Looking for some peace and quiet, Clinton proposes silencing train horns

Local News

A part of river life might go silent in downtown Clinton.

The city unveiled a plan for a Quiet Zone through the Riverview Park area.

That means trains passing through would not sound their horns at crossings.

But after the city posted the announcement on Facebook yesterday, a number of neighbors express concern that without the horn it will increase the danger for people entering and exiting the park.

Others are looking forward to the silence.

The planned Quiet Zone would start at South 6th Avenue and extend to the north end of the park at North 9th avenue. About 15 blocks in total.

For friends JT Cooley and Amil Akiti, heading to Riverview Park is part of life in this town.

And that includes trains.

Clinton resident JT Cooley said, “It does get annoying if you’ve got plans and you try to come up here and you see a long trained that’s stopped and sometimes they’re stopped for like 25 minutes. You don’t know.”

Although it’s not so much the traffic but the noise the city officials want to hush.

Clinton resident Amil Akiti said, “There’s a lot of businesses down here and when you’re trying to eat or something, you don’t want to listen to a train horn blaring into your ear when you’re having a conversation with somebody.”

So whether at a baseball game, concert or those looking to camp along the Mississippi River.

Clinton resident Jim Hill “Good friendly atmosphere. A nice place, a good place for families to bring their kids. Little playground here, swimming pool and ballpark.”

That’s why the city said they started looking at what can be done to mute that deafening roar.

Hill said, “After a while, you block it out, you don’t have any choice, so I think this option will help.”

And Jim Hill, who serves as the host at the RV park said he’s seen this work in other cities.

Hill said, “Bellevue hasn’t had a problem since they went to the quiet zone up there. No accidents that I can recall and I know Morrison went to it and I talked to an engineer that they do it in Boone and several other places.”

He thinks this could help the park continue to improve as a destination.

But neighbors said they know work will need to be done to make these crossings safe if the horn goes silent.

Cooley said, “It could be a little issue just because they have the railroad crossing, they blink but some kids might not pay attention to that, that there’s a train coming. I think the horn benefits for some of these that don’t have the armbar that comes down because then some kids might just run right over it. The horn you hear that so you’re stopping right away, you know that there’s a train that’s coming up.”

The city said that some of the intersections in and out of the park would need to be closed, while others would be modified to comply with federal quiet zone regulations.

The city will be holding an open house next Friday, Aug.16 from 1 to 3 p.m. at city hall to discuss their plan.

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