By Bridget Doyle
10:20 p.m. CDT, July 30, 2012
A Chicago man is suing the city and the Illinois Department of Transportation for negligence after he alleges an unsafe drain in a bike lane on the city’s Northwest Side caused him to fall while riding last August.
Fred Steim filed a lawsuit Monday in Cook County Circuit Court against Chicago and IDOT for allegedly maintaining an unsafe grate in a marked bike lane at the 4700 block of West Lawrence Avenue in the Albany Park neighborhood.
Steim was riding his bike on Aug. 11 in the marked bike lane westbound on Lawrence Avenue just past Keating Avenue when a drain with grating parallel to the direction of travel caused him to fall., according to the lawsuit Steim sustained serious injuries, the lawsuit says.
The metal sewer grate was not safe for bicycle travel and posed a known hazard to bicyclists because the grates ran parallel to the direction of bicycle travel, the suit alleges.
The city of Chicago “encouraged bicycles to cross over said drain by marking the street as a bicycle lane and bicycle route,” according to the lawsuit
Calls to the law office of James M. Freeman, the lawyer representing Steim, were not returned Monday night. Officials with the City of Chicago and IDOT could not be immediately reached for comment.