Mayor asks public for support

Published 11:25 am Thursday, July 10, 2014

Establishing a quiet zone at the McPherson Street railroad crossing in Ironton has proved more difficult than anyone expected. Mayor Rich Blankenship expressed his frustration during the last regular meeting of city council.

“I’m no further along now than I was on day one,” he told council. “I’m getting the runaround and not getting the results we all want.”

This past Wednesday Blankenship said it seems as if Norfolk and Southern “just doesn’t understand” that the McPherson Street crossing is not used full time. The quiet zone would prohibit trains from blowing their horns when approaching the crossing between 10 p.m.-6 a.m.

Email newsletter signup

The stalemate has Blankenship turning to the community for assistance.

“I am asking residents to write a letter in support of the quiet zone,” Blankenship said. “I am trying to draw as much attention as possible to this issue.”

Blankenship said he sent a letter to Congressman Bill Johnson (R-6) asking for his assistance because he has been working on getting the quiet zone established for nearly a year.

“I’ve not only been working with Norfolk Southern,” he said. “I’ve been working with the Ohio Rail Commission, the Federal Railroad Administration and have been in contact from people in Akron, Columbus, Atlanta, Ga., and Washington, D.C.”

Blankenship’s plan, he said, is to take the letters of support to Rep. Johnson and show the community supports the quiet zone.

“It’s affecting a large amount of citizens in the City of Ironton, not just a few,” he said. “I understand the residents’ point fully about not wanting horns blown at a crossing that is not even used.”

Blankenship’s intent is to gather as many names and addresses as possible to have “tangible backing” when he meets with Rep. Johnson.

Residents who wish to supply Blankenship with a letter of support can deliver it via email at, regular mail at Mayor’s Office, 301 S. Third St., P.O. Box 704, Ironton, OH 45638 or drop-off at the city center at 301 S. Third St.