Highway 115 from Penrose to Colorado Springs is one of the most dangerous roads in the state these days. On a recent Tuesday, I counted 46 18-wheelers on the road at 9:30 a.m. and 47 at 3 p.m. Lines of impatient drivers tailgated each other behind the trucks. Some passed on the right, others crossed double yellow lines to move beyond the trucks. When a straightaway came up, drivers accelerated to 80 to get around the trucks, which also speeded up. And woe to the drivers who dared to go the speed limit of 60. One was forced to move to the shoulder to allow a screaming driver to pass.
The Colorado Springs City Council recently endorsed the Transit Mix concrete mining lease on Highway 115 (News, Oct. 5). This extractive activity will increase truck traffic by an estimated 300 trips per day on this road. God help us!
And heaven help the wildlife that migrate from Fort Carson across 115 to Aiken Canyon and then to Beaver Creek Wilderness area. Highway 115 is a slaughterhouse! Every day, animals are killed — their remains litter the roadside. On Tuesday, I counted two deer (one a fine four-point buck), one raccoon, one skunk and one hawk in the morning alone. A young black bear wisely changed his mind about trying to cross 115 amid the weaving, speeding and honking.
We can only hope that the Mined Land Reclamation Board will continue to deny the Transit Mix lease on appeal. But whether or not human greed wins out, we must ensure that State Patrol officers are there to enforce the rules of the road. We must install a wildlife overpass or underpass near Aiken Canyon to allow the movement of animals to the wilderness area, as was done on Highway 9 near Kremmling, U.S. 550 near Telluride, U.S. 160 near Durango, and a planned one between Salida and Buena Vista.
Highway 115 is already dangerous for people and wildlife. Let's not make it worse.
— Peg Rooney, Penrose
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