Jet Airplane Noise in Palo Alto Palo Alto Issues, posted by Carly, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Jul 17, 2007 at 11:33 am
I live near the intersection of Embarcadero and Middlefield in Palo Alto - and have for 17 years.
Over the past couple of years it seems to me and my husband that jet airplane noise from planes heading to SFO has increased markedly. Sometimes we can't converse in our yard while one flies over, and during these summer months, with the windows open, our sleep sometimes is disturbed at night by these overflights.
Has anyone else noticed this? One of my neighbors said that he thought the FAA changed regulations recently allowing jet airliners to fly lower over residential areas. This seems like it might be correct. I never used to see planes flying so low as they seem to be doing now.
(I'm not referring to the little buzzy planes that come out of the local Palo Alto airport. They've always been around, and while somewhat of a nuisance, aren't the disruption that the bigger jets seem to be.)
Posted by plane observer, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 18, 2007 at 11:12 am
The flight paths change based on the weather. You will notice that if it is raining or there is a lot of fog that the planes change course and fly low over the PA area. On nice days, the planes come in from the north by the coast.
Posted by Giraffe, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2007 at 12:22 am
I once read that the standard flight path for planes from Asia (usually big ones, like 747s) is down the middle of the bay, past the San Mateo bridge and then a 180 degree U turn for final approach to SFO.
When there is a lot of traffic, they add a 2nd approach which I think
is down the coast range, over Crystal Springs to Palo Alto and then a
Posted by Geoff, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2007 at 11:26 am
Giraffe, this is a very interesting site you link. If you do the "tracks" function, you can see that there is a high concentration of arriving SFO flights that fly directly over the intersection of Middlefield/Embarcadero. Thus it doesn't surprise me that the original poster (Community Center), and the responder from Old Palo Alto hear noise. A lot of planes to SFO fly directly over them. Must be annoying.
Posted by concerened parent, a resident of the Greater Miranda neighborhood, on Aug 2, 2007 at 3:09 pm
As a concerned Palo Alto parent, I feel we need to form a coalition of concerned parents so we can eliminate the despicable noise pollution that we are plagued by every day from the countless airplanes, trains, buses, honking cars, helicopters, police and ambulance sirens, leaf-blowers, barking dogs, laughing children, lawnmowers, meowing cats, chatty neighbors, music, ringing phones, skateboards, car engines, wind, thunder, UPS and mail trucks, squeaky doors, falling objects, rain, chirping birds, and buzzing flies. There are too many careless people who don't give a hoot that our children's developing ears are so sensitive to these dangerous noises!! I for one have had enough of hearing peripheral noises every time I step outside, and I will not stop complaining until we've got City Council on board to eliminate these hazards from Palo Alto. If you are a parent who cares about their children, please join my cause!
Posted by Carney, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 2, 2007 at 5:58 pm
Your post rings true to me. So what are we going to do (other than complain on this site) about the horrendous noise from jet planes (and otherwise) that plague our city. (It isn't limited to being outdoors. I am sitting inside with all my windows closed, and hear clearly every jet that passes over...which is about every 4-6 minutes by my reckoning during the busiest times and about every 15 minutes otherwise - including at night.)
Posted by concerned parent, a resident of the Greater Miranda neighborhood, on Aug 2, 2007 at 6:42 pm
Carny, I'm so glad that there are other residents as concerned as I am. complaining online is a great way to start, but we need to bring this into the real world too. a great first step is knocking on doors to complain to neighbors and let them know what the issue is, and if they are concerned parents that care about their children, i dont see how there would be any hesistation in joining our cause. we can put up fliers of complaint in public areas, we can tape a list of complaints to the city hall door, we can go on public access TV to make our complaints heard. the key is to keep complaining to everyone until we get what we want! a safe, silent environment for our children!
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2010 at 1:57 pm
Trains are the noise that carry the most for me and I don't live near the tracks. The clickety clack, the bells, the whistles, the horns, the claxons, the vibrations, plus the inconvenience of getting across the tracks and often waiting for 2 trains before I cross. Ugh. Let's go electric soon and get some peace.