Welcome to the East Nashville
Train Quiet Zone Initiative

Do you support quieter, safer train crossings in East Nashville?

What Is A Quiet Zone, And Why Do We Need Them In East Nashville?

For general questions about Quiet Zones and FRA regulations, head over to the Frequently Asked Questions page. All other East Nashville specific details are outlined below. 

Have you ever wished trains could pass our community without blowing the horn? Did you know that the loudness of the train horn could damage your health or the health of your children?

Communities across the United States are creating safe and quiet train crossings called “Quiet Zones” to protect their families, so why can’t we?

We’re a group of East Nashville neighbors concerned about the impact train horns have on the health of our community. A Quiet Zone is a SAFE and HEALTHY solution, and with your support, we can make it happen.

How Does This Affect Me and My Family?

We live in a train horn ‘blast zone,’ meaning we are continuously exposed to unhealthy & unsafe levels of high decibel sound from train horns as trains approach and cross nearby intersections.

You experience 96-110 decibles of horn noise an average of 15 times a day because you live within 1,000ft of where horns occur. This sound level is comparable to living near consistent jackhammer or jet engine noise.

Why do horns have to blow at every crossing? Because motorists might attempt to maneuver around a 2-armed crossing closure. The horn is essentially a backup measure. However, there’s a safer solution, and cities across the country are asking for it. It’s a QUIET ZONE.

A Quiet Zone is a train crossing safety upgrade which removes the need for the horn, using Supplemental Safety Measures like 4-armed gate closures instead of 2, wayside horns, or medians which cars can’t sneak around as the train approaches.


Train horn exposure puts the health of our community and our children at risk.

We’ve come to understand that exposure to consistent high decibel sound has many negative health implications for our community. Many studies support these findings. See specifics and citations below.

We believe the establishment of quiet zones in our community will greatly improve quality of life for the many citizens within the blast zone while keeping all citizens safe at nearby crossings.

 

Chronic environmental noise causes a wide variety of adverse health effects, including:

  • Hearing Impairment / Loss
  • Increased Blood Pressure
  • Chronic Sleep Disturbance
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Endocrine Effects
  • Increased Incidence of Diabetes
  • Disturbances in Mental Health
  • Impaired Task Performance
  • Social / Behavioral Issues

Our kids are at risk.

Children in noisy environments have poor school performance which leads to stress and behavior issues (Lercher et al. 2002). They also have decreased learning, lower reading comprehension, and concentration deficits (Stansfeld et al. 2005).

Those of us in the blast zone are exposed to incredibly high decibel noise an estimated 15 times a day.

Trains are required to blow their horn at a volume between 96 and 110 decibels. That level of noise is scientifically shown to pose health risks to those exposed, from increased chance of heart attacks in adults to developmental delays in children. Imagine placing a running motorcycle or a chainsaw outside of your, or your child’s, bedroom for 30 seconds 3-4 times every night. Now you’re in the ballpark of what it’s like to live in the blast zone.

See a map of all East Nashville crossings and the areas they affect here.

If you read our FAQ, you’ll learn all about what a Quiet Zone is. But, to be clear, it’s not a simple silencing of the horn. It’s a calculated safety upgrade which allows train horns to be on standby for emergencies only, dramatically increasing quality of life for those who live and work within the blast zone. The Federal Railroad Administration allows cities to establish “Quiet Zones” for qualifying public grade crossings within their communities.

You can read more about the Quiet Zone process here. The costs to qualify the EN crossings are affordable. Our elected officials know this information since quiet zones already exist elsewhere in Nashville. We believe our diverse, creative, resilient, and ever-growing EN family deserves the same quality of life consideration as our neighbors across the river. All we need is your support.

Trains are required to blow their horn at a volume between 96 and 110 decibels. That level of noise is scientifically shown to pose health risks to those exposed, from increased chance of heart attacks in adults to developmental delays in children. It’s worth noting that the City of Nashville bans noise from building sites above 70 decibels between the hours of 9pm and 6am.

Join us to urge Mayor Barry, our Metro Council Members, and Metro Public Works to establish Quiet Zones here in East Nashville. Sign up for our email list, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and spread the word. Together, we can do this thing. #SerenityNow!

Questions about this group? Contact the East Nashville Quiet Zone Initiative.

Links / Citations
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_from_noise
http://www.nonoise.org/library/smj/smj.htm
http://www.industrialnoisecontrol.com/comparative-noise-examples.htm
https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0889
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Train_horn
http://www.delmarquietzone.com/

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