The purpose and need for a Railroad Quiet Zone Policy is to ensure cooperative and collaborative planning between local agencies, the efficient use of funds and that adequate measures are taken to maintain the health, safety and welfare of the public.
The need for a Railroad Quiet Zone Policy has been identified as a result of growth and development along railroad corridors throughout the County. The use of rail for freight transport has been a part of the regional landscape for over a century. However, with increased development in Kootenai County, there has been increased conflict between residents and trains, due to the required frequent use of horns at a number of grade crossings. Trains are required by federal law to sound their horns at all grade crossings unless the crossing is within a designated Quiet Zone. Additionally, there is planned expansion of railroad infrastructure and the potential for increased rail traffic in coming years. At this time, it is important to acknowledge the importance of rail transport in the area but also the need to maintain the safety and quality of life of local residents. The Policy on the Establishment of Railroad Quiet Zones Within Kootenai County was adopted by the KMPO Board on May 9, 2019.
The purpose of this policy is to establish area-wide guidance on the establishment of Railroad Quiet Zones within Kootenai County. The additional purpose is to identify a location(s) where KMPO and member agencies could support the establishment of a Quiet Zone(s).