Cleveland To Host Dirt Bike Events At Muni Lot

Johnnie Burton of the Burton Foundation spoke with reporters at a news conference Thursday.
Johnnie Burton of the Burton Foundation spoke with reporters at a news conference Thursday. [Nick Castele / ideastream]
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Cleveland plans to host what it calls “family-friendly events for dirt bike riders” at the city’s downtown Muni Lot this month and next.

The city announced the plans today along with the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and the Burton Foundation, a biking nonprofit. Mayor Frank Jackson’s administration has been trying to find a different outlet for young people who ride motorized dirt bikes and ATVs through the streets.

“We’ll be having free-ride sessions, where guys will be able to come and do what they’ve normally been doing through our local streets, which is pop wheelies, do stunts,” foundation founder Johnnie Burton said at a Thursday news conference. “But what we’re trying to do is have it in an organized fashion.”

Bikers are invited to the Muni Lot on May 19 and June 2, 16 and 30, foundation communications director Ebony Webster said. She said there will be food trucks and activities for families, like face painting.

Public works director Michael Cox said the Burton Foundation and Sports Commission are raising funds for expenses including insurance. 

Cleveland proposed building a permanent dirt bike track at Marion Motley Park, but officials haven’t said much about the plans since last year.

Cox said the city has moved away from Marion Motley, but still wants to build a track.

“We have narrowed it down to four sites, all within the city of Cleveland,” he said. “We have still some more diligence to do.”

He declined to name the sites, but said none are city-owned.

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