ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) –Several cities in Central Florida along the SunRail corridor are happy to learn they will be getting grants from the Florida Department of Transportation for “quiet zones.” These quiet zones are areas where trains do not have to blow their horns as they pass.
Edgewood Mayor Ray Bagshaw says SunRail is not even the main reason to have the zones, now that most of the freight trains have moved to overnights.
“Three o’clock or 4 o’clock in the morning, it’s a nice wake up call,” he said, “and you can be three blocks away on a quiet, nice night, and that train is going to wake you up!”
Basically, a municipality must install four crossing arms at each intersection instead of the standard two, so that no car can go around the arms when they are down. Mayor Bagshaw says that’s crucial for an already quiet town like Edgewood.
“Studies have proven that with quiet zones, not only do you pick up a quality of life, but you also pick up property values. So your property value increases.”
Orlando, Winter Park, and Maitland each received between $900,000 and $1.2 million to make sure they have quiet zones throughout their cities. Edgewood got just over $330,000 dollars. Mayor Ray Bagshaw says that’s right around 40 percent of the total cost.
“If we can get 40 percent of the cost granted to us through the state, we wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise.”
Bagshaw says Edgewood is likely to use reserves to cover the rest. Seminole County also got $100,000. They are still in the planning phases of converting the entire county to quiet zones, and anticipate it will cost them about $2 million to cover the entire County.
Courtesy of: WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO