New O'Hare Runway Is Keeping Park Ridgers Up at Night - NBC Chicago

New O'Hare Runway Is Keeping Park Ridgers Up at Night

Park Ridge residents get rude awakening



    New O'Hare Runway Is Keeping Park Ridgers Up at Night
    Getty Images
    Good luck sleeping with all that jet noise.

    It's hard to tell what's really keeping Park Ridgers up at night these days - that new O'Hare runway whose flight patterns are dogging the northwest suburb or the naivete of the folks out there who had a different idea about how that runway would be used.

    "I thought it was supposed to be an extra runway for days like today when the cloud cover is low," Park Ridge Mayor Dave Schmidt told the Daily Herald.

    Um, no.

    That runway -- which opened a year ago this month -- was built to get a workout. And that means planes rumbling right through Park Ridge airspace. It's loud and it's gonna get louder.

    "At night, the cargo boys kick in and go all hours, so no one's sleeping here," resident Gene Spanos told the paper.

    This is just the beginning, boys. The FAA says the new runway is handling about 15 percent of O'Hare's arrivals regardless of weather, and that number is only going to go up.

    "The jet aircraft noise is intolerable," Spanos told the paper.

    The complaints aren't new. In July the town created a nine-member advisory board to study the noise issues. But that's a little like trying to make reservations for a flight that has already departed. It ain't coming back to get you.

    Nonetheless, noise complaints are soaring, according to the Chicago Tribune; officials have already received 7,932 noise complaints this year, compared to 2,483 for all of last year.

    "The incremental noise level has drastically changed the daily lives of the people in this area," Park Ridge resident Sue Fullman commented last December on a WBEZ story about the new runway.

    It's only going to get worse. O'Hare is a voracious beast, and Mayor Daley is intent on feeding it. So stock up on earplugs, folks, and settle in for a long ride.

    Steve Rhodes is the proprietor ofThe Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.