Old Stage Road gate proposal – MedWheel Questions

The city of Colorado Springs has received complaints from the public about vandalism and other criminal activity off Old Stage Road. So far the solution that has been proposed would be to install a ‘time activated gate’. This could impact access to public lands off Old Stage including Frosty’s Park. Here are the questions we have at the outset.


Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates is a 501c3 nonprofit organization operating in the Pikes Peak region. Our mission is to build, share and protect inspiring trail experiences. The majority of our members are mountain bikers and this has always been our prime focus for trail use, but our membership and mission includes all legal trail users. 

Statement & Questions

MedWheel is aware of concerns about unauthorized behavior on Old Stage Road, particularly at night, and of the proposal for installing a gate to address them. Many of our members use OSR to access Jones Park, Foresters 701, Pipeline, and the substantial trail network located above behind the proposed gate. The board of MedWheel appreciates the city of COS’s consideration and feedback on the following points.

  1. The proposed gate location is entirely located on city property at the mailboxes, and therefore would be under city control. Which city department will fund and control them? 
  2. Since a gate would impact access to the national forest, what role does USFS and our Forest’s Travel Management Plan play in the planning, approval and operation of a gate in this location?  
  3. As we move toward a solution to issue, what opportunities are planned for citizens to provide input on a proposal – will there be additional opportunities in addition to the Oct 6 public meeting? (note- we are told that the city will compile input and communicate next steps, after the meeting)
  4. We assume the “Time activated” gate would be open during the day, only locked at night (otherwise MedWheel would likely oppose the installation of the gate altogether). What opening hours are proposed, and how would users seeking an early trail start be accommodated?
    1. Could a modern ‘smart’ gate enable early starts with a mobile entry that could be requested beforehand? And also to identify legitimate nighttime entries, such as by residents.
  5. We assume the proposed gate would allow pedestrians and bicyclists to continue to access the road at any time, please confirm this.
    1. Would the proposed gate allow or prevent motorcycle access?
  6. We assume the proposed gate would include considerations for emergency access. Please share the vision for 
    1. How emergency vehicles and SAR would get up through the gate to perform a rescue. What input do EPCSAR and Teller SAR have on this proposal?
    2. Could provisions be made for after-hours exit, or nighttime pickups in case a trail experience went the wrong way (not necessarily needing SAR) 
  7. What monitoring of behavior issues are currently in place, and what could be implemented to measure the benefits of a gate
    1. What metrics of success are available regarding the gate installed last year on Gold Camp? What unforeseen issues came up with the Gold Camp gate?
      1. What opportunities to adjust gate operation will be available if the data allows it?

Below is the message we received from the city about this issue.

Old Stage Road AccessCitizen concerns over public safety issues have prompted the City to engage with the community to identify how best to discourage activities along Old Stage Road that impact public safety and fire protection.
Neighborhood Meeting To discuss suggestions and options for addressing public safety concerns along Old Stage RoadTime: 6 – 7:30 p.m.Date: Thursday, Oct. 6Place: Cheyenne Mountain Junior High, 1200 W. Cheyenne Road
One option the City is considering is installing a time activated gate on Old Stage Road to replace the existing gate located just past the hairpin turn where the road surface changes from pavement to gravel. The area for the proposed new gate would be located just above the mailbox turnaround on the City’s asphalt property. The proposal is for the gate to remain open during the day and be closed one way only (heading west on Old Stage Road) in the late evening through the early morning hours.  The City seeks to gain the public’s input on several aspects of the proposed gate including how it would function, hours of access and restricted access, how property owners and their authorized guests as well as road users would gain access/egress, monitoring, and other aspects.
Other suggestions/options for addressing the public safety concerns along Old Stage Road will also be discussed during the meeting.
Location of proposed Old Stage Road gate noted by red box