New development is too close to airport — William Hutchison

Wisconsin State Journal  |  14 July 2020  | William Hutchison 


“Jet engine noise from the airport on July 7 at about 9:45 p.m. was loud enough to rattle the windows and prevent conversation, much less sleep.


It was not “normal” air traffic noise and isn’t the first such occurrence. Disturbing as this is at my house, it would be even substantially louder at the planned development at Wheeler Road and Highway CV.


Madison definitely needs more affordable housing. But putting it right next to the airport ignores the very real noise problem that already exists.”

William Hutchison, Madison

Original Letter to the Editor   

[People who have less choices should not be living in harmful areas:  the poor, the children… there should be no day cares and/or schools near the noise and pollution from industry and the military.  Low income housing should not be allowed.  What we have is a system that prioritizes profits for the wealthy, while the system externalizes the costs on to the vulnerable. That’s not how capitalism is supposed to work, if you read Adam Smith.  These are distortions of the market.  The costs should be born by those who profit.   – Brad G.]

At the intersection of Packers Avenue (Highway CV) and Wheeler Road the noise level from the F-35 jets will be 105 decibels.  This is the SEL, sound exposure level. Over six times per day, on average, the noise will be louder than a pressure washer and almost as loud a revving motorcycle.  This are is incompatible with residential use.  The only reason that I can imagine that anyone would want to build in this location, is that they can get the land cheap.  The reason they get the land this cheap is likely because people would rather live elsewhere because of the airport, the military base and the pollution. The owners make more profits when they exploit other people, externalize costs and maximize profits.

US Air Force Environmental Impact Statement


The Sound Exposure Level (SEL) metric represents all the acoustic energy (a.k.a. sound pressure) of an individual noise event as if that event had occurred within a one-second time period. SEL captures both the level (magnitude) and the duration of a sound event in a single numerical quantity, by “squeezing” all the noise energy from an event into one second. This provides a uniform way to make comparisons among noise events of various durations. – FAA, Federal Aviation Administration

Graphic from FAA

“Another big chunk of farmland on the city’s North Side may soon give way to housing, just like on the booming far East and West sides.

The Annex Group of Indianapolis is proposing 315 lower-cost housing units in multiple buildings, a community center, three stormwater retention ponds, an expansion of Whitetail Ridge Park and parking on 29.2 acres of farmland at the corner of Packers Avenue and Wheeler Road that’s currently in the town of Burke.

Big housing project proposed for farmland on Madison’s North Side