Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

March 29, 2013

Time to explore a ‘quiet zone’

There is a great “quality-of-life” aspect about Goshen. It seems there always has been. So, discussions and efforts to maintain and enhance the quality of life in the city are certainly held in high regard in our book. That would include the initiative to improve the appearance and function of the slice of town known as the Ninth Street Corridor.

This is a stretch that encompasses more than a mile of the Norfolk Southern’s Marion Railroad Line and a spattering of factories and businesses. It also bisects two major south-side residential areas and has experienced some environmental clean-up in recent years. Furthermore, thousands of Goshennites live within two blocks of the Marion Line.

THE LAZY RUMBLE of freight trains through this corridor has been a part of Goshen life for decades. So too has the blare from train horns. Because of the curve near Lincoln Avenue where the Marion Line splits off the main rail corridor, these trains must slow to a crawl. For years there has been talk about making the stretch a “quiet zone” in which trains aren’t required to sound their horns. However, current conditions and crossings do not allow for that.

On Monday, the Goshen Board of Public Works and Safety approved the hiring of American Structurepoint Inc. to provide on-call technical assistance and coordination of the establishment of a quiet zone. This is a big step. Employees of  the company were in Goshen Tuesday to begin a study of the Marion branch.

The length of the corridor in question stretches exactly 1.4 miles from Lincoln Avenue at its north end to College Avenue at its south end. Between those two points there are 12 road crossings of the Marion Line. That’s one nearly each one-tenth of a mile.

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