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The Docket: Mankato study participants in favor of Whistle-free Zone

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 4:59 AM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The City of Mankato finds most respondents to its Whistle-free Corridor study would like the areas they live in to be whistle-free.

During Monday night’s city council meeting, the city presented findings from a study that asked residents for feedback on whistle-free corridors.

That would reduce the use of train horns in certain residential areas.

“We had 115 people participate in our online and face-to-face engagement opportunities. We really just asked community members to rank options in order of preference,” said Mankato Communications and Engagement Director Edell Fiedler.

The City of Mankato is considering these zones at Amos Owen Lane, Elm Street, Hubbell Avenue, Owatonna Street, Third Avenue and more.

To establish whistle-free zones, the corridor needs to be safer without a horn than it was with a horn.

Each crossing must meet minimum safety standards or be upgraded to include them.

“The minimum devices are gates, lights and constant warning time detection that not every crossing has,” said City Planner Chris Talamantez.

The study also found respondents were in favor of improvements if they made crossings safer, with many preferring upgrades to crossing gates.

“Next step is looking at how to implement it and what would be the best way to use the feedback that we got from the public and what does that look like,” Talamantez said.

The corridor wouldn’t be entirely whistle-free.

A whistle would still blow if there were yard operations or an emergency on the track.

All crossings would be included in Mankato’s Community Investment Plan.

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