Welcome To The Encinitas/Leucadia Train Horn Quiet Zone Initiative!
Do you support quieter, safer train crossings in Encinitas/Leucadia? Please Sign the Petition!
Current Update – August 8, 2023
The city has approved $750,000 in funding for the engineering design of the citywide quiet zone and is working with NCTD to get the project to be shovel ready. This means that the city and NCTD are working on the engineering design for the (SSMs) Supplemental Safety Measures that will be required to get approval from the CPUC (California Public Utility Commission) and the FRA (Federal Railroad Administration). Once the design is approved then we can move to the construction phase.
Although there’s nothing we as citizens can do to help with the design process, we can get ready for the next step. The next step is getting the funding for the construction phase. This is going to be a big project and city council is going to need to see a massive amount of support from the community in order to approve it quickly. We will need to be ready to write letters and speak at city council budget meetings in early 2024 in order to get the construction funds approved for the 2024 budget.
Here’s a link to the Encinitas Citywide Railway Quiet Zone fact sheet:
June 13th, 2022
Funding for the design of the citywide quiet zone is in the published budget and agenda report and is very likely to be approved at the City Council meeting on 6/15/22.
City staff is recommending that the budget be approved which includes $750,000 for the design of the Quiet Zone. The Quiet Zone is mentioned on pages 2, 5, 18, 20, and 23.
It seems quite solid at this point and there’s no need to attend the meeting or write letters.
However, if you wanted to thank the city council for allocating funds for the design, that’s always welcome. They hardly ever get appreciation.
The next step is to get construction funding. There’s a meeting with Council members Hinze and Kranz on the 23rd of June. One of the key points will be to understand the best way for us to support the process of getting the construction funded. We’ll post another update then.
There is an opportunity to coordinate with NCTD to help with funding. They are talking about doing a study to help cities cost-effectively implement quiet zones.
For now, there’s no specific action we need to take, however that could change as we get closer to needing funding for construction. Please keep talking to your neighbors and asking them to sign the petition and join the conversation in the Facebook and Nextdoor groups. We’re going to need to keep building the group to get ready for when we’ll need to write letters and attend meetings again during next year’s budget process.
May 15th, 2022
Thanks to everyone who wrote letters in support of the Quiet Zone Design in the budget discussion for the May 11th City Council meeting.
There were 50 letters asking City Council to keep the funding for the Quiet Zone in the budget, which is a very strong signal of support! Good work everyone!
It definitely made it clear that the residents of Encinitas thinks this should be a priority. It got City Council’s attention and I feel confident that it will be in the final budget. We’ll know for sure when the final budget is published before the June 15th City Council meeting.
Check the EncinitasQuietZone.com website for updates a few days before June 15th to see if we need any more letters or speakers. It seems like we are in a good position to get the Quiet Zone design funded so there’s no need for any action now.
Thanks again for all the letters about the budget. It really made a huge impact!
We’re having a zoom call on Monday, May 16th at 6pm. Anyone who is interested is welcome to attend. We’ll discuss schedules and next steps for what happens after the Quiet Zone Design gets started.
May 9th, 2022
UPDATE ON OUR PROGRESS SO FAR
We are “on the right track” with the Encinitas Train Quiet Zone!
We are making incredible progress with the Citywide Quiet Zone! We have 921 people on the Quiet Zone petition, 365 people in the Quiet Zone Google Group, 104 people in the Facebook group, and 97 in the Nextdoor Group. From the exponential growth we are seeing, it is clear that thousands of Encinitas and Leucadia residents are united in their desire to make the City a safer and more peaceful place.
And–even above the trains–our collective voices are being heard!
At the April 13th City Council meeting, there was broad councilmember support for funding $750k for the design of the EQZ. This has now been included in the proposed budget which will be discussed at the May 11th City Council meeting. This is a great time to show your support so that City Council knows that it needs to be included in the final budget which is subject to a final vote on June 15th.
But how to “fast track” the next steps?
First, we have to make sure that the design phase is conducted as expeditiously as possible. This means ensuring that work can begin as soon as the budget is finalized on June 15 and continues without delay until completed. Second, while the design phase is going forward, we need to make sure funds are being allocated to start the construction phase as soon as the design phase is finalized. As we figure out the best ways to work together on these next two steps, we will keep you updated. In the meantime, we need everyone to stay engaged and make clear to the City and other key stakeholders that this is one of the biggest issues for local residents. Please let your friends and neighbors know about our cause and ask them to join our groups and sign our petition. Send a letter to the City Council letting them know that the Citywide Quiet Zone should be prioritized and approved in the 2022 budget.
With your help, we can continue to move full steam ahead on the Citywide Quiet Zone.
How to get involved?
Join us on Facebook
Join us on Nextdoor
Join the Google Group
Sign the petition
Help us print more postcards and signs to get the word out
It’s easy for you to help stop the train horns for good. Take these 4 easy steps today!
#1 – Sign the petition (link is above)
#3 – Donate to or share our GoFundMe campaign so we can print more postcards and yard signs!
We are still organizing and getting our neighbors involved as we move toward needing funding for construction of the crossing safety improvements that are needed to be approved to be a quiet zone. If you are interested in getting a yard sign, leading or volunteering, please reach out to [email protected]. Thank you!
What Is A Quiet Zone, And Why Do We Need One In Downtown Encinitas and Leucadia?
