Ideastream.org, By Nick Castele, Posted June 25th 2019
After previous plans to build a city dirt bike park stalled, Cleveland is trying again to offer motorcycle and ATV riders a venue to pop wheelies — off the street and out of traffic.
Mayor Frank Jackson’s administration is searching for a consultant to help select a site, design team and operator for a future track. The city also is planning a series of street bike events at recreation centers this summer, followed by a festival at the Muni Lot in August.
City officials said in a Tuesday interview their plans would provide technical training and a controlled environment for young people who now ride in groups down city streets.
“They’re looking for a place to ride safely,” Director of Public Works Michael Cox said. “I think the perception that everybody is a lawbreaker and things of that nature is not true. They enjoy riding.”
In January 2017, Cleveland City Council narrowly approved Jackson’s plan to create a dirt bike track at Marion Motley Park off Kinsman Road. But the city didn’t build it, scrapping plans after the possiblity of noise problems and insurance issues arose. Last year, Cox said the city was eyeing other sites for a track.
The consultant would help the administration develop programs and settle on a track location, according to a request for proposals issued Tuesday afternoon. The study would begin in October of this year.
Cox and Chief Operating Officer Darnell Brown said it would likely take until 2021 to build the track. The RFP also asks the consultant to look for grants and other outside funding for the project.
“There is money that’s out there for this type of a venture,” Brown said, “so I’m not expecting that, whatever happens at the end of the day, that the city’s going to be on the ticket for 100 percent of the cost.”
Cleveland plans to bring XDL, a stunt biking organization, to several recreation centers around town July 2 and 3. XDL will return for a festival Aug. 16 to 18 at the Muni Lot. The festival will host open rides, competitions and put “a spotlight on motorcycle safety,” according to a handout from the city.
Zelma George Recreation Center also will host a workshop with B-360, a Baltimore-based group that uses dirt bikes to teach young people about science, technology, engineering and math. The city not yet settled