Advanced Search

Evanston RoundTable | Evanston, IL
The Weather Network
Second Church of Christ

home : art & life : art & life
October 20, 2019

7/6/2010 11:27:00 AM
Neighborhood Makes Noise About Noise

Natalie Wainwright, Betsy Baer, Caroline Winkler, Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, and Nancy Lee meet across from the station on July 1 to discuss the volume and frequency of announcements coming from the Central Street Metra station.

Natalie Wainwright, Betsy Baer, Caroline Winkler, Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, and Nancy Lee meet across from the station on July 1 to discuss the volume and frequency of announcements coming from the Central Street Metra station.

By Anna Sanders

In a community-organized gathering on July 1, residents of the neighborhood east of the Central Street Metra station discussed with Metra workers possible solutions to the frequency and volume of the station’s announcements.

After their conversation, the workers lowered the volume of two of the station’s speakers. Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said that the workers believed the neighbors "seemed to be pleased with what was done."

"We received a complaint about volume, so our guys were up there adjusting the volume," explained Mr. Gillis. He added that the Metra occasionally gets complaints from various stations, including the Central Street station, and that Metra workers are dispatched to the stations and the volume is lowered accordingly.

Residents became concerned last October when they said the station’s arrival reminders and policy announcements had become louder and more frequent.

"It’s very loud," said Betsy Baer. "I can hear it all the way to my house which is a block away."

Mr. Gillis said that he did not know if the volume had recently increased. "But," he said, "in the past 18 months we’ve been switching over to an automated system." Mr. Gillis said that the announcements had been a little more frequent in the past week because of changes in Metra procedures as a result of the Taste of Chicago.

Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, in which the station is located, was present at the neighborhood discussion and has been mediating community concerns since the problem began. "She’s been great," said Natalie Wainwright, whose house is directly across the street from the platform.

During the discussion, Metra workers attempted to placate the neighbors by explaining the necessity for the frequency and volume of the announcements to Ald. Grover and residents. They said the announcements were intended to keep passengers safe.

Mr. Gillis said he did not know the specific language of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but said that the announcements were a safety measure. "It’s more about customer service," he added. "It’s a provision to help [them]."

However, Ald. Grover noted to the present workers, "Everything you need to know is in writing on signs," on the station’s platform and that the station’s speakers are directed to the "residential neighborhood as opposed to the commercial district."

Ms. Wainwright said she and her family can hear the announcements loud and clear inside her house. She added the announcements are most irksome during rush hours, when arrival reminders begin six minutes before the train gets to the station or when trains are running late. When asked, Ms. Wainwright said she was also worried about how the noise from the speakers would affect her home’s property value. "Who’d move into a house with this kind of noise problem?" she said.

Nancy Lee, whose house is also across from the station, said she is most bothered by the ringing that declares a train’s arrival. "There’s all sorts of sounds we’re concerned with … [But] we’re here for the announcements."

The neighborhood seemed pleased with the volume change made. "It’s not perfect, but it’s a big improvement," said Ms. Wainwright. "I can work in my garden again."

Editors Note: Natalie Wainwright is a proofreader for and contributor to the


Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Anyone aware of community effort/interest in reducing the increased vehicle noise and noise/speed levels on residential
streets. Ridge has become a four lane
dragstrip for motorcycles and cars with no mufflers with designer exhausts, and boom cars. There appears to be no enforcement. I am sure both Illinois and Evanston ordinance is being violated as well our right to peace, quiet and sleep. Thank You

Article Comment Submission Form

The RoundTable will try to post comments within a few hours, but there may be a longer delay at times. Comments containing mean-spirited, libelous or ad hominem attacks will not be posted.

Note: Your full name is required. Your telephone number and e-mail will not be posted. You may type your comments in the space below, or you may type them in a word document and cut and paste them in the space below.

Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Click to View Upcoming Events
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    
Submit Event

HomeVideosCommunity PostsObituariesClassifiedsAdvertiseAbout UsContact UsLinksLife
Copyright 2008-19 - Evanston RoundTable LLC, Evanston, IL 60202, 847-864-7741, All Rights Reserved

Software © 1998-2019 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved