COLORADO SPRINGS — A proposed expansion of the Banning Lewis ranch development on the Springs’ far east side could be bringing lots of homes, and lots of traffic with it.
Colorado Springs city council members voted recently to continue with the process of getting the over 800 acres of land that would make up the Banning Lewis Ranch North development annexed into the city.
The development would bring up to 2900 homes on both sides of Woodmen Road between Mohawk Road and Golden Sage Road.
It won’t all happen at once, most likely it would take over a decade to completely build out, according to city planners.
For nearby residents notified of the proposal, a common theme emerged in their responses to the city's notice.
“Woodmen is becoming a traffic nightmare.” one resident wrote the city.
“Please stop adding homes until Marksheffel is widened,” another wrote.
City traffic engineers agreed too. Their models show Woodmen Road will need help.
“If you just take the traffic generated by Banning Lewis North, it would represent, in these 20-year projections, at least 16-18 percent of the traffic, roughly, on Woodmen road,” Colorado Springs Traffic Engineering Manager Todd Frisbie said.
If that projection holds true, Woodmen’s current two lane each way design would not be able to handle future traffic.
“It’s showing a need for three lanes,” Frisbie said.
In fact, Woodmen is already showing signs of nearing capacity.
“What’s interesting about that, is you're going to need three lanes of traffic, even if BLR North doesn’t develop,” Frisbie said.
He said minimally, Woodmen will need to be expanded to three lanes each way from Powers to Golden Sage in the near future.
That’s also taking into account future road expansions and extensions in the area.
A spokesperson for the developer, Nor’wood Development Group, told City Council, with plans calling to extend the new Banning Lewis Parkway and Marksheffel Road north past Woodmen, combined with plans to extend Research Parkway and Briargate Parkway east to connect with them, that would give drivers more options to avoid Woodmen road, easing congestion.