For general questions about Quiet Zones and FRA regulations, head over to the Frequently Asked Questions page. All other Encinitas specific details are outlined below.
Have you ever wished trains could pass our community without blowing the horn? Did you know that the loudness of the train horn could damage your health or the health of your children?
Communities across the United States are creating safe and quiet train crossings called “Quiet Zones” to protect their families, so why can’t we?
We’re a group of Encinitas neighbors concerned about the impact train horns have on the health of our community. A Quiet Zone is a SAFE and HEALTHY solution, and with your support, we can make it happen.
How Does This Affect Me and My Family?
We live in a train horn ‘blast zone,’ meaning we are continuously exposed to unhealthy & unsafe levels of high decibel sound from train horns as trains approach and cross nearby intersections.
Encinitas experiences train horn blasts an average of 744 times a day. There is currently an average of 62 trains a day, each of which is required by law to blast it’s horn 4 times as it approaches one of the 3 (Leucadia Blvd., D Street and E Street) old, unimproved crossings in our city. That’s 62 x 4 x 3 = 744.
The volume of the train horn (measured at the source) is typically 150 decibels. That’s loud enough to rupture your eardrum and cause instant and permanent hearing loss.
Why do horns have to blow at every crossing? Because motorists might attempt to maneuver around a 2-armed crossing closure. The horn is essentially a backup measure. However, there’s a safer solution, and cities across the country are asking for it. It’s a QUIET ZONE.
A Quiet Zone is a train crossing safety upgrade which removes the need for the horn, using Supplemental Safety Measures like 4-armed gate closures instead of 2, or medians which cars can’t sneak around as the train approaches.
Train horn exposure puts the health of our community and our children at risk.
We’ve come to understand that exposure to consistent high decibel sound has many negative health implications for our community. Many studies support these findings. See specifics and citations below.
We believe the establishment of quiet zones in our community will greatly improve quality of life for the many citizens within the blast zone while keeping all citizens safe at nearby crossings.
Chronic environmental noise causes a wide variety of adverse health effects, including:
- Hearing Impairment / Loss
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Chronic Sleep Disturbance
- Learning Disabilities
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Endocrine Effects
- Increased Incidence of Diabetes
- Disturbances in Mental Health
- Impaired Task Performance
- Social / Behavioral Issues
Our kids are at risk.
Children in noisy environments have poor school performance which leads to stress and behavior issues (Lercher et al. 2002). They also have decreased learning, lower reading comprehension, and concentration deficits (Stansfeld et al. 2005).
Those of us in the blast zone are exposed to incredibly high decibel noise an estimated 744 times a day.
Trains are required to blow their horn at a volume between 96 and 110 decibels, measured at 100 ft from the tracks. That level of noise is scientifically shown to pose health risks to those exposed, from increased chance of heart attacks in adults to developmental delays in children. Imagine placing a running motorcycle or a chainsaw outside of your, or your child’s, bedroom for 30 seconds 3-4 times every night. Now you’re in the ballpark of what it’s like to live in the blast zone.
There are two crossings and a station in downtown Encinitas. We are requesting that the city council make downtown a quiet zone by upgrading the safety at the station and the D Street, E Street, and Leucadia Boulevard at-grade crossings.
If you read our FAQ, you’ll learn all about what a Quiet Zone is. But, to be clear, it’s not a simple silencing of the horn. It’s a calculated safety upgrade which allows train horns to be on standby for emergencies only, dramatically increasing quality of life for those who live and work within the blast zone. The Federal Railroad Administration allows cities to establish “Quiet Zones” for qualifying public grade crossings within their communities.
The costs to qualify the Encinitas crossings not inexpensive, but our health and safety are worth it! Our elected officials know this information since quiet zones already exist at Chesterfield in Cardiff, which was completed in 2019. We believe our diverse, creative, resilient, and ever-growing old Encinitas and Leucadia family deserves the same quality of life consideration as our neighbors in other parts of the city. All we need is your support.
Trains are required to blow their horn at a volume between 96 and 110 decibels. That level of noise is scientifically shown to pose health risks to those exposed, from increased chance of heart attacks in adults to developmental delays in children. It’s worth noting that the City of Encinitas bans noise from residential areas above 70 decibels between the hours of 7am and 10 pm and above 65 decibels from 10pm to 7am.
Join us to urge Mayor Kranz, our city council members, and city public works to establish Quiet Zones here in Encinitas. Sign the petition, join us on Facebook, and spread the word. Together, we can do this thing.
The city has already allocated funding for the design of the Quiet Zone. Now we just need to let them know to prioritize the construction funding to make it happen!
City council has already approved the Chesterfield Quiet Zone, however up until a year ago the old Encinitas/Leucadia Quiet Zone has stalled out. Now we’re getting it going again. Join us and let City Council know that we want the Quiet Zone!
Plan to speak at the City Council meetings to voice your support for the Quiet Zone:
Agendas and Schedules for the City of Encinitas
Join us to let the city know that we want the rest of the Encinitas/Leucadia Quiet Zone to be put back on the agenda!
Encinitas Quiet Zone Facebook Group <== = Join us on Facebook
Encinitas Quiet Zone Nextdoor Group <=== Join us on Nextdoor
Quiet Zone Postcard GoFundMe <=== Share The GoFundMe Campaign
Questions about this group? Contact the Encinitas Quiet Zone Initiative.