Quiet zones are an excellent compromise between safety and community livability. The cost of installing sufficient safety equipment is typically small, in city budget terms. Communities that are organized enough to submit applications and who have the money to make the necessary improvements see substantial increases in the quality of lives of people who live within half a mile of a crossing.
The new Austin Comprehensive City Plan, now under development, currently lacks a noise element. As a leader in environmental issues, Austin should include a noise element in its comprehensive plan.