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Small metro Denver suburb approves plan for gates to block drivers during morning and evening rush

Town of Foxfield: Short-cut drivers are too much
Posted at 9:52 PM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-11 09:09:35-05

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FOXFIELD, Colo. -- There's a small community in the southern part of the Denver metro area that wants to put up gates on public roads.

Residents from the Town of Foxfield, which is about 1 square mile, say they're fed-up with the traffic, and the way to control it is to block it entirely during rush hour.

Maybe you’ve never heard of Foxfield, which sits right in between Centennial and Parker, on the east side of Parker Road, but thousands of drivers know it well.

“I go through it because traffic is always really backed up getting off of Parker Road onto Arapahoe,” said driver Nikki Korkowski.

"I think people discovered driving through Foxfield,” said Foxfield resident Karen Christensen.

The town of about 800 is now proposing gates at two main entrance/exit points, blocking access during the morning and evening rush.

"There’s a lot of pass-through traffic," Christensen said.

But Foxfield’s closest neighbor, the City of Centennial, has some serious concerns about the gate plan.

“We always want to work with our neighbors, but we do have concerns with the traffic," said Jeff Dankenbring, director of public works for Centennial. “We want to look out for the interests of our citizens, as well. And, if you eliminate the cut-through traffic, which we experience all through the Denver metro area, then where is that extra traffic going?”

Dankenbring said ultimately, there’s a safety issue as well, if drivers are forced to turn around.

“Not only from a delivery truck standpoint, but also emergency vehicles, snow plows. Their citizens use our roads and our citizens use their roads," he said.

Foxfield's mayor said in a statement Tuesday night that all maintenance and future resurfacing is the responsibility of Foxfield homeowners.

"The traffic has become increasingly problematic both in volume and speeding. The Town does not have sidewalks and it is dangerous for residents to walk," said Lisa Jones, mayor of the Town of Foxfield.

While two gate locations are recommended, there are still about a half dozen other entrances to Foxfield that would not be gated. The gates will be paid for by the Town of Foxfield.

The town submitted plans to Centennial, CDOT and fire services for comment.

South Metro Fire told Denver7 on Tuesday the gates would need either a Knox Box key box for fire access or an Opticom system. Opticom is a special light on top of emergency vehicles that changes red lights to green if an emergency vehicle is approaching. It is also capable of automatically raising gates equipped with the same technology when emergency vehicles approach.

Neighbors say, without sidewalks, the increasing traffic makes walking with kids and pets dangerous.

“It’s super frustrating,” said a homeowner. “I’d like to be able to get out of my driveway and take my kids to school without having to wait for the traffic. And we don’t have sidewalks, so speeding traffic is dangerous."

While the plan is controversial, even many of the cut-through time-savers can respect it.

“I understand not wanting a bunch of cars going through their neighborhood,” Korkowski said. “Especially when they can't always guarantee people are going the speed limit and the neighborhood doesn’t have sidewalks."

Still, there are lingering questions.

“I like the idea on the surface, but I don’t know about activation. I don’t have any answers about how [that would work with] visitors,” Christensen said.

Foxfield does not have a contract for constructing the gates at this time.