General committee votes to stop the whistles
Even though general committee has voted to do away with train whistles at city crossings, the loud blasts as the trains leave and enter Barrie might not be silenced forever.
In response to a question by Mayor Dave Aspden, city staff confirmed that train engineers retain the choice of using the whistle if they perceive there to be a safety concern, ban or no ban.
Committee narrowly adopted the motion for a bylaw to regulate and control the blowing of train whistles at Mapleview Drive East, Little Avenue and Minet’s Point Road.
The motion also authorized the mayor and city clerk to execute a liability insurance agreement with Metrolinx and provide the necessary associated insurance.
The issue was first raised about 16 months ago by councilors Alex Nutall and Andrew Prince, who asked for a study on the necessity of the whistle following complains by residents.
A number of Ontario communities have banned the whistles, but the move hinges on the municipality taking on responsibility for the crossings, including liability issues.
The motion still has to be ratified by council.