COLORADO SPRINGS – A concerned parent reached out to news 5 after he says the Air Force Academy’s decision to close the North Gate entrance to D-20 students and faculty is causing traffic delays and danger for his daughter.
Barry Schiff’s daughter’s commute usually starts on Woodmen and I-25.
She jumps on the northbound ramp and gets off on North Academy Boulevard, where she enters the Air Force Academy’s campus through the South Gate.
But recently, her drive time has doubled.
“Her commute was moving from 20 minutes to 40 minutes to 45 minutes to 50 minutes,” Schiff explained.
That’s because now, D-20 students and faculty can only use the South Gate, before they’d use the North Gate, too.
Schiff says he’s worried more cars could mean more accidents.
“I think this increases the odds of accidents there and that’s a concerning factor for me,” he said.
The Air Force Academy responded to these concerns in a statement to News 5, which states they concluded there is “no evidence” to link gate procedures to an “unsafe traffic situation.”
The full statement is included below:
“The safety and security of everyone on the Air Force Academy is our number one concern. Since 2014, installation policy has been that D-20 students, faculty and staff are to enter through USAFA’s South Gate only and this has recently been reinforced. We have coordinated with local Law Enforcement and found no evidence to support the belief that gate procedures for Air Academy High School is causing an unsafe traffic situation. Our team has taken a great deal of time, thinking through the installation’s security posture, including gate manning and base entry procedures, to ensure optimal traffic flow for our community partners is balanced with travel of US Air Force Academy faculty and staff to meet our mission requirements.”
Schiff got his own response when he reached out to the base commander.
“[I] informed him that i was concerned about not only the quality of life, delay decisions, but potential safety decisions because of the huge back-up.”
Colonel Shawn Campbell replied, saying while it may be an inconvenience, the change allows their staff get to their stations more quickly.
Schiff says while the response was polite, the academy has made it clear there won’t be any changes in the future.
“Unfortunately, it was a reply that said ‘my decision stands.'”
The gate policy which only allows d-20 students and staff to enter through the South Gate has actually been in place since 2014, but it’s only recently been strictly enforced and will continue to be enforced this way.