Superintendent: More needs to be done to protect Emerson playground

By Jenn Zimmerman TribLocal reporter Yesterday at 2:35 p.m Following two recent incidents in which a car went onto a school playground at Emerson Elementary School, Wheaton Warrenville School District 200. Superintendent Brian Harris said there is a need to develop a more permanent solution. The first of the two accidents occurred on Tuesday, when a motorist drove a car through the parking lot off Manchester Road, into the playground and out onto a nearby field. Students had just left the area and were lining up to go back inside. No one was injured, and the driver did not strike or damage any of the playground equipment. On Wednesday, Harris said another driver in a pick-up truck drove through the lot and into an area near the playground. Again, no one was injured and no damages were reported. Wheaton Deputy Police Chief Tom Meloni has said no citations will be issued in the Tuesday accident, but noted the driver may have been confused because a set of safety cones blocking the parking lot from the playground were not out. Harris said he was not sure about how the cones are used, but starting Thursday the school will be putting out large barriers to block out the lot from the playground. “We are just going to do something temporary, but we have to figure something else out,” he said. Harris admits that it is strange why two people now have mistakenly drove off the parking lot and onto school yard grounds. He said the parking lot usually has cars parked in the area, which should give some indication that the space is not being used as a roadway. It also is large enough that drivers should be able to see where the lot ends. “I’m not sure why people are so confused,” he said. Some of the misunderstanding could be tied to construction along Manchester Road, which has changed the traffic patterns in the area. Principal Debby Stoll has requested additional signage on Manchester, asking drivers to not use Knollwood Drive as their detour route. She has also contacted several trucking dispatchers, asking them to reroute their paths.

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