SRF worked closely with the City of Ames, Iowa, to determine the feasibility of a potential Quiet Zone. Prior to conducting a Quiet Zone Assessment, SRF assisted the City with a public opinion survey. This survey was used to determine the appropriate steps to take in developing a quiet zone through the City.
Approximately 5,000 surveys were mailed to residents along the two different rail lines in Ames. A web-based survey was also used to gain additional input from residents not included in the mail survey. In addition, input was also garnered from downtown businesses through a door-to-door survey conducted by SRF.
This intensive public involvement process and quantitative market research provided the City with the necessary citizen support to continue with the development of a quiet zone by completing a Quiet Zone Assessment for 12 crossings along two separate rail lines (east/west and north/south) in the City. SRF continued working with the City, analyzing the data gathered, as well as working with state and federal agencies.
The final draft of the Quiet Zone Assessment was presented to the City of Ames in the fall of 2006. From the Quiet Zone Assessment, the Ames City Council determine that the east/west rail line Quiet Zone was the most feasible and decided to move forward with the necessary implementation steps provided in the Assessment to obtain a Quiet Zone in the six crossings along the east/west rail line. Although the council also agreed with the north/south Quiet Zone recommendations provided in the Assessment, it did not move forward with implementation due to funding and cost issues. It was agreed that the recommendations would be implemented when funding becomes available.