Full commuter rail service throughout Needham is a vital resource for our community.
At the same time, the punishingly loud train horns at the railroad crossings are harmful to the quality of life of Needham's residents and businesses.
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, the current collision risk (using horns) at Needham's public railroad crossings is 40% higher / worse than the national average.
As so many other communities in Massachusetts have already done, we can both improve safety and eliminate non-emergency train horns by installing various safety measures at each of Needham's railroad crossings.
If we installed the minimum required safety measures to achieve Quiet Zone status, the collision risk at Needham's public railroad crossings would become at least 40% lower / better than the national average.
Train engineers would still have the ability to sound the train horns in any emergency situation, and the bells will continue to sound at the crossing gates and on the lead train car.
In addition to improving the safety and quality of life for all Needham residents and businesses, eliminating non-emergency train horns would improve the value (and tax base) of thousands of Needham properties and enable greater long-term potential for Needham.
It's a win-win-win investment for Needham.