National News

Neighbors want quiet zone because of noisy trains

Posted August 24

— Some businesses and neighbors near downtown Nashville are tired of hearing trains coming through railroad crossings throughout the day, and one intersection will soon see some changes that will make it a lot quieter.

Every time a train comes through a crossing, it must sound the horn three times. For some who work near the intersection of 7th Avenue South and Fogg Street, it interrupts their work several times during the day.

"In fact, you have to get off the phone, you can't hear a thing. It's like being on the track, actually which we almost are," said Bo Boaz, who works at Epiphany Design Studio on Fogg Street.

The sound even carries up to hotels downtown, according to Mark Marcy, the director of engineering at Metro Public Works.

"We have a significant number of trains that come through here every day, and there's a lot of horn blowing," Macy said.

News 4 wanted to find out how many and obtained documents counting the times a CSX train comes through the intersection. In 24-hour period last December, it stopped 37 times, sometimes spending more than an hour blocking traffic.

The noise problem is one reason Metro Public Works is turning the area into a quiet zone, which means no more horns.

"That involves more money to build more safety features like more crossing arms, more medians or something to keep people from entering the tracks," Macy said.

There are 138 railroad crossings throughout Davidson County. Some people who live near Chestnut Street already told Metro Public Works they'd like to hear the horns less.

"You know, I think it's one of those things you get used to after you deal with it. Definitely when I first moved here, it was a little bit shocking. I've kind of gotten used to it surprisingly," said Brad Ulrich, who lives near Chestnut and 4th Avenue.

Macy said turning one intersection into a quiet zone would cost $300,000, and the city does not have the money to make the changes for every neighborhood. Macy said neighbors can still express interest to see if it's possible.

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