Train horns in The Pearl go (mostly) quiet

Train horns in The Pearl go (mostly) quiet

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by Randy Neves, KGW staff

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kgw.com

Posted on August 16, 2010 at 5:40 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 16 at 6:54 PM

PORTLAND -- The city's Pearl District has become much quieter.

Starting Monday, train horns that normally blared throughout the neighborhood were supposed to keep quiet.

The horns neighbors complain about are required by federal law. A compromise using new cement barriers will quiet the deafening sounds.

At three key intersections, the barriers will corral drivers so the impatient ones can't get around the safety arms that announce a train's arrival.

Once the city put the barriers in place, the federal government agreed the long, loud horns were no longer necessary.

Locals are eager to put the headaches behind them.

"It'll go off many times, you know, seven or eight times for one train. It's kind of excessive," said Breken Restaurant owner Jessica Carfagno.

Hoyt Properties owns the new Encore condo building right next to the train tracks at NW 9th Ave. The horns likely caused some potential owners to say no, especially bad in the down economy.

Hoyt paid half of the project's $280,000 price tag.

"It's not just for the Encore," said Hoyt vice-president Doug Shapiro. "I think it was more for really the neighborhood itself because it has an impact on everybody."

Train horns were still sounding loudly throughout the day Monday. The city expects it will take train operators a little bit of time to get used to the new rule.

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