Feb 14 Downtown E-News

The Downtowners’

City Center Newsletter

 February 14, 2013

What You Will Find…

□ Quiet Rail Moving Forward

□ Downtown Updates

□ Upcoming Events

□ Association News


Quiet Rail Moving Foward

Paving the way for Downtown residential development…

Train horns have been a large part of Bismarck’s identity.  The city was founded along the tracks and the rail line spurred development.  As the years went on however, the iconic train sounds were replaced with ear splitting horns to reduce railroad liability.  Instead of spurring growth as the trains once did, development has been hindered.  Many towns recognized the development potential if the train horns could be eliminated. Towns like Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown, Medora, and others have worked with the Federal Railroad Administration to produce Quiet Rail Zones.

The basic concept of a Quiet Rail Zone is to add more safety features to the quieted crossing, thereby eliminating the need for horns to be sounded by routine.  Horns can still be sounded in emergencies or visibility issues, but for the most part the horns will not sound.  QRZ measures also make the crossings safer according to accident rates.

As Bismarck’s Downtown businesses continue to grow, residential demand is high.  But residential development without a QRZ adds more risk to the investment.  By quieting the crossing, one very large concern of residential development is eliminated and Downtown housing will grow as it has in other quieted Downtowns.

The City of Bismarck along with community stakeholders have worked on details of a Quiet Rail Zone for years.  It has taken many forms and encountered financing bumps in the road.  At the February 12 City Commission meeting, the city selected the engineering firm to go forward with producing quieted crossings at 3rd St, 5th St, and 12th St, a scaled down version of previous plan.  The zone with underpasses and other quieted crossings will now stretch from 12th St west to the river.  Financing will come from the TIF Fund which has the money in hand to proceed, along with grants provided from the state for communities to create Quiet Rail Zones.

This is a huge step to creating residential and hotel development, as well as giving some much needed relief from horn noises to the adjacent businesses.  Filing all the required paper work, design and construction puts completion of the Quiet Rail Zone anywhere from Spring 2013-Spring 2014 depending on the Federal Railway Administration’s speed.  Please contact the Downtowners if you have any questions on the QRZ or stay tuned to these newsletters for progress updates.


Downtown Updates

–The Cowan Bldg development continues on the corner of 4th and Broadway. The sidewalk in front of the building will be closed during construction (south side of the block).  The sidewalk could be open by June.

–Engineering plans for a new ramp on 6th and Thayer continue to move forward and could be completed shortly.  After plans are reviewed the ramp will go to bid and the city can start on financing the new ramp.

–If you are considering a downtown development or renovation of a Downtown building, the CORE Incentive Programs are once again available through the City of Bismarck.  The CORE Programs currently active are Façade and Signage Grant, Housing Incentive Grant, Technical Assistance Bank, and Sidewalk Subsurface Infill.  The programs are designed to encourage reinvestment, rehabilitation, and new development in the Downtown area.  For more information contact the Downtowners or Jason Tomanek at the City of Bismarck at 701-355-1849.

— The Bismarck Parking Authority is offering free evening parking in the 3rd and Main Ramp from 4pm to 2am daily.  With all the new activity and nightlife in Downtown Bismarck, the ramps allow the public to enjoy the city center and not have to search for street parking.

How the After Hour Complementary Parking Works: Use the entrance to the 3rd & Main Ramp on 3rd Street.  Pull into the ramp and pull a time stamped ticket.  The arm will raise and allow the car through to park.  When exiting the ramp, simply use the hourly lane and deposit your ticket in the slot, the arm will already be raised to allow the cars to exit. There is no leeway on timing.  If you enter at 3:59pm or exit at 2:01am, the customer will be charged the normal hourly rate. 


Upcoming events

What’s Shakin Downtown…

Feb 14

Valentine’s Day

Downtown Bismarck



Feb 15-16

BDAC Art Supply Sale

222 N 4th St

Bismarck ND 58501


Feb 15-17

Bismarck Tribune Sport’s Show

@ Bis Civic Center



Feb 22

Bis-Man Symphony: Dixie Land Jazz

@ BSC Energy Center



Feb 22

Northern Plains Dance

Choreographers Showcase @ Belle



Feb 22-23

Shade Tree Players Present:

Peter Rabbit



Feb 25- Mar 1

Region 5 Basketball Tourney

Bismarck Civic Center



Downtowners’ Association News

Organization and member news …

Welcome to our Newest Members!

The Creative Treatment, Ubl Design Group, P.C., and Resiliency Clincal Services

*You can find all our member’s information at: www.downtownbismarck.com

Member Peacock Alley Bar & Grill recently was awarded 2012 Beef Innovator of the Year by the national Cattleman’s Association at the annual meeting in Tampa FL.  Peacock Alley is the first in the region to win this prestigious honor.

Member KK Bold recently announced their expansion to Las Vegas NV.  KK Bold provides marketing services in our region and will now also be providing services through their NV location.

Member Laughing Sun Brewing Co. has been invited to showcase their beer at SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience in New York City in June.


Please send all member business news and events to: kate@downtownbismarck.com.

Check the Downtown Business Association’s websites for updated news and events www.downtownbismarck.com or www.bismarckribfest.com.

Please forward this on to people interested in Downtown news!