'He is pimping this situation:' Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson slams Zack Reed over dirt bike issue

Posted at 5:13 PM, May 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-16 17:35:05-04

Dirt bikes kicked up dust between Mayor Frank Jackson and City Councilman Zack Reed on Tuesday.

The issue took a personal turn when the City of Cleveland held a press conference about new legislation that would prohibit dirt bikes on city streets. 

Supporters believe the ban would help reduce accidents, ensure safety and enforce laws relating to illegal dirt bike riding.

A reporter asked Mayor Frank Jackson about his political opponent Councilman Zack Reed's proposal for a hearing on a proposed $2.4 million dirt bike track. The track would be constructed at Marion Motley Park on the city's east side.

Reed, who is running for mayor, opposes the track, saying the money could be better used for other purposes.

"He's a political opponent. He will say anything. Whatever he thinks to his advantage," Jackson said of Reed. "Now is the issue real? Yes, the issue is real that's why I'm doing what I'm doing."

The reporter then asked Jackson if Reed is exploiting the concerns surrounding dirt bikes for political gain.

"There are pimps in every world. Yes, he is pimping this situation. That's right," said Jackson. "He is exploiting not for the general concern about... well-being, the citizen's well-being or these police officers' well-being."

RELATED: Dirt bike track approved by Cleveland City Council

The bill for the new dirt bike track passed in a 9-7 vote. It is supported by Jackson, whose grandson is a dirt bike rider and has been arrested for riding illegally on city streets before.

The dirt bike ban would be proposed to Cleveland City Council before its summer recess and includes:

  • Prohibiting All-Terrain Vehicles or illegal (not properly licensed and equipped) Dirt Bikes on streets, sidewalks and in City parks and strengthening the penalties for violations.  
  • Prohibit Road/Street stunts that compromise the flow of traffic.

Mayor Jackson said dirt bikes are currently disrupting traffic flow on city streets and freeways.