Longmont Times Call Noise Polls

As the Citizens for Quiet Skies (CFQS) quest to shut down, er, reduce Mile High Skydiving airplane noise to a reasonable level, comes to a head, I thought it would be interesting to compare two Times Call noise polls. The first took place in June of 2014, and the second (during the trial) happened in April of 2015.  The results of both polls are listed below:

June 2014 Results

screenshot-www.timescall.com 2015-04-24 23-58-55

April 2015 Results

screenshot-www.timescall.com 2015-04-24 23-58-32

CFQS frequently points out that in the June 2014 poll, “skydiving planes” had far and away the most votes of any other noise source in Longmont. Interestingly enough, skydiving planes was fairly low on the list until just before the poll closed, at which time the number of votes it received skyrocketed.The results were so suspect that the Times Call originally didn’t even include skydiving planes in the final listing, but under protest from Kim Gibbs at CFQS, they were later added but further down in the list, apparently where they would have been had the numbers not been padded (and it is obvious to anyone looking at it objectively that these results were fudged somehow).

A new poll was just conducted, and this time the numbers did not appear to be padded. Voting was certainly heavier, most likely as a result of the publicity the trial has been getting, but the results are pretty close to the June 2014 results…had the June 2014 results not been padded. And those results show what has been obvious to the vast majority of people for some time now, that skydiving plane noise is really only a big issue for a very small handful of people, and pretty far down the list of most annoying noises in Longmont.

So what else can be seen in this poll?  Two things stand out to me. First, the voting was much heavier this time, and I attribute that to the timing of poll and the immense unpopularity of CFQS and its cause. Second, and this is very telling, is that the number of votes for skydiving planes was nearly cut in HALF between June 2014 and the latest poll, IN SPITE of the trial publicity and the seemingly larger number of people who might now be more aware of any airplane noise than would have been a year ago and thus more likely to vote for it.

If everything from the June 2014 poll was legit, and if the CFQS cause was really that popular, the votes for skydiving planes should have also increased proportionally to the rest of the categories, but it ended up with much fewer votes. Clearly the June 2014 poll results were padded, and the April 2015 results are much more reflective of the current attitude of the population around Longmont.

The judge will rule soon whether or not CFQS has a legitimate legal argument against Mile High Skydiving, but public sentiment in Times Call articles has overwhelmingly suggested that they don’t. Now there is an accurate poll that puts that sentiment into statistical form. I wonder if CFQS will continue to reference the latest noise poll results as it argues that “thousands of people” think the noise is a problem. My guess is…not likely.