CALIFORNIA

Glendale OKs 'quiet zone' upgrades to silence train horns along Metrolink tracks

The 90 or so trains passing through Glendale every day may soon have to hold off sounding their horns: City officials want to implement a "quiet zone" along the tracks.

For years, residents in the Pelanconi Estates neighborhood near the Metrolink tracks on San Fernando Road have complained about the incessant honking.

The City Council voted 5 to 0 last week to install a final series of improvements at three rail crossings to fulfill the Federal Railroad Administration's requirements for establishing a quiet zone. With increased safety infrastructure in place, engineers will not have to honk as often to let others know they're coming.

At unimproved railroad crossings, oncoming trains have to sound their horns in a pattern that's "two longs, one short and one long," said Scott Johnson, a Metrolink spokesman.

Installing fences and railing, in addition to signage and striping, were looped into a $1.5-million package that includes new traffic lights in other parts of the city.

The three crossings slated for the improvements are where San Fernando Road meets Flower Street and Sonora and Grandview avenues.

The improvements follow a much larger project where quad gates — required by the federal agency — were installed to keep cars and pedestrians off the tracks.

After Glendale finishes its improvements, Metrolink will install "backflashers," a type of warning light, Public Works Director Roubik Golanian said.

Then the work will begin to get the quiet-zone approvals.

"I'm hoping that sometime this year we will have our first set of crossings that will be considered as quiet zones for the engineers who operate the trains, so they don't have to sound their horns any longer," Golanian said.

Hearing about 90 trains a day pass her home is a way of life for Jolene Taylor, who's pushed for a quiet zone for several years.

"That's fantastic news, though I remain cautiously optimistic that it will be in 2016," she said.

Although Taylor has gotten used to the horns, they interrupt conversations and the TV at times.

"You just learn to adapt," she said.

Mayor Ara Najarian has pushed for a quiet zone as well.

"We need to do this as soon as possible to enjoy some peace and quiet," he said. "We've all been waiting for such a long time."

arin.mikailian@latimes.com

Twitter: @ArinMikailian

Mikailian writes for Times Community News.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
A version of this article appeared in print on February 15, 2016, in the News section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "`Quiet zone' upgrades OK'd - Glendale project will fulfill U.S. rules for silencing train horns at three rail crossings." — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe
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