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Highlands Ranch - The Disadvantages

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.

Example 1:
People are rude
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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 .....


Example 2:
Road Rage
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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.


Example 3:
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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 sure 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 .....


Example 4:
Traffic lights
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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 tear 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 less 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.


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