last three years the horns have been getting louder and louder. She and other residents had solicited petitions in support of the city implementing a quiet zone.

The committee was advised City Attorney Jonathan Sbar and Public Works Director Brian Miller had talked with a representative from the Federal Railroad Authority. They said the quiet zone was possible, but the process could take 18 to 24 months and many steps would have to take place. The committee asked Miller to determine the cost for the gates and if there were any grants that could be used to defray the cost. The committee on Sept. 10 also unanimously approved a recommendation to City Council that they be authorized to start the process to establish a Quiet Zone in the city. That recommendation was unanimously approved at the full Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 2, but with a stipulation that no money be spent at this time, and not without some spirited discussion.

Alderman Brad Behrendt asked if they had ever seen an accident occur due to the malfunction of a train signal, and quiet zone proponent Alderman Dennis Colburn agreed he had. Behrendt wondered if they knew how much the city would be liable for if something like that were to happen, and Colburn replied they weren’t talking about insurance costs, they were talking about train whistles at 3 a.m.

Alderman Dave Buechler said engineers would still be allowed to blow their horns if a safety hazard was present.

Miller explained 69 communities in Wisconsin have established quiet zones, and explained the long and difficult process they would face to establish one.

Alderman Carol Kempka pointed out that Council approval of the committee’s recommendation would simply start the process of initiating a Quiet Zone, and there would be no costs to the city without further action.

When the matter was up for committee discussion again on Oct. 8, Miller provided the information requested at the Sept. 10 meeting. Members present were Colburn, Dorothy Kowalski, Scott Wahl and Chair Martha Karban, as well as Mayor Denise Ruleau. Buechler, a committee member, was absent.

Miller reported as he digs into the rules on quiet zones he finds more and more information on what’s involved, and assured them it will be a long process. There are two railroad right of ways in the city, one owned by E&LS and the other by Canadian National. Miller said federal agencies told him since two railroads are involved they cannot simply have a city-wide quiet zone. There are eight public crossings on the Canadian National in the city, of which seven are controlled with gates, lights and timed devices and one, Ella Court, is not.

He said next year E&LS plans to reconstruct a track segment from the main line to Marinette Marine and there are no lights, gates or constant warning devices at any of the eight crossings involved.

Cost to install gates, warning lights and timing devices is approximately $200,000 to $250,000 per crossing, and installation would be at city expense, a total of approximately $2 million if all crossings were taken care of. There’s no way we can afford that, he declared.

Just to put signals at the five crossings in the northwest corner of the city would cost about $1.5 million, Miller said. He presented charts showing how the city could be divided into four segments, each with its own quiet zone.

Dismayed by the thought of more trains through the city, a speaker objected, We don’t want more horns and whistles going off. We want less! He wondered if they could negotiate with the railroads.

It’s highly unlikely the railroad will dig into its own pockets for $2 million to defray the cost of those crossings, Miller replied.

Adopt a ‘can-do’ attitude and see what grants we can get to help pay for signals, the speaker urged.

Miller explained the E&LS project is 70 percent funded by a grant from the state, plus a local match of 30 percent.

Jaeger asked if the railroads pay for use of city property and was told they do not, they own all their right of way.

Miller explained more of the quiet zone rules, including an annual report after it is in effect comparing the quiet zone accident rates with accident rate averages at all crossings in the nation, as a means of measuring the safety of the crossings. To keep the quiet zone intact, the quiet zone index must be below the national average.

Miller said in view of some unique situations in Marinette, he has been advised they would do well to hire a consultant before proceeding too far. They would need to analyze the risks for each intersection and how the crossing works. In some cases improvements such as curbs, lane dividers and barriers to prevent traffic from getting into the crossing area from side streets would be required by the Federal Rail Administration (FRA).

A diagnostic team in the FRA will evaluate the plans and if they find them acceptable and rule that they meet the minimum standards, they would make an update on the national rail inventory. Once requirements are met, the city could have a quiet zone designation.

