JUSTICE BURKE delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Chief Justice Karmeier and Justices Freeman, Thomas,
Garman, and Theis concurred in the judgment and opinion.
1 The plaintiff, Isaac Cohen, was riding his bicycle on the
Lakefront Trail, a shared-use path that runs along the shore
of Lake Michigan in Chicago, when his front wheel got caught
in a crack in the pavement and he fell. Plaintiff filed a
one-count complaint against the defendant, the Chicago park
district, alleging it had acted willfully and wantonly in
failing to maintain the path and was therefore responsible
for the injuries that resulted from his fall.
2 The circuit court of Cook County granted defendant's
motion for summary judgment, concluding that defendant was
immune from suit under section 3-107(a) of the Local
Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act
(Act) (745 ILCS 10/3-107(a) (West 2012)). That provision
grants absolute immunity to local public entities for
injuries caused by a condition of a "road which provides
access to fishing, hunting, or primitive camping,
recreational, or scenic areas." Id. The circuit
court also concluded, in the alternative, that even if
section 3-107(a) did not apply to the Lakefront Trail,
defendant was immune from suit under section 3-106 of the Act
(745 ILCS 10/3-106 (West 2012)). That provision immunizes
local public entities for injuries occurring on recreational
property, except when the local public entity engages in
willful and wanton conduct proximately causing the injuries.
3 On appeal, the appellate court rejected both the
conclusions reached by the circuit court and reversed the
entry of summary judgment in favor of defendant. 2016 IL App
(1st) 152889. We granted defendant's petition for leave
to appeal. Ill. S.Ct. R. 315 (eff. Mar. 15, 2016).
4 Like the appellate court, we agree that section 3-107(a) of
the Act is inapplicable in this case, although we reach this
result for different reasons. However, we agree with the
circuit court that defendant is immune from suit under
section 3-106. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the
appellate court and affirm the judgment of the circuit court.
6 The following facts are taken from the pleadings,
depositions, and other materials before the circuit court. On
the morning of July 7, 2013, plaintiff was riding his bicycle
in the right lane of the Lakefront Trail in Chicago,
Illinois, heading south near the Shedd Aquarium. As he rode,
he approached from behind a pedestrian who was walking in the
same lane. Plaintiff slowed down, rang his bicycle bell, and
began to pass on the pedestrian's left.
7 To pass the pedestrian, plaintiff moved his bicycle to the
middle of the path. As he did so, the front tire of his
bicycle became caught in a crack in the concrete. The crack
was about three to four inches wide at its widest, was two to
three inches deep, and ran in the direction of travel along
the path for about three or four feet. After his wheel became
caught, plaintiff fell to the ground and sustained injuries
to his shoulder. He then got back on his bicycle and rode
8 Plaintiff did not notify defendant of his accident at the
time it happened. The following week, plaintiff rode his
bicycle along the same stretch of the path and noticed that
the crack had been repaired.
9 The Lakefront Trail is what is known as a shared-use path
(see Corbett v. County of Lake, 2017 IL 121536,
¶ 21), used by bicyclists, pedestrians, joggers and
others. The path is either concrete or asphalt and runs for
approximately 18.5l miles along the shore of Lake Michigan in
Chicago. The path is in a developed area and is surrounded by
numerous commercial and public attractions such as beaches,
softball fields, museums, and harbors. Although emergency
vehicles such as ambulances may use the path when necessary,
public, motorized traffic is not permitted on the path.
10 Defendant owns and maintains the Lakefront Trail. Every
spring the path is inspected in order to identify any defects
in need of repair. After the annual inspection is completed,
a list of repairs is compiled, and requests for bids to
perform the repair work are sent to contractors under a
"rapid response" procurement program. This program
is an expedited procurement process for defendant, through
which most repairs for the Lakefront Trail are conducted.
11 As early as May 2013, an employee of defendant, Robert
Arlow, received a call from a user of the Lakefront Trail
informing him about the crack at issue in this case. Arlow
inspected the crack and concluded it needed to be repaired.
However, Arlow did not take steps to immediately perform the
repair through the use of in-house employees. He also did not
barricade the path or otherwise mark the crack in the
pavement with spray paint or similar material.
12 On June 10, 2013, defendant sent out its annual request
for repair bids under the rapid response program. The crack
was included in the scope of work for which bids were sought.
On June 12, 2013, a repair contractor submitted a proposal to
defendant for repairs to the path. On June 19, 2013,
defendant told the contractor to proceed with the work. On
July 10, 2013, the crack in the pavement was repaired.
13 Defendant moved for summary judgment alleging, in part,
that it was afforded immunity from plaintiff's suit under
sections 3-107(a) and 3-106 of the Act. The ...