Quiet Rails | VideoAlex Hagan | 12/13/2012
Those loud whistles can be heard more than 20 times a day as trains pass through downtown Bismarck. It`s a nuisance for many.
"You take the number of trains compounded by the volume, the decimal levels that the horns we`re at and it just grew into a problem," said Laroy Kingsley with KK Bold.
KK Bold does marketing and advertising. They also do audio recordings, and the train whistles make it hard to focus.
"The room shaking and the lights kind of moving and especially if we`re doing voice work, because then you got to cancel your session," said Tyler Schmalz with KK Bold.
Fiesta Villa is right along the train tracks and the noise affects their business as well.
"Really affects our music on Friday and Saturday nights. The bands here actually quit playing as the trains go by, so that`s been inconvenient," said Kathryn Wentz with Fiesta Villa.
The city commission recently passed an ordinance forcing a quiet rail at the intersections of 3rd, 5th and 12th streets. Downtowners Association employees say there could be more residential growth now.
"There have actually been some projects that were halted because the train whistles have increased," said Dawn Kopp with the Downtowners Association.
There have been safety concerns raised if the whistles are stopped, because some residents may not be aware of incoming trains, but others say adding new safety measures should make the crossings safer.
"There would be infrastructure so that people couldn`t cross the tracks on foot or on a bicycle but also it would make it almost impossible with a vehicle as well," Kopp said.
Downtown employees say a quiet downtown will improve the atmosphere.
"I think you will start to see more residential growth and a little more activity downtown picking up a little bit," said Bismarck resident Blake Preszler.
Right now there isn`t a date set for when the ordinance will go into effect. Trains will still be able to blow their horns if there is an emergency. However all other times at those particular intersections, trains must be quiet.