Friday, April 18, 2014

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Sounding of train horn may be silenced in Downtown Temple

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TWC News: Sounding of train horn may be silenced in Downtown Temple
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It's a sound Temple Feed and Supply owner Ron Lucksinger has heard for decades.

Even inside his store, the walls do not completely drown out the sound of a Burlington Northern SantaFe train approaching a rail crossing right behind his store.

"Over the years, we've gotten used to the whistles. We don't really notice anymore," he said.

As the train approaches the crossing, Lucksinger said the sound of the horn becomes hard to ignore, especially outside in the parking lot.

Now, the Temple City Council is looking at the possibility of implementing changes to help create a quiet zone downtown.

The changes were identified in the Downtown Rail Safety Zone report commissioned last spring. As part of the report, recommendations were made for additional safety measures at both the Main Street and Martin Luther King crossings.

It was also recommended that the First Street crossing be closed to vehicle traffic altogether because it lacks the infrastructure to qualify in the safety zone.

Philip Okeson works at Gandy's Barbershop nearby.

Over the years, he says he, too, has gotten used to the sound of trains sounding their horns which makes news of the possible quiet zone bittersweet.

"At first, I was like, it would be a really great idea, but now I'm like, it made me feel a little sad," he said.

The Temple City Council is expected to decide whether to adopt the report during a council meeting Thursday. That decision will determine whether the city will move forward with the recommendations.

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