Headlines – Mt. Juliet News – December 5, 2007

Quiet Zone in jeopardy; city
officials revisit liability concerns

[after being asked by an RTA official if Mt. Juliet was ready to assume liability, city manager Randy Robertson has begun an investigation and the ordering of the additional barriers for the crossings has been placed on hold.]

Former Mt. Juliet city planner appointed to be Lakewood city manager
[this is the story which appeared Monday in the Lebanon Democrat (note: accessing the Democrat website requires registration, but its free). Lakewood Mayor Jeff Thompson said he and the Lakewood commission were fully aware of the circumstances of Franklin’s departure from Mt. Juliet. “That didn’t affect anything,” he said. Heh.]

inside, page 7
County, city and state officials meet at
new MJHS to work on safe passage plan

[The new road won’t be finished when the new school opens on August 1, 2008. But the “friendly condemnation” is “going as planned.” And, “Everything seems to be moving forward.” Which is what traffic WON’T be doing come next August!]

– Publius



Filed under Uncategorized

9 responses to “Headlines – Mt. Juliet News – December 5, 2007

  1. Butch


    As I understood it, Mt Juliet gave its approval for certain provisions of the rail project on the condition that the railroad would be “quiet”. Am I mistaken? Is this a case where an entity has obtained the approvals that it needs and is now not honoring its commitments? Have we given RTA money and met our obligations in this deal? Are we being asked to shoulder a burden that rightfully should be shouldered by RTA?
    The train noise does not bother me personally, when I happen to hear the whistle blow I actually enjoy it. However, I can easily understand the issues that those who are living closer to the track are having. Sure, there are those people who are insensitive and say, “you moved in beside a railroad track, what did you expect?”, however they are not realizing that many of those people have lived here for a long time, they moved in at a time when there wasn’t such a problem. I don’t know why things seem to be different for the commuter train than they have been for other types of trains, but there does seem to be a difference. Any insights into the differences?
    It doesn’t appear to me that the city has played its hand right in this issue, am I wrong?
    What is it going to take to settle this issue?

    From another angle….I once lived right next to a railroad, next to a major highway, and right under the take-off and landing approach to a major airport, it was amazing how over time it got to a point where I didn’t even notice the sounds anymore…is that possibly happening here as well? Do you think that people along the track have simply gotten used to the sounds or are they still leaping out of bed each morning because it sounds like a train is going through their bedroom?

  2. Butch


    I have a couple of suggestions that might take some tension off the traffic situation caused by the fumble on the Curd Road/High School issue.

    1) Don’t open the school until the road situation is corrected.

    2) If they open the school without the road being taken care of they could prohibit students from driving to school. It is a privilege for students to drive to school, a privilege that can only be extended when there is reasonable safety measures in place. It would be irresponsible to allow students to drive to school when the conditions are unsafe, right?

    3) Use the new High School in a very limited basis until the road situation is under control. Only allow enough use of the new high school to take a little of the pressure off the other schools until there is an adequate road structure to handle the additional traffic. (Even then they should not allow students to drive to school until the road problem is fixed…I bet that would limit the number of high school students that want to transfer to the new high school.)

    Public school should not be the sacred cow that it is made out to be. We are so privileged in this country that otherwise small and temporary issues like cramped schools, overcrowded classes, inconvenience caused by construction delays, impatience because we don’t have a nice comfortable class room with nice shiny new desks causes a lot of public tension. I promise that the kids will be okay if they don’t get to drive to school this coming year or they have to adapt, overcome, and improvise (To borrow a phrase from Clint Eastwood.) However, I bet their bellyaching will cause a lot of parents to get on the stick with their public officials and cause them to get hot and fix the problem post haste, what do you think? When little Johnny or little Suzy can’t drive to school ain’t nobody gonna be happy.

  3. Citizen Butch:

    Here’s what I was able to find on the City of Mt. Juliet’s web site:

    In 2001, the City Commission passed a resolution of support for commuter rail, contingent upon the RTA (that’s the Regional Transportation Authority) addressing ten items. Item 10 of 10 was that the RTA should “develop and implement, prior to operations, silent whistle zones for all residential areas at roadway crossings.” This was certainly appropriate as a statement of policy by the City of Mt. Juliet, but it was hardly binding on the RTA. The RTA’s response to the requests by Mt. Juliet (and Lebanon) for quiet zones was that the RTA would co-operate with the cities, but that any expense necessary for a quiet zone would have to be borne by the City.

    – Publius

  4. Butch

    Thank you for filling me in on this Publius. I am not able to discern whether or not there was a legal contract involved in all of this or not…what I can say is that if there were unity in this community the RTA would have no choice but to bring their project up to the spirit of that resolution. I remember how proud they were that this project was the least expensive project of its kind…perhaps they need to dig a little deeper and fix this problem rather than foisting the problem on the backs of taxpayers. If I remember right, they were saying that a similar project done elsewhere cost them $290,000,000 and this project is only costing around $40,000,000. I believe that they should be able to find enough money in the $250,000,000 difference to fund the quiet zones, how about you? I am sure a community wide boycott would get their attention.
    How about it folks, aren’t you tired of footing the bill for other’s profits? I know that I sure am tired of it!

  5. Randy

    I have heard nothing but delays on the delivery of enforcement of the quiet zone ordinance since early last year. Now I read that the whole thing is on hold. What needs to be done to force their hand? I only bought my current property because I was told Mt. Juliet had passed a quiet zone ordinance that was supposed to take effect in June of ’07. Now here we are Jan. of 08 and no changes, every morning at 6:08 my 3 year old gets a rude awakening. What needs to happen to get a fire lit under the powers that be to make this happen???

  6. raytears

    Fire them all !

  7. Randy

    Do they publish an agenda for the semi-monthly meetings? I really have only one interest, and that is the quiet zone ordinance intended to silence the music city star. Any information on the progress or status of this is greatly appreciated, and this is the only place I can even find a mention of it.

  8. raytears

    They have dropped quiet zone ordinance.

  9. Here’s a link to the latest agenda (1/14/2008): http://cityofmtjuliet.org/agenda/1-14-08.pdf

    the agenda for each meeting can usually be found about 3-4 days before the meeting on the city web site – but its not easy to find, and you can’t go back and view agendas from past meetings.

    If you click on the word “calendar” on the left side of the home page, it will take you to a calendar of city meetings for the current month. The City Commission meetings (and Planning Commission) will link to an agenda about 3-4 days before the meeting.

    There is also a listing of Ordinances & Resolutions which have been passed by the City Commission on this page: http://cityofmtjuliet.org/citycommission/ORDINANCE%20LISTING.htm

    but it hasn’t had any links added to it since July of 2006.


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