space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Marinette Takes Third in Waupaca; Bay Tourney Starts Thursday
* Jordan Jones Three Run Homer the Difference
* Undefeated Bulldogs Run Away With Conference Title
* Peshtigo Boys Three-peat; Dominate Running Events
* Peshtigo Boys Win Home Invite; Marinette Girls Finish Second

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
05-22-2015Sports
Marinette Takes Third in Waupaca; Bay Tourney Starts Thursday

05-22-2015Sports
Jordan Jones Three Run Homer the Difference

05-22-2015Sports
Undefeated Bulldogs Run Away With Conference Title

05-22-2015Sports
Peshtigo Boys Three-peat; Dominate Running Events

05-22-2015Perspectives
Country Cousin

05-22-2015Perspectives
From our readers

05-22-2015Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

05-22-2015Obituaries
Evelyn F. Wood

05-22-2015Obituaries
Jesse D. Tice

05-22-2015Obituaries
Jaren E. Smith

05-22-2015Obituaries
Mary J. Pestrui-Murphy

05-22-2015Obituaries
Robert W. Roggendorf

05-22-2015Obituaries
Charles H. Olsen

05-22-2015Obituaries
Thomas Joseph McCarthy

05-22-2015Obituaries
Vincent C. Hanson

05-22-2015Obituaries
Ruth L. Grosse

05-22-2015Obituaries
Barbara M. Goetz

05-22-2015Obituaries
Dorothy J. Forcey

05-22-2015Obituaries
Alice K. Czajkowski

05-22-2015Obituaries
Raymond L. Bogardus Sr.

05-22-2015Obituaries
Betty M. Winter

05-22-2015Obituaries
Joyce E. Thompson

05-22-2015Obituaries
Delbert E. Rentmeester

05-22-2015Obituaries
Judith Ann Osterman

05-22-2015Obituaries
Robert L. Olson

05-22-2015Obituaries
Richard P. Okray

05-22-2015Obituaries
Cecilia M. Mayo

05-22-2015Obituaries
Marliss-ann Lundquist

05-22-2015Obituaries
Stephen D. LaCombe

05-22-2015Obituaries
June L. Headson

05-22-2015Obituaries
Jack K. Donovan

05-22-2015Obituaries
Richard D. Davis

05-22-2015Obituaries
Betty Allen

05-22-2015News
Aromatherapy Topic at Library

05-22-2015News
Legion Trap/22 Shoot is May 23

05-22-2015News
ResCare To Open Adult Day Center

05-22-2015News
Church Women Big Rummage Sale May 23 

05-22-2015Community - Wausaukee


05-22-2015Community - Wausaukee
Meet, Greet for New Principal

05-22-2015Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Adds ATV Roads, Public Comments

05-22-2015Community - Wausaukee
Village Board Seeks Grants, Buy Vehicle

05-22-2015Community - Crivitz
Art Topic at Loomis Historical

05-22-2015Community - Crivitz
Stephenson Okays Licenses, Hiring, Town Hall Repair Work

05-22-2015Community - Crivitz
Red, White and Music Festival at Crivitz May 23

05-22-2015Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Elementary Receives Chromebooks Initiative

05-22-2015Community - Coleman
Woman’s Club Yard Sale in Beaver

05-22-2015Community - Coleman
Equity Park Craft, Flea Market June 20

05-22-2015Community - Coleman
Pound Woman’s Club To Award Scholarships

05-22-2015Community - Coleman
Village of Pound Picnic, Car Show June 26, 27

05-22-2015Front Page
Halvorson On Honors Flight For WWII, Korea Veterans

05-22-2015Front Page
New Marinette County Admin. Now On The Job

05-22-2015Front Page
Middle Inlet Again Offers $1,000 Reward for Street Sign Theft Info

05-22-2015Front Page
Two Residents Object To Kozuzek Road Dog Park

05-22-2015Front Page
Airport Seeks Proposals On Roof Repair, Cameras

05-14-2015Sports
Peshtigo Boys Win Home Invite; Marinette Girls Finish Second

05-14-2015Sports
Wausaukee Wins M&O Golf 9-Hole Meet

05-14-2015Sports
Barbarians Fall to Orions

05-14-2015Sports
Crivitz Topples Peshtigo; Cougars Take M&O Lead

05-14-2015Obituaries
Thomas E. Zeratsky

05-14-2015Obituaries
Donald H. Woller

05-14-2015Obituaries
Marie Werner

05-14-2015Obituaries
Janet D. Sundquist

05-14-2015Obituaries
Calvin L. Siegrist

05-14-2015Obituaries
Gordon A. Myers

05-14-2015Obituaries
Barbara L. Moss

05-14-2015Obituaries
Dwaine J. Mellen Sr.

05-14-2015Obituaries
Susan Daryl Lindberg

05-14-2015Obituaries
Ward E. Kimball, Jr.

