WPB Mayor Muoio Announces Quiet Zone Establishment
QUIET ZONE EFFECTIVE IN WEST PALM BEACH ON MONDAY, MAY 14, 2018; PUBLIC URGED TO MAKE WISE DECISIONS AT RAILWAY CROSSINGS AND ALONG RAILROAD TRACKS
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (May 14, 2018)—As the implementation of a quiet zone along the FEC/Brightline railway would improve the quality of life for residents and is, therefore, a top priority of Mayor Jeri Muoio, Mayor Muoio announced the city’s establishment of a quiet zone in West Palm Beach effective Monday, May 14, 2018 at 11:59pm. The quiet zone, located along the Brightline/FECR railway between 15th Street and the southern city limits, means that trains will not be required to blow their horns. However, horns may sound when arriving at or departing from the station or in the event of an emergency situation. Once Brightline expands its service north, the City will begin the process of establishing a quiet zone in the northern part of our city, along the railway north of 15th street and to the northern city limits.
To establish the quiet zone, the city followed a federal process outlined by the Federal Railway Administration. The City is officially in full compliance. Under the direction of Mayor Muoio, the city then exceeded federal requirements and implemented additional safety measures for our residents and visitors. These measures include (but are not limited to):
· Physical improvements at crossings which include safety signs and road delineators;
· A sweeping railway safety communications/outreach campaign that Brightline has touted as an outstanding model for other municipalities;
· Enhanced awareness/enforcement by the West Palm Beach Police Department around railroad tracks.
“Our residents have wanted the quiet zone for some time, and I’m happy to say that the time has finally come when we can implement it,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. “As there will now be increased traffic along the railway at a higher rate of speed but without the horns, we are urging everybody to be safe. Things will be different, and we cannot emphasize enough the importance of making wise decisions around railroad tracks. Never try to outrun a train, and never trespass along the tracks. Talk to your friends, family, neighbors and children about the quiet zone and railway safety.”
“The City of West Palm Beach is dedicated to being a leader when it comes to the safety of residents and visitors,” said Assistant City Administrator Scott Kelly. “We’ve taken a lot of steps to improve safety at railway crossings, and we are now looking to everyone to help us amplify this important safety message.”
Keep yourself, family and friends safe by following these rail safety tips, courtesy of Operation Lifesaver, an organization that works to change people’s behavior around railroad tracks and crossings with a national public awareness campaign:
· Never try to outrun a train!
· Remember to cross train tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings, and obey all warning signs and signals posted there.
· Stay alert around railroad tracks. No texting, headphones or other distractions that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train! Never mix rails and recreation.
· All train tracks are private property. Never walk on tracks. It's illegal to trespass and highly dangerous. By the time a locomotive engineer sees a trespasser or vehicle on the tracks, it's too late. It takes the average freight train traveling at 55 mph more than a mile—the length of 18 football fields—to stop. Trains cannot stop quickly enough to avoid a collision.
· Freight trains don't travel at fixed times, and schedules for passenger trains change. Always expect a train at each highway-rail intersection.
· A train can extend three feet or more beyond the steel rail, putting the safety zone for pedestrians well beyond the three foot mark. If there are rails on the railroad ties always assume the track is in use, even if there are weeds or the track looks unused.
· Today’s trains are quieter than ever, producing no telltale “clackety-clack.” Any approaching train is always closer and moving faster than you think.
For more safety tips, please visit Operation Lifesaver at https://oli.org/.
The City wishes to thank West Palm Beach neighborhood associations, Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, Brightline and the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council for working with us on this effort.