Honked off by West Seattle train noise? New group wants you

From Admiral to Pigeon Point, some West Seattle residents say train noise is getting worse, and – as first discussed in this WSB Forums thread – they are ready to figure out how to put some limits on it. railroadsign.jpgNot to stop the trains — as Liz Hardy explains, “Many people are affected by this noise because we have found that the bulk of the train traffic is at night and early morning. While we all understand that this is an industrial area and we do not expect (or want) the train traffic to stop, this is also a residential area and something needs to be done to mitigate the effect that the train noise is having on the surrounding neighborhoods.” As the West Seattle Train Noise Action Committee, they are now working to establish a federal “quiet zone” (explained here) in the area around the Port and Harbor Island. They’re hoping you can come to their first meeting, even though it’s downtown – they’ve booked West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, plus SDOT and Port of Seattle reps too – is Monday, at City Hall downtown for various reasons, and they are hoping for a big turnout – if you are concerned about train noise, be there: 5:30 pm Monday 8/18, Sam Smith Conference Room on the 2nd floor at City Hall (600 4th Ave.; here’s a map).

59 Replies to "Honked off by West Seattle train noise? New group wants you"

  • SA August 12, 2008 (12:23 pm)

    I gather that a “quiet zone” is intended to establish hours or decibel restrictions on trains in certain areas.

    Sorry folks but you can’t move into an industrial area and then complain about the noise. That noise is there for safety. You can hear that if you are in any vehicle even with a loud stereo. Some homeless people frequent the area and sometimes are sleeping in the area. I would choose safety over yet another West Seattle NIMBY movement. Hopefully someone attends the meeting and hands out earplugs.

  • BusRider August 12, 2008 (12:32 pm)

    Ba glad that we’re not in N.E. Magnolia. When they’re making up trains in the early morning, you can hear it in living stereo, right to left, ca-chunk, ca-chunk, ca-chunk, ca-chunk, ca-chunk, ca-chunk, ca-chunk, ca-chunk, ca-chunk, ca-chunk. We have it quite easy here.

  • toomanyratsinacageakaWS August 12, 2008 (12:41 pm)

    I think people recently moving into an area and then complaining about existing issues is one thing, however, some people like myself can hear trains in Admiral and the houses/residents have been there since the 1920’s.

    I think trains should be run at certain times to less the impact but I am not sure what time frame would be best. I hate it when trains run through SODO at rush hour in the morning and evening or when there is a game. It just totally screws everything up and takes a long time to get traffic flowing again.

  • austin August 12, 2008 (12:59 pm)

    SA.. how is the Admiral area “industrial”? Just because there is excessive train noise pollution from miles away doesn’t mean an area is “industrial”.

  • Mark August 12, 2008 (1:08 pm)

    I don’t understand why the horns have to be so loud? For car stereos? I can hear the trains from 1/2 mile away with my TV on, that seems excessive.

    In Europe the trains are a fraction of the decibels as here and they have way more train traffic.

  • Peter August 12, 2008 (1:33 pm)

    As the crow flies, the Admiral area is within a mile or so of the Port of Seattle, so it’s more like adjacent-to-an-industrial-area (I like to think of the port area as a moat separating WS from the decadence and debauchery of greater Seattle, especially Ballard). Nonetheless, I don’t think people complained about trains in the 1920’s as they were too busy walking through all that snow.

  • datamuse August 12, 2008 (1:37 pm)

    Nonetheless, I don’t think people complained about trains in the 1920’s as they were too busy walking through all that snow.

    Best. Comment. Ever.


  • JasonG August 12, 2008 (1:48 pm)

    Nonetheless, I don’t think people complained about trains in the 1920’s as they were too busy walking through all that snow.
    Uphill! Both ways! With their five brothers and sisters on their backs! And they LIKED it fine!

  • JJ August 12, 2008 (1:54 pm)

    The trains are pretty noisy occasionally (and always have been) but only once in a blue moon do I hear them laying on the horn at night. When they do, it is definitely loud enough to wake everyone up on the hill opposite the train yard along Harbor Ave. They seem to blow their whistles more as they move up and down the train yard during the day.

    Also annoying are the Harley’s, thumping car stereos, sirens, and occasional news helicopters. But that’s life in the big city. If it was that much of a problem, we’d move to the burbs.

    I believe Harbor Ave used to be called RailRoad Ave and was exclusively for trains in the 20s and 30s.

  • funnygirl28 August 12, 2008 (1:57 pm)

    I understand some of you may think this issue is about a bunch of yuppies looking for something to complain about, but that is not the case. The train the noise has gotten much, MUCH worse in recent months due to the increase in train traffic in and out of the port. I have lived in Pigeon Point for many years and it was never so bad that we could no longer get a decent night’s sleep. Furthermore, as was stated in the original post, no one is expecting industry to stop or even slow down but there ARE things that can be done to keep industry going and at the same time, improving the quality of life of the residents in surrounding neighborhoods. Several cities have successfully implemented these “quiet zones” in areas where industrial and residential areas meet, including Tacoma, Yakima, San Diego, etc. Why not here?
    (also, I have lived in Magnolia around the train yards and I can tell you that while this situation is a little different, it is just as bad in terms of diminished quality of life.)

  • marty August 12, 2008 (1:57 pm)

    I live on Alki and every summer people come to the beach and drive past my condo and make noise. Maybe you can fix that too? My advise: Don’t live in a place where you don’t like the noise, it was there before you were.

  • daskshin August 12, 2008 (2:09 pm)

    Wow, some of you people are really nasty. Have you ever thought that this train problem might actually be legitimate and these people are doing something positive to improve the community? What does the amount of time someone has lived in a neighborhood have to do with their right to have some peace of mind in their own home? I don’t live in the affected area but it sounds like it would bother me if I did.

  • JJ August 12, 2008 (2:24 pm)

    While a lot of people like to complain about the complainers, funnygirl has a legitimate gripe. If the loud horns go from once a night to ten times a night, that’s a problem.

    It appears her group is trying to sit down with the train people and other relevant parties and work out a solution. What’s wrong with that?

  • Alcina August 12, 2008 (2:51 pm)

    funnygirl28, Do you have info as to why the train traffic has increased?

  • toomanyratsinacageakaWS August 12, 2008 (3:03 pm)

    It’s nice to see people sticking up for people for a change. Seems like a common theme on this blog/message board is one person raises an issue and then it comes back to haunt them 10 fold. It has been my experience on more than one occasion anyway.

    Some people can be really nasty as some of the folks above have mentioned. I don’t know why I keep coming back. :)

  • harboraveres August 12, 2008 (3:10 pm)

    Do you think there is a connection between the increase in noise and the increased activity at the steel plant? I notice it way more in the morning since they’ve got permits for new construction and the creation of a 4th shift.

    Side note: I think car noise has gone way down since last summer but maybe I’m just used to it now.

  • Joey August 12, 2008 (3:32 pm)

    I think the noise is amplified in the summer.

    Feewer leaves on the trees to absorb it.

    Windows open all night because of the heat.

    It’s always been a 3-month issue for us.

    That said – I wish someone would do something about their schedules. Seems like they are always running at rush hour!

  • JumboJim August 12, 2008 (3:39 pm)

    I was amazed the first time I heard the trains from our place near 39th & Thistle. That’s a long ways from a train track! The train noise being so far away makes the sound easily bearable and kind of romantic in a western landscape sort of way.
    I imagine it sucks when you live a lot closer though.

  • Michael August 12, 2008 (4:02 pm)

    Sorry, but I have to LOL.
    What’s next? “Citizens Tired Of All The Water Around Here”?

  • Michael August 12, 2008 (4:05 pm)

    toomanyrats person: that’s because WSB has willingly become a platform for all kinds of complaints. This is 2008 – if you choose to send your complaint to a public forum, expect the public to let you know how it feels.

