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311 Calls For Noise Complaints Were Plenty In Chicago During Stay-At-Home Period

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Home is supposed to be a quiet respite, but for many during the coronavirus quarantine, it was anything but.

We're not just talking about screaming kids and competing Zoom calls. As CBS 2's Lauren Victory on Monday had data that showed how many people couldn't concentrate at home because of frustrating construction.

Construction never stopped during the stay-at-home order. Illinois and Chicago leaders considered it an essential service.

But the work was unreasonable to someone who lived in one building in Dearborn Park. Records show the person begged the city to "give us a break during quarantine."

Steve Dishler, who lives on Belmont Avenue near Pine Grove Avenue in East Lakeview, took his pleas public in April.

"Students are obviously not able to conduct their work," Dishler said in April.

Christine Remmers in Lincoln Park told CBS 2 she now has to medicate her cat because construction noise persists.

"When I have meetings, I can't really participate because no one wants to listen to this on the other end," Remmers said.

In those previous reports in which we interviewed the aforementioned people, we asked the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois why they didn't put condo remodels and building façade work on hold when people are ordered to stay at home.

The Chicago Department of Buildings advised people to report complaints to 311. And people did just that all over the city, according to 311 records.

"It's hard to teach from home without these distractions," complained an educator in Rogers Park.

At least two Noble Square residents questioned the necessity of construction during a "shelter-in-place order."

"We cannot escape back-up beeping; adds to stress," wrote someone in the South Loop.

Five blocks from that site, at 714 S. Wells St., another frustrated Chicagoan called the noise unbearable – also noting air pollution.

And over in the West Loop, beeping, sandblasting, sawing, and more made being stuck at home during COVID-19 even more miserable.

In all, there were 200 noise complaints in just 50 days of quarantine.

Compare that to 136 during the same time period last year, and also consider that some of the complaints in 2019 aren't even possible this year.

They included issues with yelling near Wrigley Field area bars and nonstop trash pickup after a Cubs game, a problem with a live band, and another concern about loud music at a street festival.

People just might miss those inconveniences.

In compiling the data for this story, we omitted aircraft noise from our 311 logs and also eliminated any duplicates.


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