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District Panel Talk: A Ballpark for Everyone.  Tuesday, September 26th, 6:00 PM at Original Pattern Brewing, 292 4th Street. With: Jeff Bellisario, Bay Area Council &...

In a segment hosted by Great Big Story, we learned that the Oakland Zookeepers make use of Jack London's Wholesale Produce Market. In the video,...

Moving the Train Quiet Zone Forward

Moving the Train Quiet Zone Forward

It has been a year since the Jack London community raised nearly $8,000 to update the 2011 Train Quiet Zone Feasibility Study in a crowd-sourced fundraiser, thanks to you. It sent a clear message that our neighbors want less horn blowing in our neighborhood through safety upgrades and better train infrastructure, even though it will be a long, intensive process. 

This year, the District has pledged an additional $10,000 towards the effort. The District has been coordinating to establish the City of Oakland as the lead agency to initiate the study, a process which will hopefully be expedited through the formation of a Department of Transportation in the upcoming months. With projected train traffic at over 70 trains through the District daily by 2030, new business locating and recent entitlements of hundreds of new residential units, establishment of a Train Quiet Zone and improved safety infrastructure continues to be a major interest of community members, investors, residents, and businesses in the District. 

The Federal Railroad Administration is currently reviewing its Locomotive Train Horn Regulations and is "soliciting public comment on whether FRA should modify, streamline, or expand any requirements of FRA's locomotive train horn regulations to reduce paperwork and other economic burdens on the rail industry and States and local authorities while still maintaining the highest standards of safety." The Jack London Improvement District encourages its stakeholders to comment on this relevant issue by July 5th at the FRA Website. If you would like to add your name to the District comment letter, please notify us at info@jacklondonoakland.org. Below are the questions considered, with District comments in bullet points following. 

Among questions considered:
-How can FRA decrease barriers that local communities encounter when establishing a quiet zone?

  • Provide federal funding and a clear route to establishment of a TQZ.

  • Allow for a Special Assessment District (like Jack London) to be the lead agency for establishment of the TQZ

  • Decrease liability for City or lead agency for establishing a TQZ


-What further actions can FRA take to mitigate horn noise impacts for local communities without decreasing safety for motorists and peds?

  • Consider variable noise levels for horn-blowing within an urban context in an environment like Jack London in Oakland where there are 8 at-grade crossings within a distance of 1.5 miles, and travelling at slow speeds.

-How can FRA change how horns are sounded at grade crossings?

  • FRA is encouraged to consider wayside horns instead of train-mounted horns.

-Should train speed be a factor that is considered when establishing a new quiet zone?

  • Yes, within an urban context in an environment like Jack London in Oakland where there are 8 at-grade crossings within a distance of 1.5 miles, and travelling at slow speeds.

-Should there be an online process?

  • Yes