A federal law passed in 2005 makes it possible to establish railroad quiet zones and many cities are in the process of getting or have received approval for them (California alone at least 17).
In Menlo Park a quiet zone would benefit many residents and businesses. There is much talk about development along the tracks. As an example, if the Derry project is approved, 108 new homes will be constructed and all of these will be very close to the tracks. A quiet zone would certainly benefit all of those living in these new homes, as well the commercial interests in that development.
The cities of Richmond and Fremont have already established quiet zones. If they can do it, certainly we can.
At the study session, there was a claim that even if a quiet zone was approved for Menlo Park, the engineers could still blow the horns, the implication being that a quiet zone might well be ineffective. The new federal law imposes a $7,500 fine for willfully blowing the horn. Now if a $7,500 fine is not enough to keep the horn from sounding that will be pretty amazing.
Quiet zones are effective; we need one in Menlo Park.
Stone Pine Lane, Menlo Park