Karban commented that two aldermen have already said they will not vote for the quiet zone if there is a lot of money involved. She was told that DePere did their own quiet zone work, and so did Watertown, but that was before the rules got so strict. I would like to see us start this on our own and see how far we can get, she urged. Miller expressed doubt the Council understands the magnitude of the costs that will be involved in bringing the proposed project to reality.

Wahl suggested they try talking to the railroads to see if they can get their engineers to turn the whistles down a notch, or not blow them so long.

One of the handful of people present said the trains do not all go through the city with one long horn blast, and they do not all blow the whistles so long and loud. Noise limits are 96 to 110 decibels 100 feet in front of the train and 15 feet above the rail. Horns are not supposed to blow more than a quarter of a mile before they reach the crossing. Most of those present on the quiet zone quest felt the noise levels are greatly exceeded by some trains, but not by others.

They’re doing it (blowing the whistles) way more than they need to, Jaeger said. They don’t all do it, but the ones who do are driving people crazy!

There also were comments that trains have been clocked traveling through the city at 37 miles per hour. Menasha, by contrast, has a set speed limit of 12 miles per hour for trains.

Karban asked Attorney Sbar to draft a letter to the two railroads, asking them to be mindful of the decibel level on their horns and whistles.

Miller said the only alternative to adding signals and otherwise bringing the crossings up to standards would be to eliminate the unsignaled crossings, a solution the railroads always favor since every crossing they close reduces their liability. However, the city needs to consider access to neighborhoods, not only by residents, but also by law enforcement and emergency vehicles.

Kowalski moved to continue to explore the quiet zones on the main lines, and in the meantime, have Attorney Sbar write a letter to the railroads asking them to obey the laws as they pass through the city. That motion was unanimously approved. Sbar noted that the Council had allocated no money so far, and if they are to continue exploring the options there will be some costs involved.

The final item on the Oct. 8 committee agenda involved complaints about semi-truck traffic on Lester Street. Karban said she has been approached a number of times by people who tell her that three to 10 times each day semis traveling to the Kimberly Clark Paper Mill access it by way of Lester Street instead of taking the curve on Riverside Drive.

Miller suggested three solutions: First, get verification that it really is happening; second, contact the mill and ask for their help, and third, establish weight limits on Lester Street.

Karban said she asked the complainant to keep a log of the trucks, but was told he doesn’t want to get involved.

Karban said they will try to get more concrete information and follow up with it next month.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
04-19-2018Obituaries
Debra J. Zeitler

04-19-2018Obituaries
Donald R. Wene

04-19-2018Obituaries
John C. Van Schyndel

04-19-2018Obituaries
Lois L. Trever

04-19-2018Obituaries
Robert C. Rasmussen

04-19-2018Obituaries
Dolores M. Pendl 

04-19-2018Obituaries
Allen V. Mundt

04-19-2018Obituaries
Janice A. Minecke

04-19-2018Obituaries
Christine S. Malarski

04-19-2018Obituaries
Marilyn Lunsford

04-19-2018Obituaries
Richard L. Julian

04-19-2018Obituaries
Daniel J. Jahns

04-19-2018Obituaries
Daniel J. Jahns

04-19-2018Obituaries
Clara G. Hart

04-19-2018Obituaries
Jacqueline P. Hamilton

04-19-2018Obituaries
Joseph Degeneffe

04-19-2018Obituaries
Richard O. Davis

04-19-2018Obituaries
Wayne Damp

04-19-2018Obituaries
Benedict V. Banaszynski, Jr.

