Neighbors in Stockton Fed Up with Train Noise Want ‘Quiet Zone’

STOCKTON -- Matthew Rivinius had his ears covered and his decibel meter at the ready Monday.

"Literally, I carry around earplugs," he told FOX40. “Go to 130 decibels, I can’t find one that goes higher. We’re frequently, four, five, six times a day, off that.”

Rivinius, soon to be a father, says he is fed up with the constant train horns blaring on East Scotts Avenue. He says it's more than annoying -- it's harmful.

"I got an ear bleeding, then my dog’s got two bad ears, you know. I've talked to all the neighbors, it’s hurting everybody," Rivinius said.

Neighbor Asuncion Guaman says he has trouble sleeping because of the noise.

A Union Pacific spokesperson says train operators are just following a Federal Railroad Administration rule that operators must sound their horn for 15 to 20 seconds before entering public crossings.

But there's a way to halt the horns.

A government agency, like the City of Stockton, can establish a quiet zone. Setting one up can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Rivinius says it's not a matter of money, it's a matter of safety.

"(The name) implies that we don’t like the noise because it’s a nuisance," he said. "But it should be called like a 'Safe For Hearing Zone.'"

Calls to the City of Stockton were not returned on Columbus Day.