  • WSB August 12, 2008 (4:44 pm)

    It should be noted we are also a place to report on successes, community needs, events, meetings, future businesses, volunteer efforts, etc. Those don’t generate as much discussion – often they generate no discussion – but that would never stop us from reporting on them. Discussion is one of the three parts of our mission: West Seattle news, information, discussion, 24/7 — TR

  • villagegreen August 12, 2008 (4:47 pm)

    Many posters here are fairly predictable. When the issue doesn’t affect them and doesn’t fall under the unbrella of some politically correct issue they’re supposed to care about, they rip the poster a new one. I’m sure it gives them a sense of satisfaction, but is quite transparent and offputting.

    I won’t say I’m completely innocent, but at least I have some self-awareness :)

  • villagegreen August 12, 2008 (4:51 pm)

    I meant to say, at least I *think* I have some self-awareness. Who knows, maybe I’m deluded as well :)

  • WSB August 12, 2008 (4:52 pm)

    And to the original topic – we are even further away from the tracks than JumboJim, who posted above, and we hear the trains clearly, and frequently, at night too. Always amazing how sound carries. I have asked the organizers of this effort whether anyone has tried to record what it’s like; one person at least apparently has kept a log.

  • Koni August 12, 2008 (5:17 pm)

    The train noise has been increasing lately! I have been awakened at between 2:30 and 3:30 am for the last couple of weeks. At first I thought it was just a weather related echo (it sometimes gets louder when it rains or is foggy), but then it became an every night occurance.
    The endless rumbling and continuous horn honking is really getting to be ridiculous. What has changed to make it so bad all of a sudden? I live all the way up by Highpoint and if it is bad here, how are the people closer to the trains supposed to stand it?

  • elgrego August 12, 2008 (5:20 pm)

    So when people start getting hit by trains (if you’ve noticed, a lot of the crossings down in the industrial area don’t even have signals) are you gonna pay for the funeral costs of the victims? After all, if you guys succeed and those horns go away, people might die.

    Also, maybe we should petition someone to get all those obnoxious ship foghorns to be quiet too. I can hear them all the way in lower Delridge. Why do ship’s horns need to be so loud?!?!?!

  • Koni August 12, 2008 (5:22 pm)

    Oh, just wanted to add, I have lived in my house for seven years and this is the first time the train noise has been bad enough to become a big problem. Something has changed recently to create all of this noise……whatever you naysayers want to say about it “having been there before you were” stuff.

  • Koni August 12, 2008 (5:24 pm)

    Train horns at 3:00 am to prevent injuries to pedestrians? Darwinism anyone?

  • rats man August 12, 2008 (7:00 pm)

    Michael, just because it’s 2008 doesn’t mean people have to be so rude and nasty to express a counter opinion. I’ve been here since the beginning so I don’t need you to tell me what wsb has willingly become. Not sure if you were trying to talk down to me like I just stumbled across this an hour ago. I think we are all aware of what wsb is and it’s benefit to the neighborhood. There did not used to be this nastiness 2 or 3 years ago on this blog but ever since it blew up and got popular, started accepting advertizing, etc IMO it’s now a (small) cut above the pi blog as far as people being a**holes to each other. People talking smack creates conflict and creates more hits/sells advertizing but does nothing for being neighborly or maintaining/enhancing peoples self esteem, or fostering good will for the once kinder town we lived in.

  • BJ August 12, 2008 (7:06 pm)

    Up next: people tired of various shades of gray in the winter skies here…I sense a movement to get the sky painted blue year round. Its the city! Stop trying to change the city sounds which are sweet music to some. Move to Federal Way! Cya.

  • elgrego August 12, 2008 (7:07 pm)

    Train horns at 3:00 am to prevent injuries to pedestrians? Darwinism anyone?

    Nice, Koni. Advocate death. Good for you.

  • Kathy August 12, 2008 (8:29 pm)

    I have heard that trains can haul more cargo per gallon of fuel than, for example, a semi-truck. As fuel prices increase, it’s becoming more cost effective to haul cargo by train. Perhaps more trains are running now and that’s why people are noticing an increase in train noise.

