Denver businesses fed up with A-line delays, blaring horn

DENVER -- Every 15 minutes, the A-line comes blaring down Smith Road in northeast Denver and businesses in the area are fed up with not only the noise, but the long delays at each crossing.

"I don't know if there's a spot where you can't hear it, it does a really good job of being loud," said Kyle Raley who works near the tracks at American Paintball Coliseum.

"You just have to stop, watch - you can't talk, " explained Tony Treash, owner of American Paintball Coliseum.

"If you've ever seen the movie Dumb and Dumber where he says you want to hear the most annoying sound in the world and then he makes that screeching sound in the car, this is probably three to four times worse than that," explained John Bell, who works across the street from a crossing at Holly Street and Smith Road.

The blaring horn and flaggers are required at each A-line crossing because they're still not timed right.

The so-called "Train to the Plane" has been plagued with software issues since it opened more than a year ago.

"The crazy part is, the arms go up at the wrong time and somebody gets stuck in-between," explained Bell.

He said the crossing arm also causes long delays.

"Customers don't like it, we don't like it," said Bell. "To get across here I could wait 20 to 25 minutes some mornings."

And when time is money, minutes can feel like hours.

"I would say we're losing hundreds of thousands in a year," said Bell.

"You stop and it costs," said Treash.

RTD officials said once the feds sign off on the plans to fix the crossing arm delay issues, the blaring horns won't be fixed immediately.  

Nate Currey, a spokesperson for RTD, said cities like Denver and Aurora will need to request quiet zones from the feds to get rid of the nuisance.

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