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Portion of Lookout Mountain Road could close to cars at night under new proposal

Jefferson County data shows the mountain is busier at midnight than it is at 10 a.m. on weekends.
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Posted at 9:27 AM, Jan 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-07 12:47:39-05

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — Lookout Mountain attracts visitors for its breathtaking views and countless trails. But despite posted park hours, Jefferson County Open Space said the mountain is becoming even more popular once the sun goes down.

Mobility data, law enforcement contacts, trash, and significant property damage, according to the county, show the mountain is busier at midnight than it is at 10 a.m. on weekends.

“Driving you can definitely see this is a high-traffic area for sure,” said Meredith Britton, a frequent visitor to the area.

It didn’t take long for us at Denver7 to find broken bottles and other trash left behind.

To fix the problem, Jefferson County Open Space and several partners are proposing to close a portion of Lookout Mountain Road to cars at night.

They would close a roughly four-mile stretch near the bottom of the Chimney Gulch Trailhead and another on the road near the top of the mountain.

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Sean Searley lives just off Lookout Mountain Road.

“It’s not uncommon most nights to hear racing after-hours sometimes into the early morning hours,” said Searley.

He said the closure could be an effective way to keep illegal activity under control, but acknowledges some neighbors have concerns.

“The bigger concern is the police will have that area of the mountain under control and the spillover is just going to happen to other sides of it, outside of the closed area,” said Searley.

Britton said controlling access in other ways could help cut down on crime.

“Do you apply for a permit like at a National Park? Or do you do something in a way that’s going to protect safety? We know people are coming out here and using it safely,” said Britton.

According to Jefferson County Open Space, the proposal would allow law enforcement and emergency responders to open and close the gates remotely and manually. Pedestrians and bicyclists would have access to the gates when they are closed. The gates would also be opened for emergencies and to accommodate roadway closures.

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