47th ward aldermanic runoff candidates prioritize transportation equity

Support for biking, walking and transit is high among the two candidates vying to replace 47th Ward Ald. Ameya Pawar.

The 47th ward is on Chicago’s North Side and includes parts of Ravenswood, North Center and Lakeview. The seat is currently held by Ald. Ameya Pawar, who is not running for re-election.

The two 47th Ward runoff election candidates — Matt Martin and Michael Negron — were among the candidates who responded to the Active Transportation NOW questionnaire that covered a range of transportation issues. Both candidates pledged to support all 10 policies proposed 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 the runoff election

MATT MARTIN

Matt Martin pledges to support all 10 policies. He says “it’s important to prioritize bike infrastructure in low-income neighborhoods of color out of concern for equity,” adding that many of these neighborhoods are disproportionately targeted and ticketed by police.

In backing a discounted transit fare for low-income riders, Martin says he supports fare-capping, which prevents riders from spending more on multiple single ride passes than they would have if they had purchased a daily or monthly pass. Martin supports creating 50 new miles of bus lanes and says the city missed an opportunity to install bus lanes on Western when it demolished the Western/Belmont/Clybourn overpass.

Martin supports prioritizing safety, equity, public health and the environment above travel times, saying “streets should belong to all and be shared by all,” with a priority on using alternative modes.

MICHAEL NEGRON

Michael Negron pledges support for all 10 policies. He says his wife walks six miles to her downtown office most days, and they either walk or ride transit to take their children to school and childcare.

Negron supports setting aside funds annually in the city budget for biking and walking projects, saying aldermanic menu money is stretched thin. He mentions fees on shared electric scooter or dockless bike share services as a possible source of revenue. Negron hopes more quality infrastructure would help close the existing gender gap in bicycling.

Negron supports 50 miles of new bus lanes as “the most cost-effective way to increase access to public transit.”