Signage marks the quiet-zone railroad crossing at Valmont Road in Boulder. Courtesy city of Boulder

Boulder’s RR quiet zones take effect Friday

BOULDER — Beginning at 7 a.m. Friday, all railroad “quiet zones” work will be done, and residents and businesses near the designated zones will hear train-horn noise less frequently.

In a written statement, the city of Boulder said that five streets that intersect with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway in the city are affected by the new quiet zones and the signage or technology used to keep the crossings safe without the use of train horns. The zones are: 

  • 47th Street.
  • 55th Street (north of Arapahoe Avenue).
  • 63rd Street (north of Arapahoe Avenue).
  • Pearl Parkway.
  • Valmont Road (established since 2019).

Designated quiet zones permit train engineers to pass through railroad crossings without needing to sound train horns. Engineers still have the authority to sound the horn if unsafe conditions exist.

Creating the quiet zones involved roadway improvements managed by the city and railroad improvements managed by BNSF Railway, which owns the right-of-way at railroad crossings in the city. After improvements were made, the Federal Railroad Administration and Colorado Public Utilities Commission needed to approve. 

The city also partnered with Boulder County to complete a quiet zone at the crossing on 63rd Street at the Diagonal Highway as part of the county’s effort to establish seven quiet zones along Colorado Highway 119 in December 2020, the city said in its statement.

Funding for the quiet-zone project came from a $1 million grant from the Denver Regional Council of Governments with a local match of $200,000 from the city.

Other communities along the Front Range, including Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, Broomfield and Greeley, have spent years working to create quiet zones, with some projects complete and others still underway.

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BOULDER — Beginning at 7 a.m. Friday, all railroad “quiet zones” work will be done, and residents and businesses near the designated zones will hear train-horn noise less frequently.

In a written statement, the city of Boulder said that five streets that intersect with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway in the city are affected by the new quiet zones and the signage or technology used to keep the crossings safe without the use of train horns. The zones are: 

  • 47th Street.
  • 55th Street (north of Arapahoe Avenue).
  • 63rd Street (north of Arapahoe Avenue).
  • Pearl Parkway.
  • Valmont Road (established since 2019).

Designated quiet zones permit train engineers to pass through railroad crossings without needing to sound train horns. Engineers still have the authority to sound the horn if unsafe conditions exist.

Creating the quiet zones involved roadway improvements managed by the city and railroad improvements managed by BNSF Railway, which owns the right-of-way at railroad crossings in the city. After improvements were made, the Federal Railroad Administration and Colorado Public Utilities Commission needed to approve. 

The city also partnered with Boulder County to complete a quiet zone at the crossing on 63rd Street at the Diagonal Highway as part of the county’s effort to establish seven quiet zones along Colorado Highway 119 in December 2020, the city said in its statement.

Funding for the quiet-zone project came from a $1 million grant from the Denver Regional Council of Governments with a local match of $200,000 from the city.

Other communities along the Front Range, including Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, Broomfield and…