Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In
Streetsblog.net

A Safety Fail From the Federal Railroad Administration

9:04 AM PST on January 17, 2012

On the Streetsblog Network today, Systemic Failure highlights an obscure federal regulation that makes walking and biking less convenient. At issue is the Federal Railroad Administration's requirement that trains to sound their horns when approaching a site where tracks intersect with a road.

false

Pseudonymous author "Drunk Engineer" explains how this seemingly innocuous regulation actually degrades the pedestrian environment:

The Hornblowing Rule is possibly the stupidest idea to ever come out of the FRA. It created an elaborate, unfunded Federal mandate for grade crossings. If local communities do not pay ransom — tens of millions of dollars — for grade crossing improvements, then the Feds have them subjected to round-the-clock horn blasts.

Now in some cases, local communities do pay up. But in a lot of cases, they simply eliminate the grade crossing — problem solved! For car drivers, it is no big deal. They can drive to the nearest Federally-approved crossing. But for pedestrians or cyclists, this can be a huge inconvenience if the nearest crossing is miles away. Whole neighborhoods can get cut off.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Bike Lane Living shares a calculator that computes how much cyclists save by choosing not to drive. Riding in Riverside says California High Speed Rail is a far better use of public money than unemployment insurance during this economic crisis. And Cycling Solution points out that even European countries overlook the importance of improving driver behavior to reduce traffic injuries and deaths.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

Friday Bikeways Update: Beach Bike Path Damage, 7th Street, and More

Updates on: beach bike path in Pacific Palisades, Michigan Greenway in Santa Monica, Parthenia Place in North Hills, 7th Street Streetscape in DTLA, and Imperial Highway near LAX

March 1, 2024

Measure HLA Fact Check: Sidewalk Costs

The city says $200 million worth of annual ADA work is "included in the cost" of Measure HLA, but the city is already on the hook for that ADA work anyway, so none of it should be included as HLA costs

March 1, 2024

Supervisor Hahn Calls for No Residential Demolitions in Metro’s 710 Freeway Corridor Project

"[For 710 Freeway expansion] Metro needs to commit itself to zero residential property takes. [Metro] should have as one its top priorities ensuring that our projects do not result in kicking people out of their homes."

February 29, 2024
See all posts