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Pursuant to 745 ILCS 10/3-102(a) (2010), local public entities have a duty to exercise ordinary care in maintaining a reasonably safe condition to those areas of public roadways around legally parked vehicles. This duty extends only to those pedestrians walking to or from the curb area, going to or from a legally parked vehicle. Moreover, this duty extends only to pedestrians walking to or from the curb area alongside the legally parked vehicle, not to pedestrians crossing the roadway to get to or from the vehicle.
Laura DeMambro injured her ankle when she slipped into a pothole while attempting to enter her vehicle, which was lawfully parked near the curb on a city street, but which was not in a marked or striped parking area. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant, the City of Springfield (City). The trial court held that because there were no stripes, signs, or marked parking spaces, there was no evidence that DeMambro was an intended user of the area.
Was DeMambro an "intended" user of the City property on which she was injured pursuant to section 3-102(a) of the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (Tort Immunity Act) (745 ILCS 10/3-102(a) (West 2010))?
The court held that stripes or signs were not required in the case of a person who was lawfully parked near a curb. The primary lanes of the street were intended exclusively for vehicles, subject to crosswalks and other specifically indicated pedestrian areas; hence, the requirement in those cases to focus on physical manifestations of intent such as signs. However, unless otherwise indicated, the area near the curb was intended for parking and, as a result, that area was intended for (1) parked vehicles and (2) pedestrians who are exiting and seeking to access their vehicles. Therefore, DeMambro was an intended user of the street where she fell pursuant to 745 ILCS 10/3-102(a).