Downtown Canby Quiet Zone: ‘Right Now is Our Best Chance to Get That Done’

Love it or hate it, trains are a facet of life in downtown Canby. It’s been that way for over 100 years, and it’s not likely to change anytime soon.

But what about some of the noise the trains make? Federal law requires train engineers to sound their horns multiple times as they approach any road crossing. This happens three times in downtown Canby: South Elm, South Grant and South Ivy Street. Translation: Whenever a train goes through Canby, everyone in town knows about it.

However, it is possible that a quiet zone could be established at these three crossings. This would allow trains to lay off the horn as they pass through downtown. It’s something the city, with the support and encouragement of the downtown business community, has worked toward for years.

A critical piece of the puzzle will come before the Canby City Council this week, as they — in their role as the Canby Urban Renewal Agency — will consider an agreement with Union Pacific Railroad for a site and design review associated with the proposed quiet zone improvements.

The Railroad requires that their staff conduct their own review of the proposal. Here’s the catch: They also require that their costs be reimbursed by the city, at an estimated price tag of $75,000.

Unfortunately, even if the city agrees to reimburse the costs, there is no guarantee Union Pacific will approve the quiet zone. But it is guaranteed that the quiet zone won’t move forward at all unless the city agrees to pony up the dough.

Following his State of the City address last week, Mayor Brian Hodson fielded a question about the quiet zone saga, and said, essentially, it’s now or never.

The $75,000 expenditure will be considered at the Urban Renewal Agency’s meeting on Wednesday night, immediately following the City Council meeting in council chambers.

Photo copyright Scott Lothes. Used with permission.

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