A New Proposal Could Derail Train Noise in Eugene

EUGENE, Ore. – The City of Eugene is proposing a new plan to help keep the noise level down in some neighborhoods and they’re asking for the community’s input.

The City is in the early stages for the new proposal of “A Quiet Zone” that would lessen the sound of the train whistles as well as implement more public safety measures.

“It is loud, I agree it is loud,” said Dlma Stuck, a Eugene resident.

Stuck is talking about the train that crosses through her street daily. She says she’s lived by the railroad tracks for almost nine years.

“When it does go by, if I’m sitting in my chair I get a little bit of a vibration, so you can feel it as it goes by,” said Stuck.

Things could quiet down, if some residents have their way. For the past few months, a citizen’s advisory panel has been working with city staff to implement a railroad quiet zone.

“What this is really all about is creating safety improvements that would then allow the train to be able to cross through the city inside the city of Eugene throughout this proposed area without blowing their horns,” said Brian Richardson, Eugene Public Affairs Manager.

To make that happen, Richardson says, safety improvements have to be made at 10 railroad crossings in the downtown and Whitaker neighborhoods. That includes crossing gates, medians and fencing, none of which comes cheap.

“The cost point range is anywhere from 6 to 7 million dollars at this point, but we don’t have any funding sources for that,” said Richardson.

Though some businesses in the area look forward to the change.

“I think it’s definitely a welcomed change because with the change of the noise level they’re also going to be adding different precautions,” said Marissa Ooyevaar, Marketing Director at Inn at the 5th.

But not everybody wants the whistle to fade away.

“For the most part I don’t find it particularly problematic, it’s actually charming, I like it,” said Eugene resident, Janice Carraher.

The City said it will be a while before anything is finalized and right now it’s asking for the community’s input.

A meeting will be held on April 26th, from 4:30 P.M. to 6:30 P.M., at the Downtown Eugene Library.

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