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Railroad Quiet Zones

In response to concerns expressed by community members regarding the impacts of train horn noise, city staff is designing the implementation of several “quiet zones” for railroad crossings impacting Boulder.  These efforts are in coordination with Boulder County and other local transportation agencies to create quiet zones to improve the safety and quality of life for surrounding residences, businesses and travelers in the Boulder area.

Quiet zones are railroad crossings that include physical infrastructure and warning systems so that train engineers are not required to sound the train horn at the crossing.

The city has been awarded a $1.2 million in grant funding from the Denver Regional Council of Governments to advance quiet zones for the Boulder community. This grant is expected to fund the construction of the Pearl Parkway and 47th Street crossings and design the 55th Street (north of Arapahoe) and 63rd Street (north of Arapahoe) crossings.  Construction of improvements at 55th and 63rd streets may also be possible through the grant once the construction estimates are finalized.

The city will continue to pursue other funding opportunities for any remaining locations in conjunction with Boulder County and adjacent municipalities.

For more information about quiet zone projects in Boulder County, including the 63rd St at the Diagonal Highway location, please contact Andrew Barth at the Boulder County Department of Transportation at [email protected] .   

Upcoming Construction

Construction of improvements at 47th Street and Pearl Parkway is anticipated to begin in early 2019.

The Valmont Road quiet zone improvements are being constructed through a separate transportation capital improvement project which is anticipated to begin in November 2018.

View the latest quiet zones brochure to see the list of projects and background.

Background on the Quiet Zone Project Prioritization

The city conducted a public engagement process with the community to inform a prioritization and phasing plan for implementation. Projects will be prioritized as follows:

  1. 47th St.
  2. Valmont Road
  3. Pearl Parkway
  4. 63rd St. at the Diagonal Highway
  5. 55th St. north of Arapahoe
  6. 63rd St. north of Arapahoe

The community provided input on a number of factors, including the number of people living and working within 0.5 miles of the railroad crossings, type and proximity of adjacent land uses (existing and /or planned), as well as street characteristics, safety, and costs for installation, plus any potential on-going maintenance responsibilities.

These were conducted by the City of Boulder in partnership with Boulder County and the Federal Railroad Administration. To view the previous two open house presentation materials and boards, please see the links below. 

Feb. 23, 2017 Open House

Dec. 15, 2016 Open House

How to stay updated 

This webpage will be updated as the projects progress.

You may also  join our list to receive project updates by email.

Have a comment?

We want to hear from you! If you have any comments or questions about the railroad quiet zones project, please submit your comments below. Feedback will be shared with the project team.