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Illinois Supreme Court to decide if Chicago is liable of cyclist hitting pothole

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(The Center Square) – The Illinois Supreme Court is considering a case where a cyclist in Chicago is looking to hold the city accountable for injuries they received after hitting a pothole on a city street.

In the summer of 2019, plaintiff Clark Alave was riding his bicycle on a Chicago city street and allegedly hit a large pothole, causing him to fall and be injured. He sued the city for damages, saying the city should have maintained the road.

Defending the city in front of the Illinois Supreme Court this week, attorney Steven Collins said the street wasn’t meant for bikes.

“The city uses street signs and pavement markings to specify which of its roadways are intended for bicycle use,” Collins said. “There were no such signs or markings at the location of Mr. Alave’s bicycle accident.”

Representing Alave, attorney Erron Fisher said there was a bike rental station “within throwing distance.”

“With Divvy signs on every single bicycle in their customary colors,” Fisher said. “What other purpose could putting a bicycle rental location have at that location other than bicycle rental?”

Collins said that doesn’t mean people can ride bikes anywhere.

“A person, a Divvy user, is free to ride a Divvy bicycle on any of the many streets where a bicycle is permitted,” Collins said.

On top of the nearby bike retinal station, Fisher argued the city promotes itself to cyclists.

“A person who gets on a bike in Chicago does so with all the advertising and all the notice that Chicago is a bicycle friendly city,” Fisher said. “They do so with Chicago claiming to be the most bicycle friendly city in the country.”

Justices took the case under advisement.

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