Building homes near Midway would put residents at risk; Plan for three- and four-story multiunit condominiums is dangerous for occupants, pilots and passengers

June 7, 2007

The Chicago Sun-Times May 19 business article ''212 homes near Midway?'' brings back memories of the editorial of Dec. 19, 2005, reporting about safety after a commercial plane went through the fence at 55th and Central, striking and killing a 6-year-old boy: ''It's only natural to consider dramatic safety improvements to avoid another such accident.'' It noted that Midway Airport lacks the recommended 1,000-foot buffer zone at the end of the runways. The article also mentions removing obstacles at that end of the strip by relocating light poles and utility lines. But the article forgot to mention that there are homes, pedestrians, CTA stations and cars stopped right next to the airport fence.

Instead of removing obstacles, the city, the zoning commission and the alderman of the 23rd Ward are considering rezoning the vacant land parallel to the Belt Railroad tracks from West 55th Street through 59th Street, right down the road from this tragic plane crash, for three- and four-story multi-unit condos. This additional congestion and obstacles so close to Midway are not the ''soft concrete'' or ''arresting barricades at the end of the runway'' that reasonable people have in mind to avoid another tragedy. Building more homes so close to the airport will not improve the safety for the community, the pilots or their passengers.

The members of the Garfield Ridge Civic League are opposed to placing homeowners and their children in harm's way so close to the active running Belt Railway tracks and in the flight path of commercial and private airplanes.

Rose Campbell, board member, Garfield Ridge Civic League

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