    I have lived on Alki for a long time. Years ago, we used to hear the fog horns on foggy mornings. We no longer hear them and I think it must be due to better technology that can direct the sound just out on the water. Perhaps there is something that could be used to direct the sound of train horns to where it’s needed along the tracks.

  • funnygirl28 August 12, 2008 (8:53 pm)

    Thanks everyone for your support — I hope thoseof you who are affected will come out on Monday. For those of you who think this is a ridiculous effort, you are obviously not in that minority. Good for you for being able to sleep at night, keep your windows open on a hot evening, and not have the value of your home deprecate due to the lack of livability in the area. Your assumption that people are just overreacting to the problem tells me that you can sleep just fine regardless of whatever might be happening to the people around you.

  • rowboat August 12, 2008 (9:45 pm)

    If you recently moved into the ‘city’, you must not have done your research. This is a city with buses, sirens, trains, airplanes, motorcycles, loud cars etc. We’ve been listening to the trains since childhood and we love it when we hear that ‘city sound’.
    Perhaps those who can’t take it should consider moving out of this beautiful city.

  • EAO August 12, 2008 (9:45 pm)

    I actually find the train horns and ferry fog horns comforting. Granted, I don’t hear the train noise all that frequently as I live close to the ferry, but there is something about it that reminds me that we are part of a larger, more diverse community.

  • rowboat August 12, 2008 (9:48 pm)

    Oh, and can someone please stop all traffic roaring up Genessee Ave. heading to Alki after 10 p.m.? We keep our windows open and are awakened many a night by loud motorcycles and kids cars screaming up the hill.

  • WSB August 12, 2008 (9:57 pm)

    to “rats” – no, actually, discussion does not sell advertising. Sometimes people opt not to advertise here because we opt to offer discussion – like most news sites do. And we do have MUCH more stringent rules than the P-I, let alone Slog and any number of other local sites. Among our fellow neighborhood-news sites, the philosophy varies. The up-and-coming editor of the Rainier Valley Post has chosen to let profanity, racist remarks, and anything else go through because she deeply believes that completely open discussion helps bring the dark into the light and will eventually lead light to triumph. I’m paraphrasing her – and I will fully admit I’m not quite so brave as all that – we do edit or delete for profanity, racism, sexism, sizeism, and a few other ‘isms. I am not quite as eloquent in explaining this as is Amber of the RVP but basically – Real-life discussion is messy too. What matters is that we are discussing. For those who don’t want to participate in the discussion, this site can easily be read without even a glance at the comments. And many people do read it that way, which is fine. It does get zingy at times, just like real life, but I am proud that we do have people who are willing to offer opinions and if you choose to read and/or participate in the discussion, sometimes a nugget of enlightenment emerges. At the very least, let’s say you are proposing or advocating something – you know what your opponents and critics are saying as well as your supporters. Better than sitting around trying to guess what kind of arguments you need to gird yourself against — or, as I have seen happen before, getting totally blindsided by concerns/objections if you take an idea/concept forward without any sort of previous public discussion. Anyway, I’ve rambled on too long. But this is something we are very passionate about. And when you see somebody breaking those very few rules we have – including a personal attack on someone participating in the thread – let us know; we will be including “report this” type features on comments and in the forums in an upcoming upgrade, so that’s easier. P.S. Easy explanation of the rules: “TR, you’re an idiot” – rule broken. “TR, that idea is idiotic” – rule not broken. Discuss the idea/concept/statement, NOT the person making it. — TR

  • Michael August 12, 2008 (11:10 pm)

    I don’t see a lot of “smack” on WSB. I see a lot of people who take criticism personally. Yes, people feel very attached to their beliefs, but they should realize that slamming the belief does not equal slamming the person.

