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Quiet Zones for Railroad Crossings in City of Plymouth, Michigan

What does the impact of Plymouth train horn noise look like now?
This is an image of the City of Plymouth overlaid with a “noise distribution map” of the sound of train horns at each of the seven railroad crossings.  Those areas directly impacted by train horn noise of 70 decibels or above, include approximately:
  • 50 percent of the City’s total land area; and
  • 35 percent of existing homes.
A property value study estimates $39 million of increased property values with Quiet Zones.  The details supporting this are in the files at the bottom of this page. In addition, all property values are indirectly impacted for various reasons, including "comparable values".  Two-thirds of trains pass Plymouth at night.


Request: The City of Plymouth, Michigan is encouraged to consider taking steps to qualify railroad crossings for Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) "Quiet Zones" status which:

- prohibits trains from sounding horns except in emergencies;

- is safer than non-"Quiet Zone" railroad crossings;

- prevents drivers from going around the gates;

- potentially increases property values; and

- has been successfully done by over 500 communities in accordance with federal regulations, which have allowed this since 2006.


Background: Since 2006, a federal regulation ("Train Horn Rule" 49 CFR 222) has required trains to sound horns at railroad crossings unless certain "Quiet Zone" criteria are met. A "Quiet Zone" is a half-mile length of track where the FRA requires that trains not sound the horn except in emergencies. To meet the criteria, extra safety equipment is added such as signs and a raised concrete median along the yellow lines in the middle of the street to prevent cars from driving around the closed gates.  The existing signs, gates, bells and flashing lights continue to be used.


PetitionTo demonstrate your support, please sign the petition at www.ipetitions.com/petition/plymouthquietzones (now with over 500 signatures on-line and on-paper)


FacebookSee www.facebook.com/plymouthquietzones .


Email: If you have questions, comments, observations, or would like to help please email PlymouthQuietZones@hotmail.com .



For more information, please click on the items under "Navigation" to the left.  To return to this page, click on "PlymouthQuietZones" at the top of each page.  In addition, you are encouraged to google "Quiet Zones" to see the many examples of other cities (of similar size and similar resources) that have successfully implemented Quiet Zones.

Project at a Glance:

Obtain Quiet Zone for crossings in the City of Plymouth, MI. There is a process that has been successfully completed by hundreds of communities the size of this one since 2006. Note that this project, which would take several years to complete is related to
  • 1. Public Safety
  • 2. Economic Development
  • 3. Quality of Life

Q: Is this one of the City of Plymouth's City Commission goals for 2014?


A: Yes; as a result of your emails and communications to your elected officials, at a 1/6/14 City of Plymouth City Commission meeting, they included planning to develop a plan regarding Quiet Zones as one of their 2014 goals.  That does not mean it is now done, but rather that they will study it.  When one is motivated to study, then one does a better job studying.  To respectfully demonstrate your appreciation and encourage them to ensure the study results in moving forward with Quiet Zones, please

email the mayor ddwyer@ci.plymouth.mi.us  

email the city manager psincock@ci.plymouth.mi.us

email the volunteer City Commissioners listed at www.ci.plymouth.mi.us/Index.aspx?NID=12

sign the petition : www.ipetitions.com/petition/plymouthquietzones  (over 500 signatures on-line and on-paper, which is over 12% of the City's 4,134 households); and

attend the City Commission meetings (first and third Mondays at 7PM at City Hall's second floor) and share your thoughts at “citizen comment” time, which is always the first item on the agenda and helps them track interest.  Add this to your calendar while this is on your mind.


Q: Where can I find the detailed draft proposal?


A: Details regarding this proposal may be found in the files at the bottom of this page in the files named:

_1-30-14 DRAFT Proposal for Quiet Zones in Plymouth MI.pdf

-12-22-13 Details underlying Benefit Estimation-Property Values City of Plymouth-MI Quiet Zones.pdf (To search for your property, download the file and search for your address/street.)

Quiet Zone Signage

    After the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) approves a Quiet Zone designation, those railroad crossings within that half-mile area (quarter mile on each side of crossing) would have this sign and/or the one shown below.  See http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov for additional information on signage.