New life in the fight against O'Hare Airport expansion

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Park Ridge: Not so quiet anymore after O’Hare Airport’s new runway opened. (Tribune photo)

It’s coming a little late, but Park Ridge, which used to be a leader against O’Hare Airport expansion, but then dropped out, is looking to start a campaign against further expansion, according to a story in the Park Ridge Herald-Advocate,
Park Ridge rediscovered that it was in their interests to fight the expansion after the new northern runway that opened last year greatly increased the noise and air pollution over the community. The city had originally withdrew from efforts of neighboring communities to fight the expansion after Chicago Mayor Daley’s minions sent campaign workers into the northwestern suburb to beat anti-expansion incumbent mayor Ron Wietecha. 

Now, according to the newspaper,

Park Ridge’s O’Hare Airport Commission has requested the City Council budget $500,000 for efforts related to curbing air traffic and noise over the city, as well as stopping further airport expansion.

The O’Hare Airport Commission, made up of eight Park Ridge residents, was formed last year at the direction of Mayor David Schmidt following resident complaints about increased noise and air traffic from O’Hare’s new northern runway. Flights landing on this new runway travel roughly over Belle Plaine Avenue in Park Ridge.

The commission is requesting the money to undertake a legal, public relations, lobbying, community organizing and other activities to reduce the expansion’s impact on the community. Daley, of course, will not abide renewed activism, so, if it starts to look serious, look for him and his henchmen to try to crush it, just like he did before. 

There are plenty of folks who felt abandoned by Park Ridge in this fight and now are in a position to say, “We told you so.” 

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