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A typical morning in the Quiet Zone

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (July 25, 2020) – Earlier this week John Groen and Rick McFarland of Lansing Public Works started their day at the corner of 186th and Ridgewood, near the Quiet Zone that spans the railroad crossing at 186th Street. They were there to replace a delineator that had been knocked off by a passing truck.

Groen says this is a common problem, and the usual culprit is not cars but trucks or other vehicles that are carrying wide loads. Each delineator replacement costs about $80.

A new delineator looks on while John Groen and Rick McFarland remove the remains of the destroyed one at the 186th Street railroad crossing. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Groen and McFarland secure the base of the new delineator to keep it in place until the next wide-load truck drives through. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)


Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.


  1. These things are a WASTE of tax payer money. I live on Thornton Lansing Rd and I’m sure with the amount of oversized loads that go through this designated truck route daily, the trucking companies probably just wish they were gone. As far as horns sounding, I thought the horn on a 130,000 ton train engine was to warn people of an approaching train? People and their “quiet spaces” nowadays. Outlaw train horns but blast your music so the whole neighborhood for two blocks any direction can hear it. SMH

    • I FULLY agree with you! I’ve lived by the tracks my entire life. I don’t even notice a train horn. If you can’t handle hearing a train horn, don’t purchase a home near railroad tracks! It’s like buying a home next to an airport and complain about airplane noise. Does Lansing bill the trucking company for the ones their wide loads take down or is Lansing stuck paying to replace them each time?

  2. Most people don’t realize that train horns can disrupt outdoor conversations more than a mile from a crossing and can be heard loud enough to wake people up inside their homes more than a quarter mile from the track. Pedestrians at crossings are close enough to the train horn to be at risk of hearing damage. Quiet zones use active warning devices like gates and lights as the primary defense for a crossing with horns allowed as needed on a situational basis. Quiet zones still allow for train horns to be used in the case of emergency or someone trespassing. It’s a much better situation for a community.

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