In 2012 the City had an engineering study (PDF) done on the train horn situation. A few years prior to that, the increase in accident and fatalities nationwide led to strict enforcement of standards for sounding horns as trains approach and are passing through intersections without certain protections. This system is called the train horns "cadence". Since we have 5 crossings smack dab in the middle of the downtown and the tracks are in a large curve the horn sound is literally spread across a wide area. It is also on top of the former river bank so the sound, especially on a clear night can travel across the river to the West side. There are many people who tolerate it even those who live immediately next to the tracks, but we realize that it can be a problem.
If you review the study (PDF), you'll see that the estimated cost to create a "quiet zone" was in the neighborhood of $5 million, plus handling the issue of making several driveways usable from only one direction and the possibility of having to widen the streets to accommodate dividers. The City has been looking for assistance but frankly, as there have been no deaths or serious accidents to speak of, it would be a low priority. The only other possibility is for the Council to issue bonds which would raise property taxes. The Mayor has asked staff to continue looking for grant possibilities. Created 4-15-16