CORNWALL, Ontario – If Kisa Lanctot has anything to say about it, another petition to halt train whistles in Cornwall won’t ever leave the station.
Lanctot has put together a petition of her own, to keep the whistles blaring, because she is concerned about safety should city councillors decide to ask CN/Via Rail to stop the practice.
This week city council accepted a petition signed by nearly 100 people who want the train whistles stopped at the Tollgate Road crossing in Cornwall.
Not so fast, says Lanctot.
“I’ve heard stories lately from people who live right near the tracks saying that it just becomes background noise to them, so they don’t even notice it anymore,” she said in an interview. “But if it does keep you up, I hope you can look at the positive and see how many lives the whistle could be saving as you’re lying there in bed.
“Or even talking to the city about other ways to deal with the noise for, example sound barriers which could probably lower the noise a bit, instead of completely getting rid of the whistle.”
So far she has more than 100 electronic signatures on an online petition at change.org.
She’ll likely need to collect actual signatures before presenting her petition to city hall, as there are municipal guidelines in place for submitting such items.
But Lanctot is undeterred.
“I feel if the train whistle is gone, more accidents would start happening,” she said. “In my opinion I feel the train whistle has saved the lives of many humans and animals and will continue to save many more.
“I realize there’s the flashing lights and the barrier at the railroad crossing, but the whistle is an added safety feature so I don’t see a reason to get rid of it. It goes with the saying, ‘It’s better to be safe than sorry,'”
City council is expected to receive a report back in the weeks ahead concerning the petition to halt the whistles.
Councillors have waded into this debate before, and other communities have in fact instituted whistle bans.