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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.

Funding to design and construct the improvements 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.

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 quiet zone roadway improvements at the 47th Street and 63rd Street (north of Arapahoe) crossings is anticipated to begin in May 2019. 

The Pearl Parkway railroad crossing will receive improvements from BNSF Railroad, which owns the right-of-way at railroad crossings. BNSF is finalizing work plans for the Pearl Parkway crossing and this webpage will be updated with that schedule when we are notified. 

Tentative construction

If the project budget allows, quiet zone improvements will also be made at the 55th Street (north of Arapahoe) crossing. 

Completed improvements

The Valmont Road quiet zone improvements have been completed through a separate transportation capital improvement project which began in November 2018. As a result of the improvements, the railroad crossing at Valmont is now eligible to become a Quiet Zone. 

Background on the Quiet Zone Project Prioritization

In collaboration with Boulder County and the Federal Railroad Administration, 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 ongoing maintenance responsibilities.

View the quiet zones brochure for a general overview of the project. 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.