Dear Sioux Falls City Leaders:

Trains passing through Bismarck, North Dakota have gone silent in order to be less annoying to nearby residents and businesses. Yes, I know, trains don't blare their horns in order to be a nuisance, but rather to alert those nearby that a train is approaching.

Bismarck has opted instead to go with a quiet rail system, similar to systems already being used in Jamestown and Fargo. According to City of Bismark City Engineer, Mark Berg:

"With a quad gate system it will be four gates, two on each side of the rail not allowing any of the traffic to pass around the gates. And that way with the horns not sounding there's no way to get into the crossing or onto the rail itself."

With the new quiet system, trains no longer need to sound their horns as they pass through the city - unless the conductor feels there's a safety risk. The new gate systems also make it harder for cars to be able to drive around them when they're down.

So, here's my idea.

I propose we consider installing a similar system here in Sioux Falls. I'm willing to bet residents in the Southeast part of the city would be all for it.

Even though we live roughly a half-mile away from the train tracks across from the Avera McKennan Fitness Center, we can still hear the train whistle loud and clear.

I can only image what it must be like for those folks who live right next to the train tracks - especially when the train passes through in the middle of the night.

I can only speak to the area around 49th Street and Southeastern Avenue, but I can tell you there are two (2) intersections in that area where the train blares its horn.

Just think how nice it would be to be able to sleep through the night without being "startled from your slumber" by the blaring of a train horn.

Maybe there's even a safety factor involved. I would think gates that you can't drive around would be safer than simple flashing lights.

And as far as cost is concerned, perhaps the train companies would be willing to pick up part of the tab. It can't hurt to ask.

Just an idea - from a tax paying resident of Sioux Falls.

Chad McKenzie, Sioux Falls Resident

Source: Hot 97.5 Fargo

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