UPDATE: Quiet Zones for Condo Dwellers in DTSF

UPDATE: Instead of expensive quiet zones with concrete barriers and crossbars, maybe the city could work with current city ordinances and the state RR board to create ‘quiet times’. In other words limit the time of day trains could pass over city roads and thru neighborhoods. Let’s admit it, when a train is NOT moving over traffic they are quiet. So why not find a way to limit train traffic thru the city? My suggestion would be to have these as active times;

8:30 AM-11 AM, 1 PM-4 PM and 6 PM-9 PM

This would give the Railroads 8.5 hours in the day to move thru the city. I have never understood why the trains need to run at 3 AM or during morning and evening rush hour, it is ridiculous. I think the state and the city could implement local laws that would limit train traffic and keep the whistles to a minimum.

The railroad has had its reign on us long enough, and if they don’t like the designated times, they can certainly do what we have wanted for decades, move the damn trains on the outskirts of town and stop running them thru our city.

While I certainly support quiet zones on 6th & 8th streets, it is pretty obvious it is for the wealthy condo dwellers;

The City of Sioux Falls is looking at setting up quiet zones along Weber Avenue, at the Sixth Street and Eighth Street intersections of downtown. The plan is to make improvements to the railroad crossings so train engineers won’t have to blow their whistles as often, if at all.

If they are successful setting up the quiet zones, they really need to them also at Cliff between 12th and 14th (most of the DT train traffic comes thru here all thru the early morning and day) and across 14th by the credit union.

While I am supportive of this, it seems like they want to set them up where expensive condos are being built and NOT where they are really needed. But it seems the RR is NOT to keen on the idea;

But a spokesperson with the railroad industry urged the state railroad board to proceed with caution about quiet zones, saying that blowing a train whistle is always safer than not blowing one, especially when drivers aren’t paying attention.

I have a feeling there will be a fight about this, and the railroads rarely lose, just look how this project was negotiated, the railroads got millions of dollars to move but didn’t move at all, in fact traffic has increased DTSF and they now stage the cars right by the steel company and Avera.

I have argued for a long time the DT RR relocation project was poorly negotiated and when it comes to frequent train traffic, nothing was solved.

When Mayor Dave Munson and Senator Tim Johnson first proposed the idea, it was to remove the train traffic from DTSF, or make it very minimal. We got duped.


#1 Welcome to the Quiet Zone.... on 07.21.22 at 11:12 pm

Quiet over safety, the elite win again. What about a Levitt performer, how late can they whistle? Can you still whistle in the ICON? Without a whistle, how will you know the high speed trains have arrived in Brandon? I would like a quiet zone for Kiwanis and 41st. Where do I apply? What if she’s cute, can I still whistle? Trains without whistles are like the deaf leading the blind. I’ve never heard of such a thing, and it looks like now I will, but not really. Something (“Someday”) tells me I haven’t seen it all, yet, but will I know to look?

#2 D@ily Spin on 07.22.22 at 2:04 pm

Not such a bad idea but it will be another city inflated cost plus contract. Railroad executives are still laughing about the 80 mil Huether spent for impossible to develop yards with serious environmental cleanup issues. They’ll not participate but it’s more humor watching the city foul up on something they’re not familiar with.

#3 anominous on 07.23.22 at 1:02 pm

“How often does the train go by?”

“So often you won’t even notice it.”



#4 rufusx on 07.23.22 at 6:19 pm

Rail is the future. Get over it already.

#5 "Woodstock" on 07.24.22 at 1:16 pm

“Say, whatever happened to Elon’s Hyperloop?”…. “And according to ‘Ancient Aliens’, there are all kinds of unknown rail tunnels running throughout all of the U.S. like a major underground interstate system”…. #ChooChoo #SoMuch4TrumpsWall

#6 The Guy From Guernsey on 07.25.22 at 7:59 am

The tenants and owners of high-end housing on these “prime parcels” bordering the still active railroad tracks want the hub-bub, buzz and panache of the DTSF lifestyle … but forgot that the “DTSF buzz” includes noise from trains.
Simply in order to be able to claim that he “got [stuff] done”, Mike Huether pissed the remainder of $40 million of federal grant money down his leg.
I saw emerge this 1st World Problem for the Boujees before the final drop hit the ground.

#7 Mike Lee Zitterich on 07.26.22 at 5:13 pm

Let me pose a question to you in return, in order to conduct a respectful, and professional debate –

IF, the Railroads were first established within the area between 1890 to 1908, the period of which many of the tracks were laid out across the territorial area, before any such houses, businesses, parks were ever built or established, what is the reason ‘we’ have to adopt quiet zones?

