Alderman Ray DeHahn wants the city to start thinking about how mile-long trains to the new coal plants in Oak Creek are going to affect Racine.
DeHahn is asking the City Council to consider "quiet zones" for trains running through the city. He brings it up now - trains are, obviously, running through the city - because We Energies new power plants will need more, and longer, trains.
We Energies estimates train traffic would increase from five 125-car trains per week to nine 135-car trains per week.
A few years back when Sam Johnson and environmental groups were fighting the expansion of We Energies Oak Creek coal plants, the increase in train traffic through Racine and Caledonia added to the debate. So much so that the Racine Unified School Board got involved and passed a resolution expressing their concerns about additional trains tying up school crossings.
Caledonia made out OK on the train issue because the village is building a couple of train overpasses to prevent traffic from being snarled.
Racine, however, is looking at mile-long trains running through the heart of the city. DeHahn is interested in studying a "quiet zone" for intersections along Douglas Avenue. The zone would mean trains rumbling through wouldn't have to sound their whistles at every intersection.
DeHahn's request was referred to the city's Public Works and Services Committee.