  • Rich August 13, 2008 (2:50 am)

    Living in Arbor Heights, we can hear the train horns if we stand outside but they are not an issue.
    What I have noticed is that when I sit out on my porch at 1 or 2 in the morning after work (swing shift) is that there have been a number of times that I have heard what sounded like DELIBERATE horn honking.
    One night it sounded like a number of trains and one or more ships at the docks were having a “honk-a-thon” It was just likes dogs barking, one honked and then the other would honk back and so on.
    I suspect some of the honking is perhaps just for the heck of it – just because they can…
    The problem is not going to go away – but perhaps some operator education / training might be a partial solution to eliminate some of the noise?

  • GB August 13, 2008 (7:19 am)

    I agree with those who say this is a city! not your own personal Disneyland. Also..so many complain about trucks and fuel consumption..trains are a better alternative. How do you think products get from the port to your beloved Trader Joes?

  • TeresaP August 13, 2008 (7:52 am)

    We have become such an “all about me” society, it makes me sick. It makes me think of my grandmother and I know exactly what she would say.

    “Thank the good Lord that you have your hearing, someone out there would give anything to hear that train go by, regardess if it woke them up or not.”

    I live on the bluff above Lincoln Park and I constantly hear softball games, parties with loud music, all kinds of traffic from the ferry, should I call the city to complain?

    If you live in the city, you hear the city. Get over it!


  • Koni August 13, 2008 (8:05 am)

    ELGREGO… clearly somepeople have no sense of humor! I am only saying, people who cross in front of oncoming trains (hard to miss at the best of times) at 3 am should have some responsibility for their own safety if the train then hits them. ;)

  • toomanyratsinacageakaWS August 13, 2008 (8:34 am)

    It just seems like this blog has “evolved” from talking about what TR did today or the weather to being informative, which is great, but now it’s often conflict oriented. I don’t think the evolution is such a great thing. I guess I am just in the wrong place for community news. I am happy for the success of wsb and for TR and family but it’s just not for me any more. Maybe I will just read the story and not the comments or maybe I will just quit cold turkey. Maybe I can’t separate personal criticism from idea criticism but it doesn’t seem like it used to be this personal 2 or 3 years ago. People discussed ideas and counterpoints in a more respectful neighborly way. We’re all neighbors in WS right? My life is stressful enough; I keep asking myself, why do I keep coming back for more?

    TR – I have thought about sending you an email expressing my concern over the direction the blog has taken but I guess I have said it all here. I know you can’t control everything and I know there are rules, and that you are better than the pi, etc. It’s just my opinion. I am a long time resident of your blog and an even longer resident of West Seattle. Please be open to the fact that if I feel this way then there a re likely many others that feel this way too.

  • MargL August 13, 2008 (10:07 am)

    Har – “honk-a-thon”. I think while there are rules for honking the horn at certain times some train engineers can and will honk for fun. I noticed this back in Wisconsin and Missouri while visiting relatives who lived right NEXT to the train tracks. Some trains would honk before and after intersections and some would just lay on the horn for a mile or so. Good luck with implementing but more importantly -enforcing- that quiet zone.

  • villagegreen August 13, 2008 (2:24 pm)

    The idea that wanting to sleep through the night without being awoken by a train every half an hour is somehow indicative of an “all about me” society is idiotic.

    Comparing noise from Lincoln Park (which was there when you moved in to your house) and the recent drastic increase in train noise (which you obviously haven’t dealt with at your current location) is comparing apples to oranges.

    No one wants things completely quiet. Of course this is a city and there are supposed to be city noises, even ones that are occasionally annoying. No ones disputing that.

    The issue is that the train noise has DRASTICALLY INCREASED recently. As the vast majority of postings on this site are about wanting to keep the good aspects of West Seattle intact, why would you shoot someone down for wanting to keep the train noise at an acceptable level (like it has been in the paste).

    People want better transit options as density increases, but you can’t see the benefit of wanting some type of plan to accommodate the increase in train traffic that is disrupting people’s lives? Talk about an “all about me” mentality.

  • villagegreen August 13, 2008 (2:38 pm)

    The idea that wanting to sleep through the night without being awoken by a train every half an hour is somehow indicative of an “all about me” society is idiotic.

