What Milton thinks of air traffic: survey results from the Milton Scene
If you’ve seen the comments and threads on the Milton Neighbors Facebook group, it’s no surprise that an overwhelming 84% of Milton residents are concerned about the traffic, noise, and health effects of planes passing over our town, with nearly 70% describing the plane traffic as “very concerning.”
Concerned respondents were given the option of selecting who should be doing more to address air traffic. They were permitted to simultaneously select any of five options (the community, federal legislation, local officials, nothing, other). Based on survey results, neighbors favor a multi-faceted approach, with the majority selecting more than one option. 605 think that local officials should be doing more, followed closely by 522 looking for the enactment of federal legislation, and 404 who believe the community should be doing more. 207 offered their own suggestions, including diverting air traffic over the water, filing a lawsuit against the FAA, and requiring other towns to share the burden. 52 believe nothing can be done.
I don’t want Milton to be known as “that nice town — except for all the planes.”
75% of survey respondents are worried that flight traffic will decrease their property value and 90% say they live under a flight path.
Many neighbors called for legal action:
- “Class action lawsuit against FAA for disturbance of peace, unfair flight patterns, no input from us in this.”
- “The town should consider obtaining legal representation to assist it in formulating an appropriate response to the FAA up to and including litigation where necessary. An unfair burden of airplane flyovers is an important health, safety and quality of life issue.”
“Bring legal action against Massport/FAA for sneaking in all the additional air traffic over our homes under their guise of a noise study.”
- “The town should file a lawsuit against the FAA and Massport. The town could easily raise private money from Milton residents for this cause.”
- “A Town Meeting Article should be submitted by the Selectmen to fund a legal complaint against Massport to protect our health. Unhealthy impacts: Reduced resting time due to reduced peace and quiet, reduced sleep due to noise decibels, reduced air quality due to airplane exhaust, increased breathing issues due to poor air quality.”
Additional responses varied:
Many respondents elaborated upon their concern with personal details and suggestions. While the responses overwhelmingly expressed concern, a few survey respondents were not worried.
- “I’m concerned that people have a ‘can’t fight city hall’ attitude with tackling this with the FAA. I understand that I live near an airport but why should Milton be the only community with the airplanes flying all day long? The burden should be shared.”
- “The plane noise keeps me up until after midnight and wakes me up again by 5 a.m. The constant flying overhead (ever 60-90 seconds) must be polluting the neighborhoods below. I would like to see a noise study and a pollution study done in the neighborhoods most affected if not all of Milton. Trying to sound proof out windows is nice but does not fix the problem.”
“Noise is affecting our quality of life and property values. I don’t want Milton to be known as “that nice town — except for all the planes.”
- “There are times when our house shakes and the noise is so loud you would think it’s going to crash. This has to affect hearing and the air quality.”
- “I have no problem with airplane travel over Milton…we’ve had it for years. However, with the implementation of RNAV, the frequency of plan traffic and the low height at which the planes now travel, [there is] an unending din of noise (let alone pollutants) which begins shortly after 5 a.m. and doesn’t end until after midnight…leaving little chance for peaceful sleep or quiet enjoyment of our property.”
- “Tell Massport to abate the noise, instead of just providing a recorded phone number for complaints that are not addressed.”
- “I believe that if other communities (Hingham) can galvanize political will to tackle this problem, so can Milton. Do we know how they managed this? Take the FAA and Massport to court? Why can’t we do the same? I think if the citizens of Milton were made aware of how much their property values are sinking because of increased air noise, there may be wide spread interest to get focused and do what it takes to force this issue.”
“Organize with other communities and other cities/towns outside of Mass to get a louder voice. Support needs to be united and constant. Our local elected officials need to do much more!”
- “Certainly the Town of Milton in some official capacity must lead the effort to reduce air traffic over Milton. Citizens can be supportive but they must be lead and informed. Federal legislation to monitor noise in communities must also be supported. Do we need to block traffic to Logan to get some attention to our legitimate complaints?”
- “I have lived in Milton my whole life-the air traffic has increased dramaticlly even in the last 5 years. There should be more done by local officials to inform residents of changes in air traffic so the community is informed and can react as appropriate.”
- “I have lived in Milton my entire life (66 years) and have not been adversly affected by planes flying over head. I feel there are much more important issues facing our town. Seems like NIMBY [“not in my backyard”] issue to me.”
“I grew up in Milton and we have always had some planes but it is ridiculous that the town has allowed it to increase so much.”
- “My kid loves to see the planes flying over and the noise really is minimal as compared to other types of noise pollution. I wish people would calm down about this.”
- “I am considering moving (we bought our house a year ago). Two small children and can’t understand how people don’t think it’s an issue. I’m not ashamed to say I cried the first night, we just had no idea when we bought. Our million dollar mistake.”
And there is at least one of us who still has a sense of humor:
“Everybody with a large flat roof in Milton should paint in six-foot letters on their roof: WELCOME TO NEWARK. Watch how quickly the airlines reroute!”
Survey results were collected from 765 responses on the Milton Scene air traffic survey, October 5-12, 2015. Those interested in all survey responses should contact the Milton Scene.
Great survey and the results speak for themselves. This is not a NIMBY (not in my backyard)issue at all! It is because the planes are flying over Milton constantly (we get 40% of all arrivals at Logan!) that it IS an issue. I have lived in Milton all my life (59 years) and the last several years have been horrible, in terms of the number of planes, the frequency of the planes (every 30-60 seconds), and the altitudes of the planes flying over Milton. This is not only a noise issue but a health issue. If things don’t change soon, we, like some others, will leave the town. This will break my heart but the situation is such that there are days when we can’t even be outside the noise is so loud.