CARLSBAD — The Carlsbad City Council is considering participating in a North County Transit District (NCTD) study about implementing a quiet zone along North County rail lines along the coastal corridor.Quiet zones are areas along the track where trains do not sound their horns except in cases of emergencies yet crossing bells and lights still sound.NCTD Deputy General Manager Reed Caldwell presented information about the study at the Aug. 27 City Council meeting.
By implementing them continuously, quiet zones would not be established sporadically along the coastal corridor in some cities but not in others and noise would be reduced on the whole, according to Caldwell.
Furthermore, the quiet zone process would be streamlined for all of the cities involved.
To implement the zones, cities are required to invest in safety enhancements at each railway crossing to prevent cars and people trying to pass across the tracks while a train is approaching.
There are four railway track crossings within the city of Carlsbad and all of them would require improvements.
Caldwell emphasized that while NCTD would support the study and quiet zone implementation, NCTD will not pay for any of it.
“We support that as long as there is no additional cost to us,” he said.
In order for the $400,000 study to move forward, the city would have to approve funds to support it.
Currently the cities of San Diego and Del Mar have implemented quiet zones along the tracks in their areas.
Caldwell pointed out that the quiet zones might become increasingly desirable since train traffic is expected to double in less than 20 years.
Though none of the council members commented on the item at the meeting, Mayor Matt Hall later said that he hopes the North County coastal cities will be able to establish quiet zones together but that he is concerned about the cost associated with the study and added crossing safety measures.