headshot of candidate

John Hanratty

He/Him

Currently
Consultant; former VP at tech companies
Election history
1st time running

More about John Hanratty

John Hanratty has lived in Cambridge for over 25 years. He's had a long career as a tech executive and entrepreneur.

John cites his opposition to the Cycling Safety Ordinance and his subsequent "community crusade in Porter Square" as the issue that drew him into city politics. He was heavily involved in suing the city of Cambridge over its protected bike lane network (all lawsuits have failed, been rejected, or are being appealed at this time).

Incumbent
No
Education
  • BS, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Master's, The University of Dallas
  • Master's, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Online)
Age
66 years
Born in 1958
Voting
Reg. March 15, 1996
History
  • 🗳️ 2022 General
  • 🗳️ 2021 Municipal
  • 🗳️ 2020 General
  • 🗳️ 2020 Presidental Primary - Democratic
  • 🗳️ 2018 General
  • 🗳️ 2016 General
  • 🗳️ 2014 General
  • 🗳️ 2012 General

Where John Lives

Address
Owns at 15 Mount Vernon Street #7
Valued at approx. $1,180,000
Last sold Nov. 16, 2004 for $366,000
inflation adjusted approx. $588,000

John on Housing

Proposal Supported?
AHO #3
10% Budget for Housing
NCD Reform

John's general housing stance is that he would prefer it to be built somewhere other than Cambridge.

He in general also does not list any way he supports tenants or tenant protections.

We can change the Affordable Housing Ordinance (AHO). We need affordable and low income housing but we don’t need housing towering over homes wherever developers decide it’s convenient.

John Hanratty, https://www.hanrattyforcambridge.com

Our city leads the country with 15% of our homes affordable. I oppose the AHO because it relegates this critical responsibility to random developer whims, depends on failed urban renewal tall building strategies, reduces green space, and harms neighborhoods.

John Hanratty, https://www.hanrattyforcambridge.com

We can not rely on one solution to address this problem [the high cost of housing]. A combination of solutions is required to meet this problem. We cannot build our way out of this problem.

...

Cambridge is a congested and difficult-to-reach city. Many of those 45,000 people with good-paying jobs would prefer to live in towns with yards, open space, and less traffic. The problem is that commuting takes more than an hour each way. This circumstance causes them to look in Cambridge for housing. We could significantly reduce demand for housing by improving transportation to/from/within Cambridge.

John Hanratty, ABC Survey

I’ve studied carbon issues and I don’t see how density in any way reduces carbon.

John on Other Issues

Proposal Supported?
CSO #2
CSO #1

Endorsements for John

Organization Cambridge? Union? View
Save Mass Ave this cycle
Cambridge Citizens Coalition on Sept. 14, 2023

Q&A

Interviews with John

ABC Candidate Questionnaire 2023

Housing policy, development, governance questions

ABC Candidate Questionnaire 2023

Housing policy, development, governance questions

Cambridge Citizens Coalition Survey 2023

General. Note: only distributed in downloadable word or pdf documents.

Cambridge Citizens Coalition Survey 2023

General. Note: only distributed in downloadable word or pdf documents.

CEOC Questionnaire 2023

"questions about the issues that most impact Cambridge’s low-income populations" (available in several languages)

CEOC Questionnaire 2023

"questions about the issues that most impact Cambridge’s low-income populations" (available in several languages)

Quotes by or about John

Cambridge Streets for All & others vs. City of Cambridge

In September 2020, the City of Cambridge ("City") amended its Cycling Safety Ordinance ("CSO") concerning the installation of bike lanes on the City's streets. Plaintiffs Cambridge Streets of All, Leesteffy Jenkins, John Pitkin, Toby Leith, Elizabeth Saccoccio, Christine Perkins, Philip Kadets, Joan Pickett, Vicky Bestor, John Hanratty, Stuart Rosner, and Elizabeth Neustadt (collectively, "Plaintiffs") are business and property owners in the City of Cambridge ("City") who oppose the implementation of the CSO and the bike lanes and street restructuring that the City has undertaken pursuant to the CSO. The Plaintiffs have moved for a preliminary injunction enjoining the City from building any more bike lanes and directing the City to remove the bike lanes already in place. For the following reasons, the Plaintiffs' motion is DENIED.

Middlesex Court, Memorandum of decision and order on Plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction, https://www.masscourts.org/eservices/searchresults.page?x=ILbsbxcjwIdWT*UuTpVVpAht8OBMLr5T5X6uo39*IH

We can change the Cycling Safety Ordinance (CSO). Businesses are cut off from customers; clients, patients and visitors can’t find parking spaces and traffic on some streets is more congested!

John Hanratty, https://www.hanrattyforcambridge.com

Induced auto congestion and parking removal is not a credible strategy when alternate transportation does not exist.

John Hanratty, https://www.hanrattyforcambridge.com

The CSO has been an unending source of disappointment. There were many opportunities to do the right thing, but they were lost. AHO has the same feel.

John Hanratty, CCC Survey

Cambridge citizens are informed, love diversity, have compassion for those who need our help, and do their part for global warming. Why does the city jam bad solutions down our throats?

Press

Articles about or by John

The Harvard Crimson Entrepreneur John Hanratty Seeks Accountability in Cambridge Council Bid

“We have tens of thousands of people who can’t afford to live in the city, but are the backbone of our city,” Hanratty said. “When they get here, they can’t park.”

“We’ve been designing congestion into our city to discourage drivers in the city,” he added. “Unfortunately, our mass transit system isn’t up to snuff at this point, and there really aren't many alternatives to driving in many cases.”

