Safety issues arise as township gets playground equipment

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By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

Jackson Township’s long delayed plans to bring new playground equipment to its neighborhood parks is back on track.

At the Aug. 3 board meeting, township administrator Shane Farnsworth announced that Tanglebrook Park and Emersonia Park are set to receive its highly anticipated play area shortly.

“We will be receiving the playground equipment next week,” he said.

The township had placed an order for the equipment earlier this year, hoping that it would be installed before the summer, but a warehouse fire at the manufacturing plant put those orders on hold for several months.

While the news of upgraded play equipment will be seen as a good thing for area children and their parents, not everyone was as excited about the announcement.

Burley Dunn lives in the Emersonia subdivision, which is located just off of McComb Road. His house is near the park where this new equipment will be installed and he has concerns that the influx of children could cause a potential problem.

“It’s already a dangerous area,” he said. “And my biggest fear is that something bad will happen while they are going to the park or coming back from the park to get home.”

According to Dunn, there has been a sharp uptick of motorists who have been plowing through the stop signs posted on Lois Drive and Charlemagne Street, the two residential roads closest to the park. He said in the past week, he has seen more than five close calls between motorists and children going to the park on foot or on bike.

“It’s not just the children who are in danger,” he said. “I see adults walking, people in their wheelchairs, and they almost get hit by these cars too.

“People deserve the right to ride their bicycles and walk safely, and it is becoming a big problem here.”

He said it is his biggest fear that someone will be killed by the motorists who are not heeding the stop signs.

Dunn attended the Aug. 3 meeting with a request: that the trustees consider installing speed bumps on Lois Drive and Charlemagne Street.

“You wouldn’t have to put it in the middle of the road, that is not what I am asking,” he said. “I would like for you to consider placing them at the stop signs before people get killed.”

Farnsworth said they would have to ask the county engineer for their input as the township’s hands are largely tied on this matter.

“We cannot do anything that would create a hindrance on the road,” he said after the meeting.

Trustee Dave Burris said they could ask the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office to run more patrols in the area, but added this issue is widespread.

Dunn said the patrol cars have been in the area, and he commended the deputies for stepping up.

“One of the deputies spent close to two hours out there after I called,” he said. “The problem is these drivers act real cool and follow the rules when they see their patrol cars.”

He said he doesn’t know of any other solution beside the installation of speed bumps.

“Something has to be done,” he said.

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