Liberty asks community to support a safer route to school

A Tri-state community wants to make its route to school safer for students.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 9:51 PM CDT
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LIBERTY, Ill. (WGEM) - A Tri-State community wants to make its route to school safer for students.

The Village of Liberty, Illinois is turning to the state in hopes of getting its wish granted.

Rose Schoonover’s two children attend Liberty Elementary School and she also works as a paraprofessional in that school district.

“There’s no sidewalk along the street to the school, but children are trying to walk to school on it as cars are trying to drop off and pick up students,” Schoonover said. “There will be children walking down the road and then traffic can’t get through. We’ll also see children walking in ditches just to get to school.”

That’s why Liberty wants to ditch that safety hazard.

The village has collected signatures to apply for an Illinois Department of Transportation grant through its Safe Routes to School program.

“It’s sponsored by IDOT and funded by federal means,” Village President Stacy Clark said. “It’s available this year for sidewalk installations. We have a street that does not have a sidewalk on it.”

The village is gathering support at

That’s where community members and parents can also submit feedback.

“Safety is really of the utmost concern,” Clark said. “The grant is available because it’s only available every other year. This grant season is the maximum $250,000.”

That money would be used to create more room for walkers, runners, bicyclists and drivers along a busy road to alleviate safety concerns.

“We have cross-country kids that have to run in the road,” Schoonover said. “You’ll see people walking their dogs in the road. It’s just concerning. Even for the kids, for the parents, everyone. It just seems like something bad is going to happen at some point if we don’t do something.”

The grant application must be submitted by Oct. 2.

Liberty Village President Stacy Clark said community surveys and petition signatures play a large role in the application process.

Therefore, residents and parents are asked to log onto the Liberty Safe Routes to School petition website to pledge their support.

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