City of Kilgore looking into becoming a 'quiet zone'
POSTED: Monday, August 4, 2014 - 5:46pm
UPDATED: Thursday, August 7, 2014 - 4:56pm
Kilgore, Tx (KETK) — Kilgore's squeaky wheel might get some grease after all. "Its kind of irritating," said Malida Heien, City of Kilgore Main Street Manager. She was referring to the number of trains that pass through Kilgore everyday, sounding their horn. Heien said it makes their downtown less appealing. "Its not fair, we're trying to put out a good product and create a great district with a lot of wonderful amenities but that train, the whistle can kind of make that difficult," said Heien.
Anywhere from 24 to 26 trains go over their five crossings each day. Heien said, "just having coffee with a friend and you know we were very deep into discussion...That horn was so loud that we couldn't even discuss whatever it was, we had to stop talking and then pick up when it was gone."
While it may distract people who shop, dine, and go to concerts downtown, Heien thought it could also be a safety hazard. She said, "if somebody were shouting for help you know at night or at any time and a train came through, they wouldn't, nobody would be able to hear them."
"We have received requests over the past couple years to help the businesses with the noise level," said Scott Sellers, Kilgore City Manager. He said within the next few months the city council will vote on making Kilgore a 'Quiet Zone.' "If we can upgrade our crossings, we can actually ask those trains, the train conductors to not blow their horns through this zone," said Sellers.
Upgrades would include new medians in front of the crossings, and more signs. He said this would cost around $42,000, and said that's cheaper than what most cities would have to pay.
Sellers also said, "individuals that still may have a concern about the safety of the crossing, need to know that these quiet zones have been extensively researched and studied by the Federal Railroad Administration." Heien added, "other communities have enacted this and it seems to have worked out great and so hopefully we can get something like this going here."