September 2010 home page

  Come Blow Your Horn!
Hershell Price | Grand Avenue

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The Del Mar Quiet Zone committee has gained approval from the City Council to move forward with the design phase of the Wayside Horn Project. This project began a little over a year ago when the committee was formed to try to find a way to reduce the constant blasting of train horns as they pass through Del Mar each day and night. Previous plans to fund a Quiet Zone whereby no train horns would be sounded had been put on the shelf and set aside because of the unaffordable costs to construct. That cost was in excess of $1.3 million and city funds were not available.

The committee decided to look at less expensive project known as the Wayside Horn. This horn project consists of two stationary horns mounted on the existing railroad standards on both sides of the crossing at Coast Boulevard. These wayside horns mimic the train horns but would focus the sound away from the residential areas while providing sufficient warning to cars and pedestrians that a train was approaching.

In November of last year, residents were notified by the City that the tests were to be conducted on a certain date in November so that they could offer feedback to the Council on how they felt about the wayside horns as compared to the trains horns. Many tests were conducted by NCTD and Quiet Zone Technologies over a three hour period so that residents could gain a better idea of how they would sound over an extended period of time. The feedback from the residents was all positive, including those who live closest to the tracks. Based on the positive responses, the committee decided to move forward with the project and have been waiting for the preliminary cost estimate to be provided by NCTD. We presented those cost figures to the City Council at their meeting on August 2 and they gave the committee the green light to move forward to the design phase which will cost $17,548.00. The funds for that part of the project have already been contributed by the committee and other residents.

After the Design Plan is completed in about four months, a better estimate of the actual costs of the project can be determined and we are hopeful that the preliminary estimate of $260,000.00 for construction will be less. We will then start our major fundraising efforts and are hopeful that the community will see the Wayside Horn as a benefit and will want to contribute to the cause.


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