Public Invited to Attend Quiet Zones Discussion at S.D. Railroad Board Meeting
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Railroad Board (Board) will host an opportunity for individuals to provide input on using apportioned federal funds for establishing quiet zones at railroad crossings. These federal funds, called Special Transportation Circumstance (STC) funds, are available to the State of South Dakota to be used on short-line freight railroad infrastructure. The funds are non-competitive grants for the state of South Dakota, but the projects must still meet federal eligibility requirements.
The meeting to receive public input will take place at the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Interested individuals are invited to attend this in-person meeting scheduled for 11 a.m. at the South Dakota Department of Transportation’s main office located at the Becker-Hansen Building, 700 East Broadway Ave., in Pierre, South Dakota. Individuals can also actively participate in the meeting via the call-in number, 1-605-679-7263 using the designated phone conference ID 553 552 681#. Individuals who wish to only listen to the Railroad Board meeting may access the meeting via South Dakota Public Broadcasting at https://www.sd.net.
The meeting will also serve as an opportunity for decision-makers to obtain a greater understanding of the establishment of quiet zones. Board members, as well as other interested parties, will have the opportunity to listen to a presentation from an Inspector with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) about the public safety, legal, and financial considerations used for the establishment of quiet zones. It is anticipated that the Board will make a decision on whether to allow quiet zones to be eligible for STC funding at the Board’s scheduled meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022.
A quiet zone is a method of silencing routine train horns. However, train crews are allowed to sound the locomotive horns for unsafe situations, such as trespassers, vehicles on or near the tracks, roadway workers, and train meets. The minimum requirements for achieving a new quiet zone include the public railroad crossings be equipped with flashing lights, gates, power out indicators, and constant warning time on each track if practical. Only a public authority, the governmental entity responsible for traffic control or law enforcement at the crossings, is permitted to create quiet zones.
For more detailed and authoritative information about quiet zones, the public is encouraged to review the official regulations governing the use of locomotive horns at public highway‐rail grade crossings and the establishment of quiet zones that are contained in 49 C.F.R. Part 222. A copy of these regulations can be downloaded or printed at http://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L02809.
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