Motocross Park OKed in Split Cleveland Council Vote

Cleveland city council Monday night narrowly approved the first stages of a motorized dirt bike park.

The proposed $2.3 million project would be built in Marion Motley Park, off of Kinsman Road on the city’s east side. The park was pitched as an outlet for young people who ride bikes in large numbers on city streets.

The measure passed with nine votes in favor and seven against. Opponents said they couldn’t justify spending the money when the city has parks and police facilities in need of upgrades.

Councilman Jeff Johnson, who this month announced his bid for mayor, voted against the project. In a speech on the floor, he referred to a proposal to redirect millions of dollars in admission tax money to help pay for renovations of Quicken Loans Arena.  

“It’s also unfair for me to be standing up here fighting for $2.3 million with another ward, when soon we will be faced with an $88 million request for Q arena,” Johnson said.

Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland, who represents the ward where the park would be built, defended the measure in a speech on the floor.

“It won’t just be a park, it will be a program,” Cleveland said. “In other ways basketball may be the hook, tennis may be the hook, boxing may be the hook to get young people off the streets and redirect that energy into something positive and productive. That’s what this is.”

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