NORTH PARK — As temperatures rise and Chicagoans open their windows and doors, increased jet racket above Far Northwest Side neighborhoods has become more pronounced, prompting residents to pressure elected officials to take action on noise complaints.
"Why no hearing yet?" neighbors asked Ald. Margaret Laurino (39th) at Tuesday night's meeting of the Hollywood North Park Community Association.
Back in January, Laurino and Ald. Mary O'Connor (41st) called for City Council's Aviation Committee to hold a hearing on the impact of the O'Hare Modernization Plan, a hearing that has yet to take place.
A working group, including representatives from the city's Aviation Department and the mayor's office, is in development, Laurino said.
The issue, she said, has been wrangling the various parties involved, as well as determining an "end game."
Members of the Fair Allocation in Runways Coalition — of which the Hollywood North Park group is a member — are already clear about their goal: "We want less noise," said Judie Simpson, who serves as the Hollywood North Park group's point person with the runways coalition.
Heather Cherone joined DNAinfo Radio to discuss FAIR's complaints:
With another new runway set to open next year, creating a flight path over Berteau Avenue, coupled with the decommissioning of a runway that routes planes over the suburbs, the window of opportunity to effect change is rapidly closing, Simpson said.
The runway coaltion has been protesting changes to O'Hare's flight paths for the last 14 months, its complaints centered on the airport's shifting of traffic patterns from diagonal runways to east-west routes that have exponentially increased the number of jets flying over Norwood Park, Sauganash, Forest Glen, Edgebrook, Jefferson Park and North Park.
Laurino is among the elected officials who signed a letter in support of the runway coaltion's goals, including the continued use of all existing and new runways, a position they say acknowleges an acceptance of some noise but not all of it.
"Fair distribution is where we need to go," said Laurino.
Residents now want deeds to back up those words.
"I don't want to walk around with Bose noise-canceling headphones in my house," said Simpson.
"I understand," said Laurino. "I'm going to have to ask you to be patient."