Cook County Court: Bike Lanes More Than 'Recreational Facilities'
Brendan Kevenides shares news on an interesting anecdote from the legal annals of Chicago's bike infrastructure that speaks to the contested definitions of multi-modal transportation. "In a hearing last week in the Circuit Court of Cook County the City of Chicago sought to have all of the bicycle lanes installed throughout the City declared 'recreational facilities.'"
"The effect of this creative legal maneuver would have been to immunize the municipality for injuries to bicyclists caused by the City’s failure to keep its bike lanes safe for riders," adds Kevenides.
Kevenides is an attorney at Freeman Kevenides, a law firm that represents "bicyclists, pedestrians, and other vulnerable road users." The law firm represented a bicyclist "injured when she struck a large water filled hole located in the middle of a marked bike lane at 1124 North Damen Avenue," which prompted the city's semantic defense.
In the end, a Cook County judge denied the city's attempt to define bike lanes as recreational facilities, and upheld the city's responsibility to maintain bike lanes under the penalty of actionable liability.