June 21, 2005 - The San Diego City Council has approved final design improvements to 13 rail crossings Downtown to qualify for a quiet zone designation. The crossings are from Laurel Street to the intersection of Park Boulevard and Harbor Drive. Completion of the project is expected in June 2006.

"Train horns in the middle of the night have become a significant quality-of-life and safety issue and we're working diligently to address the problem," says Peter Hall, president of Centre City Development Corp. "This is an important step toward a more peaceful Downtown."

Current law requires train engineers to sound their horns at all hours when passing Downtown intersections to alert pedestrians and vehicles. The design improvements will scale back or eliminate this requirement and increase safety measures at crossings.

The Federal Railroad Administration recently set out new safety guidelines for the designation of a quiet zone. Officials from the FRA, the railroads, trolleys, the city of San Diego, the state Public Utilities Commission and CCDC evaluated the physical factors at each of Downtown's rail crossings, including the existing gates, number of lanes, traffic patterns, the location of existing driveways and adjacent roads, and pedestrian behavior. CCDC will implement a mixture of upgrading to four-quadrant gates, the conversion of G Street to a one-way street between Pacific Highway and Front streets, pre-signals on the approach crossings, warning signage, safety striping, median islands and the possible installation of queue cutters and miscellaneous improvements to comply with the new guidelines.