space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* WIAA Announces Fall Sportsmanship Recipients
* DNR Puts Aside Proposal to Stock Big Green Lake with Atlantic Salmon
* Crivitz Players Top Scorers in Hoops Club
* Coleman Wrestlers Take Care Of Esky; Wolverines Also Notch Win
* Lake Michigan Yellow Perch Comments Chart Next Steps

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

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
12-17-2014Sports
WIAA Announces Fall Sportsmanship Recipients

12-17-2014Sports
DNR Puts Aside Proposal to Stock Big Green Lake with Atlantic Salmon

12-17-2014Sports
Crivitz Players Top Scorers in Hoops Club

12-17-2014Sports
Coleman Wrestlers Take Care Of Esky; Wolverines Also Notch Win

12-17-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

12-17-2014Perspectives
From our readers

12-17-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

12-17-2014Obituaries
Josephine V. Truel

12-17-2014Obituaries
Lois G. Sielaff

12-17-2014Obituaries
William J. Shelton

12-17-2014Obituaries
John D. Maye

12-17-2014Obituaries
Arbutus A. Lowry Lutri

12-17-2014Obituaries
Cecil E. Kuhnle

12-17-2014Obituaries
Judith Francour

12-17-2014Obituaries
Charles B. Drewry Jr.

12-17-2014Obituaries
Milton E. Dettman

12-17-2014Obituaries
Paul B. Sutek

12-17-2014Obituaries
Jodine S. Stone

12-17-2014Obituaries
Dr. Yulia Seledsova-Mamonov

12-17-2014Obituaries
Chase M. Polfus

12-17-2014Obituaries
Irene T. Miller

12-17-2014Obituaries
Ethel H. Brouette

12-17-2014Obituaries
Bernice F. Gronnert

12-17-2014Obituaries
Bonnie L. Gorshe

12-17-2014Obituaries
Mary Bradley

12-17-2014Obituaries
Clarence Bird

12-17-2014Obituaries
James E. Betzinger

12-17-2014Obituaries
Allan J. Belair

12-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Okays Ordinances, Tire Recycling Costs

12-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
T/Wausaukee Buys Voting Machine, Increase Wages

12-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Updated On Rescue Squad Contract

12-17-2014Community - Crivitz
Podiatrist at Assisted Living

12-17-2014Community - Crivitz
Crivitz VFW Auxiliary Unit Given Certificates of Awards

12-17-2014Community - Crivitz
200 Enjoy Village Sleigh Ride, Santa

12-17-2014Community - Crivitz
Christmas Gospel Jam is Dec. 19

12-17-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Lists Students of Month

12-17-2014Community - Coleman
CHS Financial Aid Meet Jan. 6

12-17-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Library January Events

12-17-2014Community - Coleman
Markiewicz Bank Branch Manager

12-17-2014News
Christmas Gospel Jam is Dec. 19

12-17-2014News
Area Graduates UW-M Dec. 14

12-17-2014News
Wausaukee Legion Party Dec. 21

12-17-2014Front Page
Over 100 Attend Chamber Christmas Tree Lighting Event

12-17-2014Front Page
Board Chair Sends 40-Week Petition Back To Committee

12-17-2014Front Page
Town Peshtigo OKs $1,000 A Year Raise For Fire Chief

12-17-2014Front Page
Propose New Type Of Littoral Combat Ship

12-17-2014Front Page
Riverside Cemetery To Choose Trustees, Set Rules In February

12-10-2014Sports
Lake Michigan Yellow Perch Comments Chart Next Steps

12-10-2014Sports
Bulldogs Fall To Blue Devils; Cougars On Top In Pulaski

12-10-2014Sports
Majewski, Klaver Power Bulldogs To Blowout Victory Over Suring

12-10-2014Sports
Crivitz Prevails Over Oconto

12-10-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

12-10-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

12-10-2014Obituaries
Harold Lawrence Wolff

12-10-2014Obituaries
Robert J. Vandenberg

12-10-2014Obituaries
Ralph J. Tiegs

12-10-2014Obituaries
Vivian R. Sturman

12-10-2014Obituaries
Ralph A. Schneider

12-10-2014Obituaries
Fay L. Schmidt

12-10-2014Obituaries
Allan Schmidt

12-10-2014Obituaries
Sybil I. Schaut

12-10-2014Obituaries
Mike H. Opolka

12-10-2014Obituaries
Scott L. Colson

12-10-2014Obituaries
Bruce L. Borgen

12-10-2014Obituaries
Robert J. Becker Sr.

12-10-2014Obituaries
Donald R. Anderson, M.D.

