Options offered on train noise

The city Public Works Committee is working with the SEDA-Council of Governments Joint Rail Authority on options regarding train horn noise at the Howard Street crossing in Newberry.

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana reminded residents the committee recommended the temporary closure, and a resolution says the committee recommended a 90-day trial period closure of the street, provided all the relevant city departments – police, fire, Streets and Parks and River Valley Transit sign off. River Valley Transit did not.

While the closing had to do with public safety issues, the public safety committee was not the one that prepared the resolution.

“We’re listening to the residents and a majority of them don’t want it closed,” Campana said.

Many don’t want to close the street because of it acting as another artery through Newberry rather than Arch Street.

There may be available funding as reported in a Williamsport Area Transportation Study, according to Jerry Walls, of the authority.

There are options such as a quiet zone that would provide additional gates and barricades at an estimated cost of $150,000 per crossing, according to Jeff Stover of the authority.

Councilman Don Noviello said those who came forward about the noise issues had a legitimate complaint and it would be expected anyone who had such a problem would be listened to by the committee.

Councilman N. Clifford “Skip” Smith agreed with Noviello. “I run the committee that way,” he said. “I always try to listen to everyone involved and give a full explanation of what a decision is made for the public.”