Letters to the Editor — December 2023

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Do not block the box

I had made a complaint about the constantly ignored “Do not block the intersection” sign at the intersection of Hungary Road and Route 20, particularly by SUVs, buses, large trucks, and vans. It caused traffic tie ups, particularly for those trying to exit Hungary Road to the east or west on Route 20. It also was dangerous because it obscured visibility of oncoming traffic from Route 10.

I addressed the issue with Abigail Kenyon who spoke to Joel Skilton about the concern. It has hopefully been rectified by reestablishing the “Do not block the intersection” sign with the addition of street markings of the area that must be kept open by all drivers. This was accomplished by Kirk Severance and the Public Works Department. Great job done by all! Let’s keep up the excellent communication and cooperation to make Granby center safer and more efficient.

As I understand it, there will be a fine if a driver does not heed the sign. If anyone sees a vehicle ignoring the sign, take a picture showing the license plate that could be forwarded to the Granby Police Department for further action.

Susan Regan

A Not-So-Silent Killer

If you’ve lived in Granby for any length of time, you’ve noticed the increased noise caused by the Bradley Airport expansion. In neighborhoods like mine, located just five miles away as the crow flies, it feels like living in a combat zone, especially on cloudy days when planes fly lower and are directed out at a constant clip.

One morning, when a particularly loud plane flew overhead, I kept track as planes flew out in rapid succession—10:16, 10:32, 10:41, 10:45, 11:07, 11:13, 11:27, 11:34, 11:41—I counted over 50 planes and likely missed many more as I was fitting this in between Zoom meetings and other work-related tasks.

Aircraft noise isn’t just a daytime problem. Generally, several nights a week I am awakened between midnight and 4 a.m. by the deep rumblings of an airplane. Sleep disturbance from aircraft is not just an annoyance, it is a health hazard. Studies have shown that aircraft noise pollution in affected communities leads to greater rates of hypertension and even heart attacks.

Less obvious, though just as detrimental, is the increased air pollution that we are all experiencing. It is not unique to our area—many have suffered health impacts due to an uptick in air travel. Seattle residents won a recent lawsuit demonstrating that people living within five miles of the airport are exposed to ultrafine, lung-infiltrating particles that lead to premature births and over 100 excess deaths per year and increased rates of cancer, heart disease and chronic lower respiratory disease.

What can be done?

I’ve filed complaints with Bradley and the FAA and reached out to two previous Granby town managers—all with no response. It’s obvious that it will take a committed group of residents to make change. We need to:

• Form a town working group and/or neighborhood action group(s).

• File formal complaints with Bradley International and the FAA.

• Demand greater local representation on Bradley governance board.

• Demand sound insulation and air filtering equipment for affected households.

• Insist on local air quality stations and noise monitoring.

• Demand a curfew be implemented (no air traffic between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.)

• Prohibit planes that don’t meet noise standards.

• Insist Bradley change flight patterns to reduce impact on highly populated areas and participate in FAA programs to lower noise and air pollution.

• Ask Bradley and the state to create a fund to help communities address air traffic pollution.

• Ask federal representatives to join the Quiet Skies Caucus.

• Encourage companies to replace unnecessary travel with virtual meetings.

• As individuals, assess our own airplane travel.

We are not helpless. Other groups across the country have gotten their local airports to make important changes. Together we can work to reduce air traffic pollution in Granby.

If you are interested in these efforts, please contact me at GranbySky@gmail.com

Deborah Roe