Merced City Council took early steps on Monday to adding quiet zones to the city’s northernmost railroad, an improvement to the “quality of life” of those that live near the tracks, according to the council.
Several members of the council spoke in favor of quiet zones assuming the city can find the money to pay for safety improvements. The council is set to talk again about the zones at a priority setting meeting at 7 p.m. March 29 at City Hall, 678 W. 18th St.
The roughly 4-mile stretch of BNSF railroad in Merced is crossed by eight roads used by cars, according to a report from Councilman Michael Belluomini. The city’s general plan projects the city will see 60 train trips per day by 2030, he notes, compared with 40 today.
Belluomini estimates it will cost the city between $200,000 and $600,000 at each crossing to pay for extra arms, lights and other requirements for quiet zones.