12-10-2014Obituaries
Dolores H. Schroeder

12-10-2014Obituaries
Carol M. Rickaby

12-10-2014Obituaries
Ronald Reinert

12-10-2014Obituaries
William R. Presl

12-10-2014Obituaries
Dorothy G. Palmer

12-10-2014Obituaries
Harold J. LaCosse

12-10-2014Obituaries
Gladys I. Krei

12-10-2014Obituaries
Donna R. Johnson

12-10-2014Obituaries
Dorothea Jaeger

12-10-2014Obituaries
Kazmiera Gromoske

12-10-2014Obituaries
Judith A. Fuchs

12-10-2014Community - Wausaukee
Legion Post/Unit 66 2014 Christmas Party

12-10-2014Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire Auxiliary Christmas Party

12-10-2014Community - Wausaukee
29 Children at Silver Cliff Christmas Party

12-10-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Fire Department Sportsmen Raffle Winners

12-10-2014Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Students Earn Students of Month Honors

12-10-2014Community - Crivitz
Christmas Gospel Jam is Dec. 1

12-10-2014Community - Crivitz
CAWC Auction Realizes $4500

12-10-2014Community - Crivitz
17 At Active Seniors Dinner

12-10-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board Dec. 15

12-10-2014Community - Coleman
7th Village of Pound Christmas Parade Dec. 13

12-10-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman School to Host Senior Citizens

12-10-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Names Students of Month

12-10-2014News
Wausaukee Legion Party Dec. 21

12-10-2014News
Santa Letters Due Dec. 14

12-10-2014News
Suring Church Cookie Walk on Dec. 13

12-10-2014News
Lena Cookie Walk Dec. 15

12-10-2014Front Page
Marinette Musician in Concertina Hall of Fame

12-10-2014Front Page
County To Reap Savings In Health/Dental Insurance Costs

12-10-2014Front Page
State Aid Payment Puts Grover Back In Black

12-10-2014Front Page
County Forest Income Keeps Setting Records

12-10-2014Front Page
Disposing of Drugs Is Becoming A Problem

12-03-2014Sports
Preliminary Deer Harvest is 191,550, Down 8 Percent

12-03-2014Sports
Cougars Claim Two Victories In Bonduel

12-03-2014Sports
Wolosyn Goes Wild, Scores 19 As Badgers Beat Up On Wolverines

12-03-2014Sports
Bulldogs Kick Off Season With Solid Win Over Marines

12-03-2014Perspectives
From our readers

12-03-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

12-03-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

12-03-2014Obituaries
Robert C White

12-03-2014Obituaries
Dale M. Vanderfin

12-03-2014Obituaries
Jerry A. Uecke

12-03-2014Obituaries
Lennice M. Swearingen

12-03-2014Obituaries
John Stiglitz

12-03-2014Obituaries
Mary E. Sodergren

12-03-2014Obituaries
Russell R. Schroeder

12-03-2014Obituaries
Edythe E. Sager

12-03-2014Obituaries
Joann M. Richardson

12-03-2014Obituaries
Arthur Plutchak

12-03-2014Obituaries
Margaret M. Patz

12-03-2014Obituaries
Raymond R. Olson

12-03-2014Obituaries
Thomas R. Mueller

12-03-2014Obituaries
Karl H. Missbach

12-03-2014Obituaries
Mary L. Miller

12-03-2014Obituaries
Francis J. McDougal

12-03-2014Obituaries
Nancy J. Makuen

12-03-2014Obituaries
Shirley A. Lisowe-Beaumia

12-03-2014Obituaries
Lew J. Jopek, Sr.

12-03-2014Obituaries
Myron D. Janik

12-03-2014Obituaries
Elizabeth Brown

12-03-2014Obituaries
Luella Swiatnicki

12-03-2014Obituaries
Lennice M. Swearingen

12-03-2014Obituaries
John Stiglitz

12-03-2014Obituaries
Mary E. Sodergren

12-03-2014Obituaries
Russell R. Schroeder

12-03-2014Obituaries
Alice C. Redfearn

12-03-2014Obituaries
Arthur Plutchak

12-03-2014Obituaries
Lawrence P. Ozechowski

12-03-2014Obituaries
Patsy L. Nuttall

12-03-2014Obituaries
Ronald E. Meyer

12-03-2014Obituaries
McCue Children

12-03-2014Obituaries
Arnold F. Marble

12-03-2014Obituaries
John C. Kobylarczyk

12-03-2014Obituaries
Nancy A. Kartheiser

12-03-2014Obituaries
Keith L. Kamps

12-03-2014Obituaries
Eunice M. Hollingsworth

12-03-2014Obituaries
Richard G. Hofer

12-03-2014Obituaries
Patricia L. Harper

12-03-2014Obituaries
Fannie M. Fillinger

12-03-2014Obituaries
Everett M. Edminster

12-03-2014Obituaries
Elizabeth J. Bahl

12-03-2014Obituaries
Glen W. Anderla

12-03-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Grade 5-8 Basketball Tournaments

12-03-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive Dec. 8th


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Is Christmas too commercialized?
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
© 2000-2014
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites