The personal injury attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer are cautioning Chicago bicyclists to stay clear from the city sidewalks. Many Chicago sidewalks have hazardous pavement differentials and deep holes, with grass and weeds growing through them, making them difficult to see and avoid. Quite a few people have landed on the ground after running into such sidewalk hazards, breaking a hand, a leg, or suffering other injuries.
That is not to say that riding on the street is much safer. Many streets have large cracks and holes, and angry automobile drivers in various stages of road rage, inching a notch at the sight of a bicyclist. And yet, bicyclists will fare better against the City if they fall and get injured because of a street hole, rather than if they fall over a sidewalk hazard.
The Tort Immunity Act gives immunity to the City of Chicago for negligence, with few exceptions. One of the exceptions is the requirement for a local public entity to exercise ordinary care to maintain its property in a reasonably safe condition “for the use in the exercise of ordinary care of people whom the entity intended and permitted to use the property in a manner in which and at such times as it was reasonably foreseeable that it would be used.” 745 ILCS 10/3–102(a) (2017).