Mayberry…that’s how a neighbor once described my neighborhood. I live in the heart of the city with a train station nearby, busy streets, alleyways, highways…and a major metropolitan airport about 8 miles away. But my neighborhood was different than many others, it has a forest preserve nearby with walking trails through the forest, great for long dog walks and peaceful quiet time. There is a paved trail nearby as well, excellent for uninterrupted runs, bike rides, long walks and plenty of green space for family picnics. We have one of the few areas in the city where the entire neighborhood has plenty of trees, green grass and flowers in the spring and summer months and one other major thing…Parking, we have plenty of parking!!! Spending time outdoors is a favorite pastime here since there is so much to do and so many outdoor neighborhood events.
On October 17th, all of this changed. Someone moved my house. Oh, not physically. It’s still on the same street, in the same neighborhood, with the same neighbors. But it moved. I now live on O’Hare runway 27L/9R. On October 17th, the Chicago Department of Aviation together with the Federal Aviation Administration changed the entire flight pattern of O’Hare to flow primarily East/West, with 70% of all flights running on the east side of the airport, and roughly 75% of all night time traffic on runway 27L.
The FAA or the CDA did not provide the impacted communities an opportunity to voice their concerns, nor did they adequately consider the level of noise we would encounter according to their woefully inaccurate decibel meters. By the way, ensuring that we do not meet the minimum standard within this measure allows them to provide us with ZERO funding for properly insulating our homes against this noise. I still want to know how I could get noise insulating to work on my sun porch?
So, get used to it, right? Wrong. How can anyone get used to a jet flying overhead at 2000 feet every 90 seconds… All day and all night? This is criminal. Actually, I don’t think they would even do this to criminals. It would be considered cruel and unusual punishment. So, rather than sit back and complain by myself, I joined up with a coalition group of neighbors who are feeling the same pain. Together we have gotten the attention of our Congressman, various Aldermen and other elected officials. Except of course, our dear mayor, who apparently sees no problem..how convenient is that?
So, if you start hearing noise about jet noise and pollution coming from a neighborhood coalition group called FAiR (Fair Allocation in Runways), give use a boost, a horn toot, a “way to go”, a “like”, or heck contact me and join in the fun!!
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FairAllocationInRunways
Web page: http://www.fairchicago.org
One of our members -credit to Steve L. – wrote up this note and shared it with our group. It also made its way to an Aldermans office from what I understand:
It’s been several years now since the Pratt avenue runway has opened at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Now with the new Wilson avenue runway and extended Thorndale avenue runways running with all flight paths over densely populated areas, noise and air pollution has affected thousands of families in the way we live, learn and play. A significant effect on the quality of life has occurred in Chicago’s Northwest side and many neighboring suburbs. Regardless of our rude O’Hare airport neighbor, there are some things to be thankful for.
- Fewer Mosquitoes. As the warm wet summer caused mosquito issues in may parts of the area, those living along O’Hare flight paths were relatively mosquito free. That 190 pounds of jet fuel burned over our homes every flight minute is sure doing a good job.
- I love great murder mysteries. Mysteries such as who was behind repealing of section 11-4-1380 of the Chicago Municipal code regarding Noise, Vibration and Public Nuisances.
- ‘Miracle Ear’ coupons. Can now take advantage of great savings for the device that will allow you to hear better once the constant aircraft noise does in your natural hearing.
- Elections. Funny how the air traffic volume over our neighborhoods decreases several weeks before an election.
- No terrorists jailed in our neighborhoods. With the constant barrage of jet noise causing life quality degradation and sleep deprivation, the world would look at this as cruel and inhumane punishment for any prisoners.
- Understanding the concept of a Black Hole.This is what happens when you call the Aircraft Noise Complaint line (1-800-435-9569). Calls go in and nothing ever comes out.
- No fear of dentist drills. The sound of the dentist drill doesn’t faze me any more. The sound of approaching jet after jet is far more frightening.
- Lower Sales Taxes. With the aircraft noise interrupting business related telephone calls at home, I more often need to go to the office in Lake Country to work. I save on sales taxes by not buying in Chicago or Cook County. Lake County has substantially lower tax rates on gasoline, food and merchandise.
- Lower stress level at work. I no longer get stressed at work, being home when the air traffic picks up is far more stressful.
- No need for alarm clocks. I don’t need an alarm clock to get up in the morning. The gentle roar of an early morning jet passing overhead awakens the entire neighborhood.
- Fewer children injured at play. Kids in the neighborhood have less of a chance of getting hurt in the parks. Parents tend to keep children home more often to watch TV and play video games to avoid the outdoor jet noise and air pollution.
- Improved Chicago sports. I”m not as disappointed when the Cubs, Sox, Bulls, Wolves or Hawks lose. I miss half the sports scores on the radio when a jet passes over and drowns out the losing scores.
- Smaller entertaining budget. I save money on entertaining. Fewer guests at my house…no one wants to come over to visit and put up with the constant barrage of jet noise.
- I now have a common bond with my neighbors. We all communicate more often about the noise…
- I never have to replace my storm door windows with screens. The noise requires me to keep my door closed and remain in my ‘cave’ much more often.
- I can’t wait for Monday morning so I can go back to work. The weekend jet noise makes home not what it used to be.
- I have a new mommy and daddy. The Chicago Department of Aviation and the Federal Aviation Administration tell me when I can try to go to bed, when I must awaken and when I can or can’t go play outside. As a side note, they’re always in bed together on ignoring community airport issues.
- I know when my coffee cup is empty without looking. When the cup rattles on my metal table when a jet passes over, that indicates its time for a refill.
- Real estate bargains. Real estate bargains abound all over the neighborhood under and near the flight paths.