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:
The owners of the Heights Station antique store, Wademan’s Flowers, and the Heights Food Mart tell Volentine they got a lot of business from drivers tired of waiting for trains to pass, but that getting rid of the turnarounds has killed most of it:
When cars back up, many would take the turnaround drives to swing into the businesses. Now that the turnarounds are closed, they believe those customers are gone for good because south bound traffic can’t get to the businesses to the east, and north bound traffic can’t go to the west.
The Heights Blvd. crossing will be shut down entirely for 3 days for beginning this weekend.
- Quiet Zone Too Quiet for Businesses [39 Online]