Highlands Ranch has experienced a tremendous growth in the last
few years. Personally I think Highlands Ranch has experienced too
much growth and is beyond its peak. Of course - builders and land
developers will see this different as they only want to cash in.
But quality of life has dropped significantly.
People who move into the latest development areas might not see
the problems as apparent but people closer to the C-470 / County
Line Road corridor will think different. Need to go to work downtown
or in the DTC you will have to use Highway 85, Lucent Blvd., Broadway,
University, Colorado Blvd. or Quebec Street to get out of the Ranch.
Now look at a map of Highlands Ranch to see the bottle necks. 75,000+
people and only a handful of exit roads to the north. One major
exit road to the east, none to the south. So, everyone living in
the northern parts of Highlands Ranch will pay the price for the
extended and unnnecessary growth.
As being somebody who takes advantage
of public walkways and open space areas I ran into many situations
with other residents of Highlands Ranch. I walk my dog frequently
in different areas of the Ranch. Almost every other day there is
an encounter with other dogs and ignorant dog owners. Dogs run
around off leash and the owner does not have the animal under control
- or worse - does not care what his animal does. In case I complain
I get rude responses - in one case the other party tried to follow
me in the dark to find out where I live. A little research of mine
showed a stunning surprise. The rude person who was stalking me
is the priest of a local church. I wonder what his church members
would say if they would find out about the behavior of their priest.
In other cases when we take our newborn with us for a walk we
run into problems trying to use the stroller on the public walkways.
People park their cars on walkways or block public property in
many other different ways. The best thing so far was the guy who
opened the door of his car so that the walkway was blocked and
did not close it when we tried to get by - forcing us with the
stroller onto the street.
Others seemed to be annoyed by people who take dogs for a walk.
Many people just lock their dogs into the backyard and never walk
them. These dogs bark a lot every time another dog is walked outside
on public walkways. Then the same people who lock their dogs in
the backyard look at you as if they want to kill you. "How
can you dare to walk your dog and make ''my' dog bark?". The
best thing that happened was that I was being asked why I would
be walking my dog all the time. Duh .....
Traffic has become horrible over
the last 2-3 years. 50% of the drivers are acting extremely aggressive.
Expect to being cutoff no matter where you go. Do not show a
finger or look at these aggressive drivers. It happened to us
several times that people followed us after they cut us off and
saw us complaining. One guy even tried to push me off the road
but had to get away fast when he saw a cop car coming that was
on regular patrol.
There is also an easy explanation why the
USA always had some of the fastest runners on short distances
(e.g. 60 yds./100 meters) in the world. Have you tried to cross
Highlands Ranch Parkway in some areas where there is no traffic
light? Cars don't slow down for pedestrians - they rather seem
to accelerate. Even when senior citizens try to make it to
the other side - people do not slow down.
Are living close to a major street
in Highlands Ranch? I am sure you are familiar with the noise
level. The concrete surface makes driving cars really noisy.
It gets even better.
Since everyone and his grandma seem to have
a Harley Davidson it apparently has become necessary to standout
from the crowds of motorcycles. The only way this seems to
be possible is by raising the noise level of a motorbike. You
get attention when people know you are coming even if you are
still 3 miles away in the distance. We have seen people riding
one of these noisy bikes but needed ear plugs himself to not
be bothered by the noise of his own motorcycle. Duh .....
If we would have known how many
traffic lights can put into a row on a normal street - we would
have invested our money into stocks of companies who build traffic
lights. The area around the new town center between Broadway
-> Highlands Ranch Parkway -> Wildcat Reserve Parkway has
become a bad example for traffic light usage.
It's almost impossible
to drive at regular speed and not to be stopped at 75% of all
traffic lights. Are you surprised about high speeds in Highlands
Ranch? Try to go from the west side of town on Highlands Ranch
Parkway to the Eastridge Recreation Center. Depending on how
traffic lights turn out (red or green) it easily adds about
5-10 minutes to your drive. Now put into consideration wear and
on your car and breaks as well as additional gasoline usage
for that stop and go driving. It would be much easier to a) use
traffic lights more efficient and b) by coordinating traffic
light red and green phases. Until this happens, speeding gets
encouraged to make it through the next green light, noise levels
go up and gasoline is wasted. Way to go Highlands Ranch.