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FEBRUARY 24, 2013 • ISSUE 201

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City engineers, BNSF Railways representative, and the city’s public works director review the medians before approval


John Revolinski started the research process in 2001


Ira Roffel contributed with fundraising


Michael Halley helped educate the city about the safety of the redesigned railroad crossings

MUM Presents Maharishi Award to Quiet Zone Team

At the University’s annual Winter Celebration in December, MUM presented Maharishi Awards to Bill Blackmore, Michael Halley, and Ira Roffel, who helped Fairfield become a quiet zone. Trains passing through the town no longer blare their horns day and night, which significantly improves quality of life.

The MUM campus is only a few blocks away from the railroad tracks and the 50-80 trains a day had created frequent distraction for those living and working nearby. On November 20, 2012, the Federal Railroad Administration officially designated Fairfield a quiet zone.

Former MUM staff member and current City Council member John Revolinski started researching the idea of the quiet zone in 2001, facing opposition at the time. University graduate Bill Blackmore continued the research and began the fundraising and community education process. Ira Roffel, now marketing director of MUM Distance Education, was also active in fundraising.

MUM alumnus Michael Halley, also a member of the Fairfield City Council, helped educate the city to understand that towns with quiet zones are statistically safer than those without them. Seven crossings now have two-foot-wide, nine-inch-tall, 100-foot-long concrete medians that prevent cars from crossing the tracks after the gates have come down.

Fairfield’s quiet zone is particularly safe. The city has exceeded the basic requirements, going all the way to ensure each crossing is as safe as possible. As a result, Fairfield’s risk assessment at railroad crossings has been cut in half — the crossings are now twice as safe as before.

“One thing I’m particularly proud of,” Michael Halley said, “is how in 2010 the City Council unanimously voted to make the quiet zone an official city project — with the motion coming from a council member who formerly opposed it. I credit MUM with teaching me the principles of ‘unity in diversity’ and ‘the world is my family’ that I use every day as a Council member and that helped me create broad support for what was initially a divisive project.”

Watch a short news clip about the quiet zone project here

Development Office, Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, IA 52557 641-472-1180

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