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Quality of Life

Oceanside On Track To Create Quiet Zone

A Coaster train at the Oceanside station, Nov. 17, 2015.
Promise Yee
A Coaster train at the Oceanside station, Nov. 17, 2015.

Oceanside On Track To Create Quiet Zone
The Oceanside City Council will vote Wednesday to put $1 million in Caltrans funding toward safety improvements at coastal railroad crossings, to allow Quiet Zones downtown.

The Oceanside City Council is slated to vote Wednesday to put $1 million in Caltrans funds toward making safety improvements to coastal railroad crossings, which would allow the trains to lay off their horns.

Mayor Jim Wood said the money will pay for improvements to one of the five coastal crossings.

“It doesn't handle the whole city,” Wood said. "We're hoping that we can designate a couple of major intersections. We're hoping, if we do that, that can be a Quiet Zone.”

The Mission Avenue crossing in the heart of downtown sees the greatest vehicle and pedestrian use, and will be improved first. Construction to upgrade the crossing would start next year.

“We have to have a system set up that they can't drive around the gates,” Wood said. “It's a lot more money than you think. Plus, with the pedestrian traffic, the gates have to stop them, and they don't right now.”

The city has honed in on establishing a Quiet Zone during the past few years as its downtown has developed

“We get complaints from the hotel guests saying, 'We enjoyed Oceanside and the hotel, but we're upset about the train horn noise,'” Wood said. “With more hotels going down there, that's one of the biggest complaints. And we want to address that complaint as soon as we can.”

The city is exploring ways to secure and finance an additional $5.8 million to upgrade the remaining coastal crossings and establish a citywide quiet zone.

Safety improvements must go through a regulatory process before train engineers stop sounding the horns.

Corrected:
Promise Yee is a North County freelance writer. Contact her at promise.yee1@gmail.com. Twitter: @promisenews. Facebook: promise.yee.1