05-14-2015Obituaries
Marvin R. Gusick

05-14-2015Obituaries
Charles M. Gibbons

05-14-2015Obituaries
Janice M. Everson

05-14-2015Obituaries
Lillian M. Chaltry

05-14-2015Obituaries
Phyllis Borie

05-14-2015Obituaries
Harold F. Amenson

05-14-2015Obituaries
June Zeugner

05-14-2015Obituaries
Nichole A. Skog

05-14-2015Obituaries
Robert G. Shaw

05-14-2015Obituaries
Dorothy C. Scheer

05-14-2015Obituaries
Vicki L. Miller

05-14-2015Obituaries
Michael R. McCormick

05-14-2015Obituaries
Evelyn M. Kanack

05-14-2015Obituaries
Mary Ann Hamilton

05-14-2015Obituaries
Eleanor R. Gorski

05-14-2015Obituaries
Kathleen A. Geltz

05-14-2015Obituaries
Maureen E. Frawley

05-14-2015Obituaries
Lois A. Doffek

05-14-2015Obituaries
Charles W. Carter

05-14-2015Obituaries
Maxine H. Bartels

05-14-2015Perspectives
Country Cousin

05-14-2015Perspectives
From our readers

05-14-2015Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

05-14-2015News
PHS 1985 Class Reunion is Aug. 15

05-14-2015News
Marinette Legion Brat Fry May 21, 22

05-14-2015News
Legion To Place Flags on Graves

05-14-2015News
Can Order Wagner Centennial Books

05-14-2015Community - Wausaukee
Legion Post 66 Lists Memorial Day Services

05-14-2015Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Fire Auxiliary Gives Award

05-14-2015Community - Wausaukee
Legion Auxiliary Unit 66 Lists Memorial Services

05-14-2015Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Lists Students of Month

05-14-2015Community - Crivitz
Middle Inlet Potluck Reunion Is May 21

05-14-2015Community - Crivitz
Red, White and Music Festival at Crivitz May 23

05-14-2015Community - Crivitz
Five Stephenson Board Committees Hold Meets

05-14-2015Community - Coleman
Rosner, Crandall Students of Month

05-14-2015Community - Coleman
T/Pound Acts On Road, Bridge, Gutter Projects

05-14-2015Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board To Elect Officers May 18

05-14-2015Community - Coleman
Village of Pound Picnic, Car Show June 26, 27

05-14-2015Front Page
Mursau Pays Tribute to Law Enforcement Officers

05-14-2015Front Page
Plan Another Look At Ski Cat Use Of Park

05-14-2015Front Page
County Seeks Proposals For Cures to Pool Woes

05-14-2015Front Page
Number of School Lunches Decline at Marinette School

05-14-2015Front Page
Set Three Hearings On Shoreland Zoning Regs

05-07-2015Sports
Panther Boys Win Final Oconto Falls Invitational Held At Memorial Field

05-07-2015Sports
Marine’s Alex Cording Ties State Record With 8 Goals In One Match

05-07-2015Sports
Marinette , STAA and Peshtigo Win Triangulars

05-07-2015Sports
Badgers Dig In To Hold Off Wolverines

05-07-2015Obituaries
John E. Szymusiak

05-07-2015Obituaries
Gale A. Starnes

05-07-2015Obituaries
Ryan W. Shevey

05-07-2015Obituaries
Wilbert Padgett

05-07-2015Obituaries
Helen B. Menor

05-07-2015Obituaries
Earl G. Lynch

05-07-2015Obituaries
Karen G. Koldos

05-07-2015Obituaries
Genevieve A. Johnson

05-07-2015Obituaries
Doc Allen Hill

05-07-2015Obituaries
John Fifrick

05-07-2015Obituaries
Richard J. Bruehl

05-07-2015Obituaries
Clarence T. Benser, Sr.

05-07-2015Obituaries
Loretta M. Behnke

05-07-2015Obituaries
Clare E. Wilber

05-07-2015Obituaries
Donald V. Weyenberg

05-07-2015Obituaries
Peter J. Tarenski

05-07-2015Obituaries
L. Jay Spaulding

05-07-2015Obituaries
Ann F. Shaver

05-07-2015Obituaries
James E. Schroeder

05-07-2015Obituaries
Betty J. Redlich

05-07-2015Obituaries
LaVerne J. Quick

05-07-2015Obituaries
Anthony V. Piencikowski

05-07-2015Obituaries
Daniel R. Osterberg

05-07-2015Obituaries
Barbara Nowicki

05-07-2015Obituaries
Dr. Alice M. Lee

05-07-2015Obituaries
Gladys L. Kofler

05-07-2015Obituaries
Carol J. Hubert

05-07-2015Obituaries
Bobbie Frank

05-07-2015Obituaries
Dorothy A. Beyer

05-07-2015Perspectives
Country Cousin

05-07-2015Perspectives
From our readers

05-07-2015Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

05-07-2015News
Co. Sheriff Auxiliary Seeks New Members

05-07-2015Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Town Board May 12

05-07-2015Community - Wausaukee
Legion Post To Place Flags


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Should the State of Wisconsin increase the speed limit to 70 mph on some highways?
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
© 2000-2015
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites