Is It the Duty of the Municipality to Maintain County Roads for Pedestrian Traffic ?
In Sisk v. Williamson County, 167 Ill. 2d 343, 351, 657 N.E.2d 903, 212 Ill. Dec. 558 (1995), the plaintiff's motor vehicle struck a concrete bridge crossing a creek and when plaintiff exited his auto to investigate the extent of the damage, he fell off the roadway and into the creek. 167 Ill. 2d at 346.
On appeal, the court held that the municipal defendant had no duty to maintain county roads for pedestrian traffic without some affirmative physical manifestation of intent. Sisk, 167 Ill. 2d at 352.
As our supreme court explained:
"In contrast, there are no such manifestations to indicate that Williamson County intended pedestrians to walk on its country roads.
As the appellate court noted, there are no walkways or crosswalks on rural country roads such as the county-line road in this case.
Further, many county roads are gravel roads and often have no shoulder.
We believe that the inference to be drawn from these facts, if any, is that municipalities do not intend that pedestrians walk on rural country roads.
Although it may be necessary at times for pedestrians to walk on country roads, such use is not a manifestation of the local municipality's intent that pedestrians walk on its country roads or an undertaking by the municipality to make country roads free from defects that might injure pedestrians." Sisk, 167 Ill. 2d at 351-52.