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Monday, March 15, 2010

Do We Have to Put Up with Train Horns at All Hours?

After hearing a piece about "Quiet Zones" on NPR this past Saturdary morning, I googled "quiet zones on trains" and found this page on the Federal Railroad Administration's website.  I wonder whether we can implement horn-free zones here in Jeffco under this ruling instead of being wakened at all hours by these loud horns.  Here's the web page text -- go to the page itself at for links within FRA's website giving more details:

Final Rule on the Use of Locomotive Horns at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings

In response to a legislative mandate, FRA has issued a Final Rule on the Use of Locomotive Horns at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings. This final rule, which requires that locomotive horns be sounded as a warning to highway users at public highway-rail crossings, took effect on June 24, 2005. The final rule provides an opportunity, not available until now, for thousands of localities nationwide to mitigate the effects of train horn noise by establishing new "quiet zones." The rule also details actions communities with pre-existing "whistle bans" can take to preserve the quiet they have become accustomed to.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Qwest DSL does not require having telephone service

Recently I asked Qwest a simple question -- Must I have a landline in order to have DSL?  The answer was "no", and I bet a lot of people are keeping their Qwest phone line because they don't know that.  You can save quite a bit of money ($30 per month or so, depending on options) by having Qwest discontinue your home phone service. If you have a cell phone, why not?

Anyone who calls your home phone number after you make this change will get a "disconnected" message instead of a "new number" message, so be prepared for that.  I found a way around that problem by "porting" my home phone number to one of the secondary numbers at Golden Real Estate and having it forward from there to my cell phone. 

Another consideration for me in not having a landline was my fax machine.  As far as I know, you can't fax using a cell phone.  The way I got around that is to scan outgoing documents to my laptop, then email them.  For incoming faxes, I have an efax number.