COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A petition to ban traffic on Lower Gold Camp Road through North Cheyenne Cañon Park has gathered nearly 200 signatures in less than a week.
The petition, posted on the website change.org, is titled "Keep Gold Camp Road Closed" and seeks to permanently keep traffic off a stretch between the paved road on the north side of the park to its connection with North Cheyenne Cañon Road on the park's upper south side.
The post's creator, listed on the site as Charles Gage, wrote that Lower Gold Camp Road, and the park itself, are overwhelmed with traffic and trash, and expressed concern about wildfire danger in the area.
Gage wrote that he started the petition after a large boulder fell on the road a week ago, blocking access by vehicles, and he doesn't think the current project to expand the upper south side parking lot will ease traffic congestion.
The road also is closed, along with North Cheyenne Cañon Road, for most of this month to keep traffic out of the construction area. But many people were walking the road Tuesday, hoping to see the boulder.
The petition calls for closing the road to traffic and establishing a shuttle service similar to the one in place at nearby Seven Falls, even though many neighbors have complained about that service as being too slow, too noisy and only adding to traffic congestion.
Gage was unavailable for comment Tuesday.
Many people who regularly visit the park, or live near it, have mixed feelings about whether the petition's intent is a good idea.
"I'm using the road as a mountain biker and from that perspective, we wouldn't need the shuttle," said Chris Mack. "So I can't say I would sign a petition in favor of the shuttle. But I would sign a petition in favor of closing the road."
Karen Top said that problems on the road aren't from tourists but from locals who enjoy hanging out in the somewhat remote area.
"There's a lot of partying out here, a lot of rowdiness," she said. "We can hear it from our homes. If the petition would help reduce that, then it's a win-win situation.
Phil Anello said that he didn't think much about the petition until he went to the road Tuesday.
"That's why we ended up coming here today because we realized that it was closed and we decided to just walk it," he said. "This is the first time where it was beautiful and nobody's around. But on the weekends, it's just nuts."
A pair of college students biking on the road were likewise split on the subject.
"I still feel like people should be able to drive up, if they want to take their dog or their bike to do trails up there," said Seyonna Lovejoy. "And I feel like the shuttles are slow and people are already annoyed with The Broadmoor shuttles."
Jack Campbell said that he'd support shuttles under certain conditions.
"I think it might be good to do it one way, like coming up through the canyon versus the Gold Camp stretch here, because this is a very dangerous section of road," he said.
City officials said that when they were forming a master plan for the park in 2018, they sought public feedback and there was no concern expressed about managing traffic; so officials decided to continue with the status quo.
Keeping the park and the road open to vehicles, officials said, allows the disabled -- and others unable to walk, hike or bike -- an opportunity to enjoy the park.
The affected stretch of Lower Gold Camp Road is on U.S. Forest Service property. A spokesman said Tuesday that although the agency will meet with local authorities before deciding on any changes, the matter of starting a shuttle service "is a complex decision and is studied extensively before a final determination is made."