Cambridge Streets For All has also been pursuing a lawsuit against the city to overturn the ordinance change expanding Cambridge bike lanes. Hanratty was not involved in the initial stages of the suit but said it was an important way “to get the attention of the city and maybe get some resolution to the problems that businesses were seeing.”

“We should have safe bike lanes, but we also need safe pedestrians, we need less congestion, we need parking for businesses,” Hanratty said.

Nov. 3, 2023 — Muskaan Arshad
The Harvard Crimson Entrepreneur John Hanratty Seeks Accountability in Cambridge Council Bid

“We have tens of thousands of people who can’t afford to live in the city, but are the backbone of our city,” Hanratty said. “When they get here, they can’t park.”

“We’ve been designing congestion into our city to discourage drivers in the city,” he added. “Unfortunately, our mass transit system isn’t up to snuff at this point, and there really aren't many alternatives to driving in many cases.”

Cambridge Streets For All has also been pursuing a lawsuit against the city to overturn the ordinance change expanding Cambridge bike lanes. Hanratty was not involved in the initial stages of the suit but said it was an important way “to get the attention of the city and maybe get some resolution to the problems that businesses were seeing.”

“We should have safe bike lanes, but we also need safe pedestrians, we need less congestion, we need parking for businesses,” Hanratty said.

Nov. 3, 2023 — Muskaan Arshad
Cambridge Day Opponents of bike lanes are back with an analysis showing the safety measures cause more injuries

It looks at 1.3 miles of protected bike lanes, where bicyclists are separated from car traffic by plastic flex-posts and other means. On those stretches, there were 19 more injuries from before Covid to after installation in 2022, or a 158 percent increase, the report says, resulting in what Hanratty called “a limp or having to go to the hospital.”

Hanratty was part of a group called Cambridge Streets for All that filed a lawsuit last summer over the loss of parking space from the Cycling Safety Ordinance of 2019, which calls for 22.6 miles of bike lanes citywide. That lawsuit was rejected by a judge on March 27, but is being appealed. Other members of that group were on a closed call explaining the analysis, including Joan Pickett and John Pitkin, a former member of chair of the city’s Board of Traffic and Parking.

...

Though his field is business consulting, Hanratty said he “went to three or four experts” who approved of his analysis...

...

Bike advocates were contacted Monday and asked if they were aware of the findings. “It’s hard to directly evaluate this lengthy report without looking into the details of the data analysis further. However, its conclusions are at odds with professional consensus,” said Nate Fillmore, a co-founder of the Cambridge Bicycle Safety group.

“Of relevance, the Federal Highway Administration just released a report on the safety of protected bike lanes” that included Cambridge and found that “quick-build” lanes such as those in use in Cambridge “cut the risk of crash in half compared to regular bike lanes,” Fillmore said.

...

People that “probably shouldn’t be biking are being coaxed” into using the lanes and putting themselves at risk, Hanratty said, and the group believes that a Cycling Safety Ordinance should pay more attention to safety. “We don’t want people to get hurt unnecessarily.”

April 24, 2023 — Marc Levy
Cambridge Day Opponents of bike lanes are back with an analysis showing the safety measures cause more injuries

It looks at 1.3 miles of protected bike lanes, where bicyclists are separated from car traffic by plastic flex-posts and other means. On those stretches, there were 19 more injuries from before Covid to after installation in 2022, or a 158 percent increase, the report says, resulting in what Hanratty called “a limp or having to go to the hospital.”

Hanratty was part of a group called Cambridge Streets for All that filed a lawsuit last summer over the loss of parking space from the Cycling Safety Ordinance of 2019, which calls for 22.6 miles of bike lanes citywide. That lawsuit was rejected by a judge on March 27, but is being appealed. Other members of that group were on a closed call explaining the analysis, including Joan Pickett and John Pitkin, a former member of chair of the city’s Board of Traffic and Parking.

...

Though his field is business consulting, Hanratty said he “went to three or four experts” who approved of his analysis...

...

Bike advocates were contacted Monday and asked if they were aware of the findings. “It’s hard to directly evaluate this lengthy report without looking into the details of the data analysis further. However, its conclusions are at odds with professional consensus,” said Nate Fillmore, a co-founder of the Cambridge Bicycle Safety group.

“Of relevance, the Federal Highway Administration just released a report on the safety of protected bike lanes” that included Cambridge and found that “quick-build” lanes such as those in use in Cambridge “cut the risk of crash in half compared to regular bike lanes,” Fillmore said.

...

People that “probably shouldn’t be biking are being coaxed” into using the lanes and putting themselves at risk, Hanratty said, and the group believes that a Cycling Safety Ordinance should pay more attention to safety. “We don’t want people to get hurt unnecessarily.”

April 24, 2023 — Marc Levy
Commonwealth Magazine Bike stats contradict safety claims of Cambridge officials: Porter Square is safe intersection, not the most dangerous one

Having cycled through Porter Square countless times, I was perplexed when Barr dismissed concerns about how bike lanes are choking off local businesses and claimed that Porter Square was the most dangerous section of Cambridge for cyclists.

July 30, 2022 — John Hanratty
Commonwealth Magazine Bike stats contradict safety claims of Cambridge officials: Porter Square is safe intersection, not the most dangerous one

Having cycled through Porter Square countless times, I was perplexed when Barr dismissed concerns about how bike lanes are choking off local businesses and claimed that Porter Square was the most dangerous section of Cambridge for cyclists.

July 30, 2022 — John Hanratty

Campaign finance

How much John has raised and spent

$1,993
Current balance
$0
Balance at the start of 2023
$13,873
Raised in 2023
$2018.72 from self included
$11,880
Spent in 2023