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Planes with Ad Banners Flying Circles Over Palo Alto

Original post made by Whitney on Dec 4, 2011

Every Stanford game this summer and Fall, there have been airplanes doing circles overhead with banner advertisements and my house and yard are filled with the rumble of a plane engine for hours.
Some noise is unavoidable. The neighbors need to renovate their home, people travel and fly overhead, gardeners blow leaves. All of these are noisy, but they are also either caused by or generated to benefit a Palo Altan. Why should we put up with a ruckus like this for some big company's ad campaign? What are any of us getting out of it? These companies don't live here. They have no interest in Palo Alto other than squeezing more money out of potential customers. They're getting great publicity and we're left with nothing but more noise pollution which takes a lot away from the quiet, small town feel of PA. Furthermore, I don't think advertisements should be forced upon me in my backyard and in my home.
They should not be allowed to fly circles over Palo Alto for hours on end like this, or in fact at all. I don't know the current laws, but at the very least, I would hope that the city of Palo Alto gets paid handsomely for a permit to make these flights. Geico and Goodyear are certainly profiting from it.
But better yet, let them advertise elsewhere. I am housebound due to some fairly serious health issues and with all the construction next door and all around Palo Alto right now, weekends are the only time I can go outside in peace. I don't think that should be disturbed by corporate propaganda.

Comments (13)

Posted by Disgusted, a resident of Stanford
on Dec 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Palo alto is getting national exposure. More visitors to the city spending money in the city. Some people here think that the world revolves around them-anything that dates to disturb their little world should be banned. This is just another version of the "too much traffic" whining we constantly here. I bet you some people in the city ate upset with stanford's success-it brings too many cars into the city.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Whitney, I really sympathize w/you. In these times, we have to recognize the necessary noises that are part of life & of course, that often depends on where we live. But that doesn't mean we need to just accept noise outside the norm that serves no benefit for the community or goes on for a long time & at a high volume. My guess is that in this economic climate advertising is more aggressive & Stanford makes money off of the advertising at the expensive of people local to the noise source.

My neighborhood's become incredibly noisy recently & it's stressful. This is noise that serves no great good - super loud car & home stereos, unsupervised kids repeatedly screaming - & they of course have inconsiderate guests who leave late & are very loud verbally & w/car noise, very loud machinery used by neighbors on holidays & weekends - it's unending sometimes. Today we've been patient w/a neighbor whose power tool use is out of control, but it also added stress & noise pollution to our day & curtailed enjoyment of our weekend.

If this continues to be a problem, I encourage you to email city officials in the know to figure out a solution. I also understand that when you're having health issues peaceful enjoyment of your home (which is a legal right) is crucial. I wish you the best w/your health issues & hope that your local noise pollution ceases.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

But just to show what a stupid argument it is that someone should tell anyone else what value they personally get from Palo Alto being given what they think of as "national exposure" - I'm pretty sure we could get as much exposure by confiscating your house and raffling it off to the rest of the country or the world too ... would "Disgusted" or "Disgusting" be willing to pay that price? No.

Palo Alto expenses and values are such that I really wonder why no one seems to be bothered by the falling quality of life here, of which constant airplane noise is but one metric. The big jets fly overhead a lot, and if you every care to understand it be awake in the early AM hours and just listen. Hundreds if not thousands of Palo Altans and others are being woken up in the middle of the night by airplane noise and vibration just enough to get pulled out of a sound sleep and then the airplane passes and they go back to sleep without ever realizing it. But as a statistician would understand this has an effect on the people who experience it that they do not reason, and the people who interact with them every day.

If you walk outside and sit down and listen there are constant small planes that also fly over, through mostly in the day, they are also flying at night. This noise concentrates over the Bay Lands and makes pretty much the whole BayLands ... what would be a wonderful recreations and fun resource for Palo Alto into a noisey and unpleasant place for such activities. The city is losing value with both things, but we lose much more value by not being able to enjoy our BayLands because of the noise, and full sleep that we ever will gain by not "whining" about airplane advertising or any benefit from the obnoxious comments that do not add value to the discussion online.


Posted by Whitney, a resident of Professorville
on Dec 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I don't mind car stereos, people having parties and enjoying themselves, etc. Things like that are signs of life. I would like to see more of that in Palo Alto to be honest.

But I don't think planes should be allowed to fly circles over my house with advertisements. We have already donated all of our public space to the service of corporate brain washing. You can't walk to the grocery store without being told that you're too fat, too stupid, too smelly, too much acne- not good enough in some way or another- that you need a product to fix the problem you just learned that you have.

But at least you can look away from signage, and you walk past it and it's gone. You can change the channel if advertisements come on TV. On the internet, you can go to a different site, or close the browser. There is a level of choice with all of these. The air above us is unavoidable. Do companies really have the right to force advertising on us? Over our homes? And fill the town with noise while they are at it? Can't I go home and be free of the corporate agenda if I so please?

This is my home!


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm

>> You can't walk to the grocery store without being told that you're too fat, too stupid, too smelly, too much acne- not good enough in some way or another- that you need a product to fix the problem you just learned that you have.

Hmmmm ... they never tell me that. ;-)


Posted by Disgusted, a resident of Stanford
on Dec 4, 2011 at 6:52 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by svatoid, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Dec 5, 2011 at 7:48 am

Let's see, Stanford had 6 home games this year. So a few a few hours on 6 days a plane was flying overhead. Big deal. That is part of living in a densely populated area. I guess some people would like to close SFO.


Posted by buyers remorse, a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 5, 2011 at 1:20 pm

That's the cost of living near Stanford. The University and probably stadium were there when you bought your house.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I've live here all my life. We have the train. We have 101 and El Camino. We have events at Stanford that brings airplanes and/or blimps.

It has been that way since...forever. This is nothing new.

Sorry that it bothers you - but as "buyers remorse" indicates, that's the cost of living in Professorville.

Oh...and the parking issues from the downtown workers...


Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Southgate
on Dec 5, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Get a life!!!


Posted by Disgusted, a resident of Stanford
on Dec 5, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Whitney wants to be free of advertising. That is her right. However as others pointed out the events that she so bitterly complains about occurs only 6 times a year. Stay home those days.as for anon's criticism of "obnoxious"comments, I hired the kettle sometimes needs to call the out black.


Posted by Not the former Stanford, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 6, 2011 at 9:45 am

Stanford has become a mega corporation, it's hardly like what it used to be. It is mega developer and money grubber. It is run by money interests.
It advertises on all media - radio, tv, newsletter mailings, email advertisements, newspapers, etc.
Stanford pretended it needed more space but it keeps advertising all over for more patients.
Bye bye ethical Stanford, it was good to know you.


Posted by svatoid, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Dec 6, 2011 at 10:25 am

"Stanford has become a mega corporation, it's hardly like what it used to be. It is mega developer and money grubber. It is run by money interests."
Care to provide some proof for these claims? Who are these "money interests"???

"Stanford pretended it needed more space but it keeps advertising all over for more patients."
Aren't you confusing Stanford and the Stanford Hospital/Medical Center

"Bye bye ethical Stanford, it was good to know you."
in what context did you know Stanford??


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