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Downtown Quiet Zone construction begins Monday in Bryan, business owners ready for the change

Posted at 11:38 AM, Aug 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-08 12:38:23-04

BRYAN, TEXAS — Construction for a project to make Downtown Bryan a little more enjoyable begins Monday. Once finished, trains will no longer blow their horns as they roll through downtown.

The City of Bryan has been working with the Federal Railroad Administration on this project of interest to business owners in downtown Bryan, as well as residents who visit the area often.

"They do cause a disruption at times. They have the tendency sometimes to come through at the least opportune moments, like in the middle of a concert or middle of the night, that type of thing. They will also back up traffic," a Business owner in Downtown Bryan shared.

Converting the downtown area of Bryan into an official 'quiet zone' has been a project over the last few years. While some business owners say the trains and all their bells and whistles bring in sentimental value, others say the disruption from a blaring horn..... it's simply time for it to go.

Since this shop opened in Downtown Bryan nearly 15 years ago, they've heard trains day in and day out... something they eventually got used to.

"For those of us who are here all the time, a lot of time, we don't really hear the trains, but when we have visitors in, the trains in the middle of a night, can cause a disruption," Debra Jasek, Co-Owner of Brazos Glassworks said.

While Jasek enjoys seeing a child light up when a train is near-by, the noise disturbs others.

"They love to see the firetrucks because we have fire station one right here... and also they love to see the trains, so you will see them all excited when they see a train. It's a good thing we still have the trains, but we are still looking forward to the quite zone," Jasek said.

The quiet zone will eliminate the need for trains to blow their horns in downtown Bryan. People on the other side of the tracks are ready.

"It's kind of a mixed bag. We will have some guests that get a nostalgic feeling from hearing the trains. It reminds them of wherever they grew up, here or elsewhere. We get some guests that feel that way and we will have other guests to where it will be a nuisance and be difficult for them to sleep at night, especially if the trains happen to be active that evening," Janak Patel, Owner of the LaSalle Hotel in Downtown Bryan said.

Built in 1928, the LaSalle Hotel welcomes visitors from all over. The owner is ready for trains to no longer sound.

"We are absolutely ready for it. We are happy it's coming. We think it's going to be a catalyst for downtown Bryan and a big boost to all the businesses and also people moving to live in downtown Bryan," Patel added.

Improvements to crossings include the addition of medians, islands striping, crossing arms and signage. The enhancements are for specific crossings and will allow train conductors to cross safely without blaring their horns.

"We look forward to the quiet zone and hopefully it will make business even better," Jasek shared.

According to the City of Bryan's website, this project is divided into three phases:

  • Phase 1: Bryan Subdivision
  • Phase 2: Navasota Subdivision
  • Phase 3: Groesbeck Crossing

"Once the improvements to all three phases of the Downtown Quiet Zone are completed and approved by the FRA, trains will no longer sound at these crossings," the City of Bryan website reads.

The City of Bryan will begin the first phase of the downtown quiet zone project Monday.