IF I moved into an area known to have ‘train traffic’, let alone knowing in fact they are going to be conducting activity at all hours of the day, should I not be alert to the fact that I will have to put up with the nuisance of having to listen for and hear the train horns, let alone, my public streets becoming blocked off by a train?

No, IF I move into that area of town, I have to become accustomed to that disruption in my life, the Railroad Companies are ‘grand-fathered’ in under old state and city laws, you cannot force them to adapt to you, nor can you force them to move out of the area, let alone change for the sake of change.

To many of us, the Trains are not a bother, for many of us the “horns” are a sign of peace, calm, and entertainment, to many of us, those trains are a part of us, our history, our lifestyle, our means of life.

IF any of those persons residing or working in those areas that trains are accustomed of being, I would recommend to them, they “MOVE” to a much quieter part of town, one of which serves their needs and expectations.

It would be no different to those who wish to “Force” John Morrells to move out of their neighborhood, they cannot force them to leave, nor force them to adapt to their way of life.

My Advice to those Residents – “Suck it up buttercup”

#8 l3wis on 07.26.22 at 6:03 pm

Mikey, I do agree with you partially. The train sirens remind me of a Tom Waits, one of my favorite songwriters, and there is something romantic about it. In fact, Johnny Cash’s rhythm is based on the chugging of the trains. What I don’t like is when I am peacefully sleeping and a siren blaring at 3 AM. No reason for that. Garbage haulers and construction crews are subjected to a time they can work because of noise, trains should have to be subjected to the same rules. The last couple of days I turned off the AC and decided to open my windows, last night the trains sirens awoke me at 2:47 AM and then I was reminded of the stench of Smithfields. This sh!t has got to end.

#9 l3wis on 07.26.22 at 6:04 pm


#10 Mike Lee Zitterich on 07.26.22 at 6:09 pm

Fair enough, do you not think the train horns relax you in a weird sort of way? I mean, did you wake up because of the trains, or did you wake up cause your body was to relaxed, and decided to wake up to enjoy the scenery…yeah, kind of a way to look at it.

I camp in Garretson all the time, in a tent, right next to the tracks, I love those trains, I dont know if they wake me up, or I simply wake up expecting to hear them in the middle of the night. I grew up with trains, so they soothe me, relax me, knowing they are there, is kind of peaceful, knowing that it distracts bad men from trying to harm me, rob me, hurt me…

Having the trains downtown, near 14th Street, along 12th Street on the way to Ellis, is kind of a peace of mind, cause in a sense, they detour crime. WHo is gonna rob a bank along a rail road line, where a train comes thru every 3-4 hours? They attract people, and where there is people, there are witnesses.

#11 Very Stable Genius on 07.26.22 at 8:43 pm

When am I going to get my “Quiet Zone” for 41st Street and also for Kiwanis Avenue? It’s only fair. Does my house have to be worth more before that happens? Do I need to paint it taupe first? The trains were there before the condos. #WelcomeToTheNeighborhood #ItComesWithTheNeighborhood #LivingNearTheTracks #IsThereReallyAWrongSideOfTheTracks? #GentrificationMyAss

#12 VSG on 07.26.22 at 9:02 pm

The mere fact that we are even talking about “Quiet Zones” proves that government, at least around here, only works for the wealthy. No wonder street cleaning is hit and miss, snow plowing, sanding, and salting seems to be too much for the city at times, many of our roads are filled with major cracks, our Mayor doesn’t want to be bothered with pothole calls, and they even have a “Red Line” for storm clean-up.

( and Woodstock adds: “Sometimes on a peaceful night, I can hear the big lion roar at the zoo”…. “What are we going to do about that?”…. )

#13 Anthony Renli on 07.27.22 at 7:00 pm

Ok –
The train schedules are all handled by Federal law and DOT policies. If the mayor tried to say “here is where/when trains can run” the answer would be something like “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA … oh…what? you were serious??”
Quiet Zones are a specific thing defined by the DOT:
The answer is pretty much THIS or let the trains blow their horns whenever they are approaching a crossing.

#14 The Guy From Guernsey on 07.29.22 at 8:11 am

I wonder if those occupying “workforce housing” (apartments proposed to be built in a mostly industrial-parkish trackside plot of ground off Holly Blvd west of Brandon) will gain the benefit of Quiet Zones?
Truth: The answer probably depends on if, or not those “on the Bluffs” can hear the train whistles, much like the fate of once-proposed re-located train switching yards