COMMENT OF THE DAY RUNNER-UP: HOW TO KILL THE GRID IN THE EAST END “What happened when the quiet zone went in in the First Ward? Every street got closed. Holly, Goliad, Hickory, Johnson, Colorado, Sabine, Silver, Henderson, all gone. The neighborhood was cut in two. The grid died, leaving something that looks like the cul-de-sacs-and-thoroughfares of the ’burbs.
Now, Cullen could probably use an underpass. Sampson/York too. But what’s gonna happen in the East End when stuff gets value engineered out?
Leeland: quite possibly gone.
All those little side streets you like to ride your bike or walk your dog on because there’s low traffic, these will all be severed. And for what? So UP can operate remote-controlled locomotives? This is not a positive development.” [Jeff Davis, commenting on Headlines: Waiting for Trains in the East End; Waiting for Dunkin’ Donuts in Montrose]
SHHHH ON THE TRACKS! FIRST WARD WINTER ST. QUIET ZONE ARRIVES IN 2 WEEKS Approvals all in, construction and signage complete, a “quiet zone” for the Union Pacific rail line that runs along Winter St. in the First Ward will go into effect on September 27th, after the end of a 21-day waiting period. Several years in the making, the zone will prohibit freight-train engineers from blasting their horns at grade crossings — unless something or someone is on the tracks in front of them. Not included in the loud-horn ban, reports the Washington Quiet Zone team, responsible for getting the quiet zone on Washington between Sherwin and National streets in place last year: the southernmost track running through the First Ward, which carries about 25 percent of area freight traffic. Adding that track to the new Winter St. zone may take several more years. [Washington Quiet Zone; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Sarah Fleming [license]
Several retail outlets near the railroad tracks at the base of Heights Blvd. near Center St. are complaining that traffic changes accompanying the new Washington Ave. quiet zone have already hurt their businesses. Department of Public Works spokesperson Alvin Wright tells Channel 39’s Jason Volentine that Federal Railroad Administration requirements mandate that crossovers through the Heights Blvd. median near the tracks be closed off for the quiet zone to be implemented.
Without a quiet zone, train conductors are required to blast their horns at all at-grade crossings. The Washington quiet zone will extend from Sherwin St. north of I-10, to National, about a quarter-mile east of Studewood:
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