Council switches gears on controversial dirt bike park

Carl Monday: Dirt bike issue stalled

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A temporary setback for the City of Cleveland's plans to build a controversial dirt bike park. City Council voted to temporarily shelve the proposal to build the $2 million motor cross park near East 73rd & Kinsman.

Mayor Jackson's office pushed hard for the park, one year after WOIO Chief Investigator Carl Monday exposed the rogue riders of dirt bikes and ATV's on city streets. It's illegal to ride them on city pavement.

Council decided to delay the emergency measure, after several council people raised objections to the park at a hearing today at City Hall.

Councilman Matt Zone demanded assurances from the city that they would stop and ticket any rider caught on a city street. Police have said they've been ordered not to chase the riders. Although the Mayor's own grandson has been ticketed twice and was hospitalized after a bike related accident last year.

Councilman Mike Polensek and other council members criticized the administration for the park proposal, at a time when rec centers in their wards are deteriorating. Polensek questioned the city's priorities, saying the city failed to repair a water park in the Collinwood area that prevented young kids from using it all summer.

"It's only an $18,000 part (to repair it)  and  you're asking for $1.933 million," said Polensek.

The city responded by saying it has spent $55 million in rec center repairs and upgrades over the past eleven years.

If built, the facility would be built at Marion Motley Park.  But not before a consultant is hired to remediate industrial waste that was dumped there decades ago.

Councilman Zack Reed took exception with the city's portrayal of the bikers.  He says most are adults, not kids, who are causing havoc on the streets of Cleveland.  After nearly two hours of discussion, Council President Kevin Kelley tabled the vote and said the issue would be addressed again later this year.

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