Students frustrated after city installs gate blocking them from public road

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Even with several signs posted in advance, the new gate along Stanton Road is forcing several drivers to flip a U turn and head back around after they confirm the road is indeed closed.

Students noticed almost right away.

“I was confused as to why we had it, it’s a public road, it’s a public neighborhood so I didn’t know why we were blocking it off,” UCCS Student Skyler DiGirolamo explained.

She's started a petition to get the gate taken down which now has more than 300 signatures.

Still the city says this was an agreement they came to with the Eagle Rock neighborhood to intentionally stop college kids from driving along the road to get to different parts of the campus.

“To the students I’m sorry if it’s not as convenient but for example if all drivers going through had followed speed limits it would have been a lot safer," Division Manager of Traffic Engineering Kathleen Krager said.

The neighborhood says the extra traffic from students driving was noisy and unsafe. Now that the gate is installed, only emergency crews and maintenance crews are allowed through blocking the road for the neighbors too..

Still students are frustrated that a public road had a gate built on it with city money essentially keeping them from using a public road.

“I think the city should have discussed it with the students and every other community member,” DiGirolamo states.

Traffic engineers say the difference is the road was not built as a through road for the college, it was built for the neighborhood. They add not all public roads are intended for public use.

UCCS has been working on a plan to add a "Spine road" that would connect the parts of campus now blocked by the gate. The problem for students is that they have had the plan in development for a long time and little progress has been made.

The city did say they would be willing to help chip in to build that alternative road because it would ease up on some of the traffic that will be pushed to other streets now that this gate has been installed.