Tag Archive: Chicago

Chicago to install noise monitors along Lake Shore Drive


Photo credit: Roman Boed licensed under CC BY 2.0

A new Illinois law is taking on noisy vehicles along Lake Shore Drive. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed HB2361 into law on Tuesday, August 24th, which “allows the city of Chicago to install noise monitors along the scenic expressway to study the impact of vehicular noise.” The bill’s sponsor, Illinois Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, says that the “law creates a first step in remediating the ambient noise problem along Lake Shore Drive.” Feigenholtz proposed the bill because she wanted empirical–not anecdotal–evidence about the noise coming from the drive. The city of Chicago may now enact an ordinance providing for the monitoring, which is “similar in concept to the monitoring system used to measure jet noise around O’Hare International Airport.”

This is an exciting first step for a U.S. city, and something that London is doing this in its draft London Environmental Strategy, which strongly addresses the problems of highway noise. Chicago can take the lead among American cities in monitoring and controlling road traffic noise.





Noise that can’t be escaped:

Data Proves That Effort To Quiet O’Hare Night Skies Working Only About Half The Time.  DNAinfo.com reports that “[p]lanes landed and took off as promised 57 percent of the time during the first eight weeks of a test to rotate the O’Hare Airport runways used at night to give Northwest Side residents some relief from jet noise.”  Apparently summer storms required air traffic controllers to divert from the plan, not allowing them to use runways that were supposed to keep certain areas quieter.

The reason for the test is that some residents complained that it was “impossible to get an uninterrupted night of sleep since an east-west runway opened in 2013.”  In response, the airport has implemented “voluntary restrictions on nighttime operations at O’Hare, known as Fly Quiet, [which] encourage pilots and air traffic controllers to fly over expressways, industrial areas and forest preserves to reduce the noise over residential areas from 10 p.m.-7 a.m.”  How nice.  And yet:

Chicago Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans has touted the rotation as a “big breakthrough” in city efforts to reduce the jet noise that prompted more than 4 million complaints in 2015. (emphasis added)

4 million jet noise complaints in one year.

Each element of noise in today’s world apparently stands on its own.  Eventually people will have to recognize that all noise is noise and must be regulated in a fair manner so that people can sleep, think, and function.  Keep an eye on this site, because help is coming.