40th Ward aldermanic runoff candidates see value in more people riding bikes

In a closely watched runoff race for 40th Ward alderman, both candidates support biking, walking and transit improvements.

The 40th Ward is on Chicago’s North Side and includes parts of Lincoln Square, West Ridge and Edgewater. The seat is currently held by Ald. Patrick O’Connor, who is running for re-election in the runoff on April 2 against Andre Vasquez.

Active Transportation NOW sent a questionnaire to these two candidates about a range of transportation issues. Both of them said they support all 10 proposed policies in the questionnaire.                

Following is a summary of the candidates’ positions based on the questionnaire responses and public statements. Active Transportation NOW does not endorse aldermanic candidates. Our goal is to educate candidates and voters about the city’s transportation needs and build support for improvements.

Candidates in runoff election

ALD. PATRICK O’CONNOR

Ald. O’Connor pledges support for all 10 proposed policies. He says the ward contains many dangerous intersections that could be made safer with “some simple and not-so-simple improvements.” He backs funding for biking and walking projects.

O’Connor wants to see the city’s networks of bike lanes and bus lanes expanded with enough funding. He’s interested in developing a transportation and infrastructure equity plan that will “help everyone move around the city much easier and not add any undue burden to our most vulnerable citizens.” He says “it’s time” to examine congestion fees but noted that they must be done right.

ANDRE VASQUEZ

Andre Vasquez pledges support for all 10 policies. He says he walks, bikes, and rides transit, and believes the city should have more free transit options. Vasquez says he would “fight to ensure any infrastructure plan includes specific goals around employing people from Chicago who are out of work, especially focused on communities of color and historically impoverished communities.”