CINCINNATI — During the day, Eden Park is a quiet space, enjoyed by many. But at night, neighbors said, it's overrun by a large group of motorcyclists causing safety concerns and noise. They're now pleading with the city and parks board to intervene.
"They do wheelies up and down the roads, and travel at 80 miles an hour and ride through all the parking areas," said Bill Ivers, board member of the Overlook Condominiums, which sit just off the park.
Residents in the area have suggested closing the gates to the park, which would cut traffic flow to all but pedestrians. Members of the biking community said they're being unfairly lumped into one big group and that not everyone with a bike is causing problems.
"You can't group us all together in that same, we're all the same, because we're not," said Sara Day, one member of the city's motorcycle community.
Other members of the motorcycle community said they feel they're being targeted and that, if there were a better place in the city to go ride, they'd be there instead.
"If there was a place that we could go as a biker community, a lot or a building, somewhere that people can have this outlet to make that noise… a lot of these issues would not be happening anymore. We wouldn’t be going to Eden Park," said Amanda Walls.
The Lake Drive loop at Twin Lakes was closed earlier in the year to reduce large gatherings in the area amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was reopened after citizens complained. The Cincinnati Park Board said it's working on solutions, but don't plan to close the gates.
Instead, they're looking at installing speed bumps and the board is holding discussions with the local community to come up with further solutions.
"They literally shut down traffic... Some of them drive on sidewalks," said Ivers. "So it's basically ruined the park for the people that really want to use it."
Ivers argues closing the gates is a solid solution, so police resources don't have to be pulled to monitor the park. Officers said they're limited in what they can do, even in cases of riders doing wheelies and donuts on sidewalks, because the department has a no-pursuit policy for traffic offenses. They said, instead, they're talking to local bikers in the community to work on voluntary compliance.