04-19-2018Obituaries
Walter V. Anderson

04-19-2018Obituaries
Richard C. Alley

04-19-2018Obituaries
Margaret R. Rhude

04-19-2018Obituaries
Marianna C. Schmidt

04-19-2018Obituaries
Lois C. Gustafson

04-19-2018Obituaries
Blake E. Gustafson

04-19-2018Obituaries
Jamie A. Field

04-19-2018Obituaries
Ronald A. Ellie

04-19-2018Obituaries
Gary F. Doyen

04-19-2018Obituaries
Marie H. Chaltry

04-19-2018Obituaries
Stanley J. Budnik

04-19-2018Obituaries
George J. Barrette

04-19-2018Obituaries
Donna Bannow

04-19-2018Sports
Focus on safety for spring turkey season

04-19-2018Sports
Area Teams Ready To Begin Diamond Seasons

04-19-2018Sports
" Baseball Preview"" Marines Will Rely on Strong Pitching Staff

04-19-2018Sports
Hundreds of Walleye Waters Offer Great Fishing in 2018

04-19-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

04-19-2018Perspectives
From My Window

04-19-2018Perspectives
From our readers

04-19-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Students Earn Awards at Music Event

04-19-2018Community - Crivitz
Country Gospel Jam Friday, April 20th

04-19-2018Community - Coleman
Equity Park Craft, Vendor Fair June 16

04-19-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Library Book Sale

04-19-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Students Earn Music, Choir Awards

04-19-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Band To Debut New Uniforms

04-19-2018Front Page
Marinette Man Dies In City Car-Motorcycle Accident

04-19-2018Front Page
Blizzard Brings Marinette Co. Emergency Declaration

04-19-2018Front Page
Peshtigo School Board Seeks One New Member

04-19-2018Front Page
$1,000 Reward For Stop Sign Vandals

04-19-2018Front Page
Anderson Again Heads Marinette County Board

04-12-2018Obituaries
Harold Anderson

04-12-2018Obituaries
Howard M. Arndt

04-12-2018Obituaries
Lisa M. Becker

04-12-2018Obituaries
Lawrence J. Block

04-12-2018Obituaries
Joan E. Bohaczek

04-12-2018Obituaries
Amy A. Boyle

04-12-2018Obituaries
Joanne Downs

04-12-2018Obituaries
Arnold Hummel

04-12-2018Obituaries
Shirley Mae Logan

04-12-2018Obituaries
Ethel W. Martz

04-12-2018Obituaries
Marilyn Messenger

04-12-2018Obituaries
Charlotte Miller

04-12-2018Obituaries
Felecia B. Miron

04-12-2018Obituaries
Christina L. Okon

04-12-2018Obituaries
James J. Parnitzke Sr.

04-12-2018Obituaries
William S. Rademacher

04-12-2018Obituaries
Jack Salewski

04-12-2018Obituaries
James D. Schmid

04-12-2018Obituaries
Elizabeth A. Stewart

04-12-2018Obituaries
Diane A. Vanden Brook

04-12-2018Obituaries
James R. Wankowski

04-12-2018Obituaries
Gerald W. Wozniak

04-12-2018Sports
Bulldogs Look For Continued Success in New Conference

04-12-2018Sports
Henrigillis Leads Peshtigo Baseball into Packerland

04-12-2018Sports
WIAA Winter Team Tournament Sportsmanship Awards Selected

04-12-2018Sports
Mother Nature Puts a Strangle Hold On Area Spring Sports sold On Spring Sports

04-12-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

04-12-2018Perspectives
From our readers

04-12-2018Perspectives
From My Window

04-12-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive Thursday, April 19th

04-12-2018Community - Wausaukee
Town of Wagner Meets April 18

04-12-2018Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Fire and Rescue Auxiliary Meets

04-12-2018Community - Wausaukee
Lions Club Interested in Park Renovations

04-12-2018Community - Crivitz
Princess Ball at Crivitz April 21

04-12-2018Community - Crivitz
Middle Inlet May Schedule Clerk/Treasurer Referendum

04-12-2018Community - Crivitz
LNRD To Meet April 12

04-12-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Junior High Lists 3rd Quarter Honor Rolls

04-12-2018Community - Coleman
Faith Christian Lists Honor Roll

04-12-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman School Adds 10 Minutes Per Day

04-12-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Elementary Students Reach Goal of 75 Million Words

