Train horns causing big problems in Fort Collins

4:49 PM, Dec 2, 2013   |    comments
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FORT COLLINS - The tracks run through the heart of the city. So people who live or work nearby understand noise comes with the territory. But something else blaring from the railways is causing a big problem in Fort Collins.

A regulation set in place by the Federal Railroad Administration requires trains to sound their horn for about 15 seconds at every single intersection. For Fort Collins, that means around 10 times a day a horn as loud as a jackhammer can be heard through a 3 mile stretch of the city.

"The noise is the issue. It affects our quality of life," explains Fort Collins Mayor Karen Weitkuna. "It's that bad."

The Train Horn Rule was set in place for safety reasons. The idea is to lay on the horn so people will hear it and stay away from the tracks. Mayor Keitkunat questions whether it's effective.

"Yes we know that railroad crossings can be dangerous," he said. "The question becomes, is it because you don't hear the train?"

The noise has become so problematic, city officials met with U.S. Senator Michael Bennet who says this is becoming a nationwide issue.

"We have to get it fixed because it's hurting us," Bennet said. "This really is affecting the long term economic health of our communities."

Some businesses are already concerned about the future as they wonder whether the noise will be enough to keep customers from walking through their doors.

"Could it impact their decision on whether they come and dine with us?" Howard Brigham, the owner of D'VINE Bistro said. "Most definitely."

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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