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e-CFR data is current as of October 22, 2020

Title 49Subtitle BChapter IIPart 222Subpart C → §222.39


Title 49: Transportation
PART 222—USE OF LOCOMOTIVE HORNS AT PUBLIC HIGHWAY-RAIL GRADE CROSSINGS
Subpart C—Exceptions to the Use of the Locomotive Horn


§222.39   How is a quiet zone established?

(a) Public authority designation. This paragraph (a) describes how a quiet zone may be designated by a public authority without the need for formal application to, and approval by, FRA. If a public authority complies with either paragraph (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(3) of this section, and complies with the information and notification provisions of §222.43 of this part, a public authority may designate a quiet zone without the necessity for FRA review and approval.

(1) A quiet zone may be established by implementing, at every public highway-rail grade crossing within the quiet zone, one or more SSMs identified in appendix A of this part.

(2) A quiet zone may be established if the Quiet Zone Risk Index is at, or below, the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold, as follows:

(i) If the Quiet Zone Risk Index is already at, or below, the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold without being reduced by implementation of SSMs; or

(ii) If SSMs are implemented which are sufficient to reduce the Quiet Zone Risk Index to a level at, or below, the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold.

(3) A quiet zone may be established if SSMs are implemented which are sufficient to reduce the Quiet Zone Risk Index to a level at or below the Risk Index With Horns.

(b) Public authority application to FRA. (1) A public authority may apply to the Associate Administrator for approval of a quiet zone that does not meet the standards for public authority designation under paragraph (a) of this section, but in which it is proposed that one or more safety measures be implemented. Such proposed quiet zone may include only ASMs, or a combination of ASMs and SSMs at various crossings within the quiet zone. Note that an engineering improvement which does not fully comply with the requirements for an SSM under appendix A of this part, is considered to be an ASM. The public authority's application must:

(i) Contain an accurate, complete and current Grade Crossing Inventory Form for each public, private and pedestrian grade crossing within the proposed quiet zone;

(ii) Contain sufficient detail concerning the present safety measures at each public, private and pedestrian grade crossing proposed to be included in the quiet zone to enable the Associate Administrator to evaluate their effectiveness;

(iii) Contain detailed information about diagnostic team reviews of any crossing within the proposed quiet zone, including a membership list and a list of recommendations made by the diagnostic team;

(iv) Contain a statement describing efforts taken by the public authority to address comments submitted by each railroad operating the public highway-rail grade crossings within the quiet zone, the State agency responsible for highway and road safety, and the State agency responsible for grade crossing safety in response to the Notice of Intent. This statement shall also list any objections to the proposed quiet zone that were raised by the railroad(s) and State agencies;

(v) Contain detailed information as to which safety improvements are proposed to be implemented at each public, private, or pedestrian grade crossing within the proposed quiet zone;

(vi) Contain a commitment to implement the proposed safety improvements within the proposed quiet zone; and

(vii) Demonstrate through data and analysis that the proposed implementation of these measures will reduce the Quiet Zone Risk Index to a level at, or below, either the Risk Index With Horns or the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold.

(2) If the proposed quiet zone contains newly established public or private highway-rail grade crossings, the public authority's application for approval must also include five-year projected vehicle and rail traffic counts for each newly established grade crossing;

(3) 60-day comment period. (i) The public authority application for FRA approval of the proposed quiet zone shall be provided, by certified mail, return receipt requested, to: all railroads operating over the public highway-rail grade crossings within the quiet zone; the highway or traffic control or law enforcement authority having jurisdiction over vehicular traffic at grade crossings within the quiet zone; the landowner having control over any private highway-rail grade crossings within the quiet zone; the State agency responsible for highway and road safety; the State agency responsible for grade crossing safety; and the Associate Administrator.

(ii) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(iii) of this section, any party that receives a copy of the public authority application may submit comments on the public authority application to the Associate Administrator during the 60-day period after the date on which the public authority application was mailed.

(iii) If the public authority application for FRA approval contains written statements from each railroad operating over the public highway-rail grade crossings within the quiet zone, the highway or traffic control authority or law enforcement authority having jurisdiction over vehicular traffic at grade crossings within the quiet zone, the State agency responsible for grade crossing safety, and the State agency responsible for highway and road safety stating that the railroad, vehicular traffic authority and State agencies have waived their rights to provide comments on the public authority application, the 60-day comment period under paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section shall be waived.

(4)(i) After reviewing any comments submitted under paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section, the Associate Administrator will approve the quiet zone if, in the Associate Administrator's judgment, the public authority is in compliance with paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section and has satisfactorily demonstrated that the SSMs and ASMs proposed by the public authority result in a Quiet Zone Risk Index that is either:

(A) At or below the Risk Index With Horns or

(B) At or below the Nationwide Significant Risk Threshold.

(ii) The Associate Administrator may include in any decision of approval such conditions as may be necessary to ensure that the proposed safety improvements are effective. If the Associate Administrator does not approve the quiet zone, the Associate Administrator will describe, in the decision, the basis upon which the decision was made. Decisions issued by the Associate Administrator on quiet zone applications shall be provided to all parties listed in paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section and may be reviewed as provided in §§222.57(b) and (d) of this part.

(c) Appendix C of this part contains guidance on how to create a quiet zone.

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