    Comparing noise from Lincoln Park (which was there when you moved in to your house) and the recent drastic increase in train noise (which you obviously haven’t dealt with at your current location) is comparing apples to oranges.

    No one wants things completely quiet. Of course this is a city and there are supposed to be city noises, even ones that are occasionally annoying. No ones disputing that.

    The issue is that the train noise has DRASTICALLY INCREASED recently. As the vast majority of postings on this site are about wanting to keep the good aspects of West Seattle intact, why would you shoot someone down for wanting to keep the train noise at an acceptable level (like it has been in the paste).

    People want better transit options as density increases, but you can’t see the benefit of wanting some type of plan to accommodate the increase in train traffic that is disrupting people’s lives? Talk about an “all about me” mentality.

  • Joseph August 13, 2008 (7:18 pm)

    I’d be curious to hear the results of this. (WSB, please follow up.) It would be nice to know if there is indeed more train traffic now, or whether people just have their windows open because it’s summer. (So many of the “recently” comments make me wonder if it’s not the latter.)

  • WSB August 13, 2008 (8:09 pm)

    We will cover the meeting on Monday night. We had inquired with our original source whether anyone had recorded this – not to their knowledge, but there was word someone is keeping logs, so we’ll be seeing if those are accessible. Not sure how to quantify it otherwise, though we have not yet checked directly with BNSF, pending what happens on Monday. — TR

  • Tony August 13, 2008 (8:14 pm)

    The train noise is a valid issue and I wholly support the residents trying to find a solution. I am part of another west seattle group known as K.R.O.O.W.S (Keep the rain out of West Seattle). We are completely fed up with the amount of rain that is falling in the region and are currently petitioning city government, mother nature and various gods to put a stop to this atrocity. Please join us in our effort to make West Seattle a better place.

  • Joseph August 13, 2008 (8:52 pm)

    Looking at the rules for creating a new quiet zone (see link in post), it looks like this group will be out of luck:

    “A New Quiet Zone must have, at a minimum, flashing lights and gates in place at each public crossing. These must be equipped with constant warning time devices where reasonably practical, and power out indicators. Any necessary upgrades must be completed before calculating risk for the quiet zone.”

    I’m pretty sure there are some crossings down by the steel mill that don’t have gates.

    Note also that engineers are required BY LAW to use their horns when approaching such crossings.

  • WSB August 14, 2008 (2:36 am)

    Maybe I’m just noticing it more because of this much-discussed post. But we’re sitting here in the wee hours with our windows open — west-facing, as in toward Lincoln Park/ferry dock — in Upper Fauntleroy, and we have heard a TON of train horns in the past half-hour, one series long enough it almost sounded as if they were trying to sound out Morse code. And we’re used to noise, as we live at the corner of two arterials.

  • very surpised August 14, 2008 (12:16 pm)

    it surprises me the lack of community and positive support I see on this board. It is a real shame to see some people posting misinformation about queit zones, taking shots at neighbors and bascially having a negative disposition about people wanting to address an issue that is causing them to concern. Move is the response. Well I’ve got news for you, out of one side of your mouths you say move to the country where it is quiet and out of the other you accuse us of not supporting environmentally friendly transit. How is moving to the country supporting environmentally friendly transit? It will only put more cars on the road using more gas.

    Additionally, do the people on this board not know what is happening to the duwamish and elliot bay? How do you think that is happening? Incresaed industy. They are poisoning our food, our water, our air. Is that okay. Should the entire city of seattle move to the country and let that polution continue or should we do something about it? Noise is pollution too. That is why they call it noise pollution. So the increased traffic does affect you even if you can’t hear it. You breathe it every day. Chances are you eat it if you like salmon. You drink it in the form of chemcial dumped into our water supply. It affects you. I only hope that people start to wake up and take action. I commend this group for trying to make a difference. It is better than sitting back and doing nothing but complaining dont you think?

  • TeresaP August 14, 2008 (1:21 pm)

    Tony, GREAT POST.

