Jet noise complaints soar over the years
by BRIAN NADIG
The number of jet noise complaints in the 45th Ward has increased from 315 in 2012 to about 82,650 in 2017, according to the Fair Allocation in Runways coalition.
"The numbers have skyrocketed," FAIR chairman John Kane said at the Aug. 29 meeting of the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association.
City officials have tried dismissing those numbers as "well, Jefferson Park always had a problem with airplanes, (but) the data doesn’t show that," Kane said. "The City of Chicago is standing on the idea we’ll get use to it."
In all, the city received about 467,000 noise complaints a month in 2017, compared to about 200 in 2008. "No airport in the U.S. comes anywhere near these numbers," Kane said. He said that the city is making it more difficult to file online complaints in an effort to reduce the numbers.
A shift away from diagonal runways at O’Hare International Airport "has put the burden of noise, fuel, air and visual pollution" on Northwest Side neighborhoods and some nearby suburbs, Kane said.
"We actually see white dust that has come down from (the planes) to our deck," association vice president Brian Wardman said in reference to jet fuel emissions.
Also at the meeting, Chicago Park District regional manager Marilyn Morales formally announced her candidacy for 45th Ward alderman. She said that the ward is "a diverse community" and that she has encountered a variety of issues which residents want to discuss with her as she knocks on doors.
Also challenging Alderman John Arena are former association president Bob Bank and firefighter Jim Gardiner.
Also, 45th Ward superintendent Adam Corona was invited to the meeting to address concerns about rats and other rodents that association members complained about at the group’s July 25 meeting.
Corona urged residents to clean up after their dogs and to make sure there are no holes in their trash receptacles, which he said, should be kept fully closed so rodents cannot get in.
"That’s one of the main sources for the rat. They look for food," Corona said. "As long as there is food out there, they’ll be out there."
Corona added that the engines of abandoned cars and junk piles are examples of the places where rats look to harbor. He said that he has seen engines where "you have rat droppings" and "everything is chewed up."