04-12-2018Front Page
Bert Johnson Celebrated 100th Birthday April 6th

04-12-2018Front Page
County Moves Toward Mental Health Court

04-12-2018Front Page
Council Okays Evergreen Loan, Upholds Firing, Closes TIF Fund

04-12-2018Front Page
Questions Raised Over REC Project Delays

04-12-2018Front Page
Northwoods Recycling Coalition Continues Plans For Dissolution

04-05-2018Obituaries
Lynne Baeten

04-05-2018Obituaries
Mary Edna Beyer

04-05-2018Obituaries
Russell Christensen

04-05-2018Obituaries
Lillian S. Huss

04-05-2018Obituaries
Roger L. Kamka

04-05-2018Obituaries
Richard Larson Jr.

04-05-2018Obituaries
Janet M. Mueller

04-05-2018Obituaries
Lois M. Neuman

04-05-2018Obituaries
Eileen F. Peterson

04-05-2018Obituaries
Scott C. Pettey

04-05-2018Obituaries
Robert Picazo

04-05-2018Obituaries
Alice E. Polzin

04-05-2018Obituaries
Amanda R. Schiiller

04-05-2018Obituaries
Wilbur Storey, Jr.

04-05-2018Obituaries
Thea J. Swenson

04-05-2018Obituaries
Paul W. Van Acker

04-05-2018Obituaries
Russell C. Vincent

04-05-2018Obituaries
Leona G. Webber

04-05-2018Obituaries
Helen Wojcik

04-05-2018Obituaries
Gerald W. Wozniak

04-05-2018Sports
Baiting and Feeding Bans in Effect for WI

04-05-2018Sports
Spring Turkey Hunt Begins April 18th

04-05-2018Sports
MYBI Baseball/Softball Tryouts Slated for April 7

04-05-2018Sports
Farley Heads M&O First Team Selections

04-05-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

04-05-2018Perspectives
From My Window

04-05-2018Perspectives
From Our Readers

04-05-2018Community - Wausaukee
Ravishing Matriarchs Red Hats Meet

04-05-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Seeks Grant For Park Improvements

04-05-2018Community - Wausaukee
Post 66 Legion Meeting April 7

04-05-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive On Thursday, April 19th

04-05-2018Community - Crivitz
Affordable Health Screenings in Crivitz

04-05-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Rescue Squad to Offer Youth Scholarships

04-05-2018Community - Crivitz
CAWC To Meet Apr. 19

04-05-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Bowhunter's Club Holds Fundraising Banquet

04-05-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Water Sewer Utility to Meet Apr. 9

04-05-2018Community - Coleman
Growing Berries at Home Hosted by Coleman Library

04-05-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Announces T-Ball Registration

04-05-2018Community - Coleman
Klondike Sportsmen's Club Hosts 19th Annual Banquet

04-05-2018Front Page
School Referendums Voted Down In Peshtigo, Pass In Coleman

04-05-2018Front Page
Coleman Fire Dept. Meat Raffle April 8

04-05-2018Front Page
Coleman School District Voters Approve 2 School Funding Questions

04-05-2018Front Page
Crivitz Business Association Lists Persons of the Year

03-29-2018Obituaries
Jack W. Anderson

03-29-2018Obituaries
Karl W. Baumann

03-29-2018Obituaries
Stephen Behling

03-29-2018Obituaries
Jamie M. Braun

03-29-2018Obituaries
Fern L. Engel

03-29-2018Obituaries
Phyllis H. Fifarek

03-29-2018Obituaries
Gloria Goeres

03-29-2018Obituaries
Edwin Hilbert

03-29-2018Obituaries
Doug Johnson, Sr.

03-29-2018Obituaries
Henry R. King

03-29-2018Obituaries
Kenneth A. Konz, Jr.

03-29-2018Obituaries
Margaret F. Kubitz


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Is the Foxconn facility in Kenosha a good idea?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2018
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites