In response to concerns expressed by community members regarding the impacts of train horn noise, the city has designated and implemented several railroad crossing Quiet Zones. These efforts are in coordination with Boulder County and other local transportation agencies to improve the safety and quality of life for the Boulder community.

Quiet Zones locations

In spring 2021, the city completed installing Quiet Zones at:

  • 47th Street
  • 55th Street (north of Arapahoe Avenue)
  • 63rd Street (north of Arapahoe Avenue)
  • Pearl Parkway
  • Valmont Road

The map below shows locations of the Quiet Zones.

Boulder Quiet Zones

Boulder Quiet Zones

What are Quiet Zones?

Quiet Zones are railroad crossings that include physical infrastructure and warning systems so train engineers are not required to sound the train horn at the crossing. As a result, residents, businesses and visitors in the surrounding areas should expect less train horn noise.

Please note, the train engineer still has the authority to sound the horn if an unsafe condition exists – this remains at the train engineer’s discretion. Every train conductor receives a bulletin with each train they board that notes the presence of a Quiet Zone crossing along their route.

Quiet Zones are designed and implemented in collaboration with BNSF Railroad and are approved by the Federal Railroad Administration and the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

Funding to design and construct Quiet Zones comes from a $1 million grant from the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) with a local match of $200,000 from the city transportation fund.

Boulder County Quiet Zones

Boulder County’s and BNSF’s work is complete and the crossings along the Diagonal Highway, including 2nd Avenue in Niwot, Niwot Road, Monarch Road, 63rd Street, 55th Street, Jay Road and Independence Road, have been officially designated as Quiet Zone compliant by the Federal Railways Administration (FRA) and the State of Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC). For more information, please contact Andrew Barth at the Boulder County Department of Transportation at or visit Boulder County Railroad Quiet Zones.