    I am a huge support of my community and my neighboorhood. If you are my neighboor and your house is on fire I will risk my own life to save yours. And if I see someone breaking into your home I will call the cops or take the guy out myself.

    For someone to say that train noise is disrupting their life is a little scary to me. However, some ideas may be to have a fan on in your bedroom to help eliminate outside noise, possibly go to sleep with your IPOD on may help as well. Or new windows and an AC unit so the windows can be closed.

    Or for the very hard core..AMBIEN!!!!!!!!!

  • B-squared August 14, 2008 (6:42 pm)

    Mmmmmm …. ambien.

    i can hear the trains loud and clear in Seaview, but then i like them – they are oddly comforting.

  • very surpised August 15, 2008 (9:35 am)

    It would appear that those who have nothing valid to say other than advocating drug use and talking about stopping the rain have turned this thread into a useless piece of wasted space. thank you all for your contribution. I hope you are so very proud of yourselves.

    Of course, I expect that this will be censored and not allowed to be posted. I think maybe I will start my own crusade. One where I contact all the advertisers and tell them how I will never do business with them as long as they advertise here. Maybe I can get other people involved as well. Maybe that would be a good thread to start!

  • WSB August 15, 2008 (10:02 am)

    “Very surprised,” as I wrote to you in e-mail, your previous comments were not approved because you broke one of the few rules we have for discussion on WSB – you directly insulted other participants on the thread. I invited you in that e-mail to rewrite and resubmit your comments in a manner that did not break that rule, and so far, unless you have posted under a different name, I have not seen any evidence that you have chosen to do so. I’m not sure why you would want to crusade against us for having a couple of simple rules of engagement and enforcing them as best we can, but I certainly welcome you and anyone else to contact WSB advertisers at any time and express any opinion that you would care to express to them — TR

  • Joseph August 15, 2008 (4:42 pm)

    Very Surprised,

    I’m going to attribute your frustrated tone to a lack of sleep due to train noise! :)

    Just so you know, the information I posted about quiet zones came straight out of the Federal RailRoad Administration document linked to in this post, which says a new quiet zone cannot be created unless the crossing is gated. If the document is wrong, or I’m misinterpreting it and thus passing on misinformation, I’d like to be corrected with the facts.

    Good luck to you and your group. I think reducing noise pollution is a perfectly reasonable goal.

  • deb August 18, 2008 (1:51 pm)

    I’m perplexed by those who dismiss this as a NIMBY issue, and I’m shocked by the vitriol directed at those who would like to see the noise levels reduced. The train noise has indeed increased recently; not many people seem to be disputing that point. Why is it wrong to be bothered by that increase in noise when one is trying to sleep or otherwise live peacefully in his or her home? Another fact is that other cities (in our general region and outside of it) have successfully instituted measures formed through workable compromises that satisfy both the residential and industrial contingents. Why is it wrong to strive for that same type of compromise here? It would be nice to see some support or attempts at understanding (instead of mockery or knee-jerk dismissal) for our neighbors whose lives are genuinely affected by the increased noise.

  • W August 19, 2008 (9:22 am)

    There are lots of options for those who suffer from train noise that they can do themselves. If you find yourself one of the individuals who is legitimately losing sleep over this train horn issue, then work with an engineer to seal your house and put in triple pane windows. Sealing up your house better undeniably makes a HUGE difference in BOTH noise and energy efficiency. I especially wonder about the houses that were built in the 1920’s – back then houses were not at all well sealed. In old houses you can typically hear a lot and FEEL a lot, like the breeze coming in the closed window. I think there are very good, self-service solutions to this problem.

    On the other hand, I moved to Seattle just over a year ago from a smaller community, and you’ll never guess one thing I love? Yes, the train noise. When I occasionally hear or even wake to(when my window happens to be open) a train horn in the middle of the night, I revel in the fact that I live in a wonderful metropolis! To me, the industry is just part of the beautiful experience of big city life. Thank you!

Sorry, comment time is over.