Train noise complaints at PoCo city hall

The train at Westwood Street at the border of Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam - JENNIFER GAUTHIER/the tri-city newS
The train at Westwood Street at the border of Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam
— image credit: JENNIFER GAUTHIER/the tri-city newS

A resident of downtown Port Coquitlam said he and his neighbours are losing sleep due to the sound of train whistles at the nearby Kingsway Avenue rail crossing.

Brad Stairs told The Tri-City News that PoCo city council needs to implement a bylaw similar to one that is in place in Coquitlam, which limits the use of train whistles between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

“I think it is something that will benefit a lot of people,” Stairs said. “In the last five years, this area has really grown up.”

Stairs lives in a four-storey apartment building near Gates Park and faces the Coquitlam River. He said he understands safety is a concern and horns are sounded in order to alert vehicles crossing the tracks but that is a controlled crossing with flashing lights, ringing bells and barriers that block the road when trains approach, so drivers are given plenty of warning without trains sounding their whistles.

“Even with well-marked crossings, there is always some clown that wants to go around it,” he said. “You are never going to stop those people.”

But when it comes to train whistles, there may not be much the city of Port Coquitlam can do.

Dan Scoones, the city’s manager of bylaw services, said the city already has rules in place but federal rail carriers are exempt from complying with municipal bylaws.

“They will take a resolution but they don’t have to pay attention,” he said. “That is my understanding.”

Scoones added that the Kingsway rail crossing is unique because, unlike crossings in Coquitlam, three roads meet at the crossing on an angle, so train engineers may be forced to take extra precautions when approaching the intersection.

Scoones said he would continue to investigate the issue and would likely be reporting back to PoCo’s community safety committee at an upcoming meeting.



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