At last night's Town Council meeting, we re-evaluated our decision to open the Broadway Crossing in order to reinstate the Quiet Zone status across town. It will take a few days for the change to go into effect as the Federal Railway Administration (FRA) informs the MBTA and other rail officials of the decision.
Thank you to everyone who reached out. Most did so in a thoughtful and respecful manner offering heartfelt stories of the impact the horns were having to their quality of life and offering ideas for reasonable compromises. Unfortunately, when it comes to federal rail and safety regulations, a compromise that would enable both a reopening of the Broadway Crossing and the reinstatement of a Quiet Zone is impossible. Furthermore, no one could tell us with any certainty exactly how long the final approval, and permanent reinstatement of Quiet Zone, might take. The one thing we have learned in this process is that everything takes longer than anticipated, a reality that is even more problemetic if the government shuts down this week due to an impasse in Washington politics.
Our initial decision to reopen Broadway and temporarily allow horns was made with good intentions. Based on past experiences, and frankly some flawed assumptions, we did not anticipate the volume and frequency of the horns to be so disruptive. We were anxious to alleviate the traffic burdens on the Broadway residents and businesses. Last night's reversal reimposes hardships on this neighborhood which we will strive to mitigate while we keep the pressure on to secure the final FRA approval and permanently reopen in the coming weeks.