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Thread: Buffering techniques for residential development along railroad corridors

  1. #1

    Buffering techniques for residential development along railroad corridors

    I am looking for examples of buffering techniques for single family residential development along railroad tracks. Overlay zoning, additional setback requirements, etc. Any information relative to this subject matter would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2

    buffering techniques for residential development along railr

    "Buffering" per se is not necessarily an effective tool. Train noise is generated by a number of factors. If the buffer is aesthetic, that's easy, just require thick landscaping. But if the purpose is safety or noise — that's a different story.

    You need to establish a performance standard related to noise. Many communities also deal with both the loudness (dB) and the vibration from the noise frequency. Work with acoustic engineers or a nearby University with acoustic engineering profs to establish the performance standards. Then enact your regulation so that "a residence shall be no closer to the railroad track than a distance that results in exposure to residents (in the yard)(in the house) of 00 db(A) or a vibration of more than XX (However they measure vibrations).

    This puts the onus on the developer to (a) show you where those noise lines are (for outdoor measures) or design the homes to achieve the performance standards.

    On a straight, flat and level run, the distance might be 100'...whereas on a grade near a crossing, it might be 1000'.

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