A designated ATV park in Philadelphia? Riders, advocates say yes

Riders and activists say it can help solve two problems: the issue of ATVs and dirt bikes on city streets, and gun violence.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- There's a new push to create a dirt bike and ATV park in Philadelphia.

Riders and activists say it can help solve two problems: the issue of ATVs and dirt bikes on city streets, and gun violence.

"There's a lot of youth that want to ride," said Ryedrekis Roberts. "I feel like if they had somewhere specific they could go, it could be a lot more safe than to worry about them riding on the streets."

Dirt bikes and ATVs have been an ongoing issue in neighborhoods across the city, despite the city making it illegal to ride on roads earlier this summer.

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The incident happened 6 p.m. Tuesday on Broad Street, just a block south of Washington Avenue.



ATV riders and activists, including Melissa Robbins, are now calling for a designated space. Robbins said she has scoped out eight possible locations across the city.

"Why not create an ATV park that would decrease gun violence, increase public safety, generate revenue and create jobs?" said Robbins, cofounder of NEAR (NE Philly Against Racism).

Some also say it will be another outlet for residents, including the city's youth as Philadelphia's murder rate climbs.

"When you ride dirt bikes, your mind goes somewhere else," said Dustin Percell. "I definitely think it would be a positive outlet to bring to the city and decrease gun violence."

RELATED: Philadelphia City Council passes bill making dirt bikes illegal, treated same as ATVs


"I support looking to find an off-street venue," said First District City Councilmember Mark Squilla.

Location and costs are already being discussed in city council.

"Right now, it's a dialogue that council is having. Is it possible to allocate money? What would be the best part of the city to put an ATV playground?" said Council Member Isaiah Thomas

In the meantime, police continue to crack down, confiscating dozens of ATVs in periodic sweeps.

And just like skaters were once considered a nuisance around City Hall and then got a designated skate park, advocates are hoping the city will use its resources to make get them a designated spot as well.
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