PALMER LAKE – There’s major congestion problems on roads like Highway 105 as the ongoing Gap Project on I-25 is causing more people to use this route and others to avoid interstate traffic.
However, it’s creating problems for people who live in communities like Palmer Lake and Larkspur. Some say traffic has doubled since construction started. Highway 105 (which turns into Spruce Mountain Road) is only a two-lane road and with more people using it getting in and out of places has become a huge headache.
“This was a dirt road so it was much different and there wasn’t a lot of traffic,” said Cynthia Doyle who has been part of the Larkspur and Palmer Lake communities for 40 years.
She said the people who used Highway 105 back then were “pretty much locals only.”
Doyle shared that traffic has increased over the years, but now it’s really an issue. With the Gap Project happening on I-25 there’s an uptick in drivers using the highway as a detour.
“It’s unfortunate what it’s doing to this little area…taking away the small town atmosphere and convenience of getting to the interstate or getting to Monument, going north or south.”
She believes the detour seems to be helping local businesses. However, she said, “On weekends you can hardly pass. You can’t get out of your business or your residence and that’s kind of a hindrance, plus the wear and tear on our road.”
For K.T. Trombley, owner and chef at Bella Panini, his issue is the number of drivers who aren’t familiar with the town and end up speeding.
“If you’re not used to it there’s almost like a blind corner when you come from the north…next thing you’re right in the center of town.”
With a large deer population and kids in the area he thinks “it could be a real safety issue if people aren’t aware.”
Another thing to keep in mind is that the Renaissance Festival starts next week in Larkspur and it draws thousands of people to the area. Doyle believes traffic from this event combined with the construction is going to make the commute in the area a nightmare.