Nevertheless, inherent dangers confront bicyclists who travel on roadways that are not faced by operators of motor vehicles. A tree branch, a stone, and even a pothole or depression might destabilize a bicycle that a car would harmlessly pass over. Public entities do not have the ability or resources to remove all dangers peculiar to bicycles. Roadways cannot possibly be made or maintained completely risk-free for bicyclists.
Roadways generally are intended for and used by operators of vehicles.
A “vehicle” is defined as “every device in, upon or by which a person or property is or may be transported upon a highway, excepting devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks or motorized bicycles.”
By the Motor Vehicle Code’s plain terms, roadways generally are built and maintained for cars, trucks, and motorcycles -- not bicycles. Even the Pothole Primer -- relied on by plaintiff -- defines a pothole as a “pavement defect” that will “cause significant noticeable impact on vehicle tires and vehicle handling”.
A public entity’s designation of a portion of the roadway as a bicycle lane would alter the generally intended use of that part of the road and would require the public entity to maintain it in a reasonably safe manner for those purposes.
Roadways generally are intended for and used by operators of vehicles. That is a point addressed by the Illinois Supreme Court in Boub v. Twp. Of Wayne, 702 N.E.2d 535 (Ill. 1998). For purposes of the Illinois Tort Immunity Act, it held that although bicycle riders are permissive users of roadways, those riders should not “be considered intended users".