Winter Driving on Icy Steep Streets
Winter driving on Colorado Springs streets can be dangerous because of the hilly steep terrain with main thorofares following up and down the hills. After a snowstorm these streets can be nearly impassable. Melting snow from a day's bright sunshine can freeze overnight, making the streets glare ice. One morning after an overnight snowfall over 100 accidents on Austin Bluffs Boulevard were reported to the local police in less than one hour!
The steep boulevard runs east west and goes right past the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, with a morning and evening rush hour. On the steep icy streets your brakes are useless in stopping your car. Drive slowly and downshift for engine braking. Just try to steer opposite the skid out of danger's way. Gently pumping your brakes may help regain directional control if you do NOT have anti-skid brakes on your car.
The morning news on the car radio that morning rush hour simply advised colliding motorists to exchange insurance information, and just call the police later in the day unless there were injuries. The city police simply were overwhelmed with no chance to respond.
If an accident is on the Interstate 25, call the Colorado Highway Patrol at (303) 239-4501. This is a 24 hour line. Two Colorado Springs Police Department telephone numbers are given below. Or in an emergency-call 911.
The other result of freezing weather is to create what is known as frost heaves on the streets and freeways. Melting water in a crack in the roadway freezes and expands, lifting and cracking the surface road material. In the winter the main north south Interstate 25 that goes to Denver from Colorado Springs gets actual craters in its surface and, at 70 miles per hour, can do real damage to a car's wheels, tires and suspension. The rental agencies have 4-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles at premium rates. If you are going up mountain roads, consider these rentals, but reserve ahead. Snow tires will be on all other rental vehicles in the winter here.
- Business Travel
- Road Trip
The Garden of the Gods - the roads
Most of the Garden of the God’s roads are one-way, so watch for signs and try not to turn wrong way. Also the speed in the park is supposed to be slow, so don’t be afraid to spend time watching surroundings driving slowly. Customarily, car drivers behind you understand and don’t show their impatience. Watch for deer and other animals in the park, you will see them often on the roads.
- National/State Park
Safety in the Rockies
There are places that you should not hike or rock climb, especially in the spring , they are usually identified. First recommendation is: if there is a sign that says DON'T then you really shouldn't - you'd be surprised by the rock climbing accidents, or people fallen down mountains because they ignored the warnings...
We have bears and mountain lions so don't keep food in your tent or trash around your campsite.
The sun is intense -wear sunscreen and hat, even when its cold.
There are a lot of lightening strikes(spring/summer), if there is a storm seek shelter, get away from tall objects and lay low off the ground - like on your backpack.
helpful hints: http://www.rockymountainrescue.org/assets/pdfs/SafetyBrochure.pdf.
- Hiking and Walking
Very conservative police department
Dont littler, be profane or do anything questionable passing through El Paso or Douglas Counties you might get arrested and sent to the jailhouse.
The police are very strict (like Denver) and the people call them alot here
Seven Falls is a Fluke
My friend and I went to this waterfall and there wasn't much too it. You could go hiking once you get up this death trap on a pipe. You basically scale up the falls, wobbling as you go. I'm not afraid of heights, but this scared me. I thought the thing was going to fall down. There isn't much to this and its not worth the $7 or $8 that it cost to get in.
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
Unfortuantly a lot of the...
Unfortuantly a lot of the people here don't know how to drive in the snow. There are a lot of accidents when there is only a couple of inches on the ground. They are quite frequently caused by people who think that their SUVs are designed to be driven at high speed in any conditions.
The Colorado Springs "ghetto" is a small, suburban area near downtown. It is mainly on Fillmore Street and surrounding areas. It is not a good idea to go there at all, especially at night. There is a lot of drunks/homeless, gangs, and prostitutes in this area. If you must, go in the day. I have a friend that lives on Fillmore and he says he hears gunshots every night. I was walking on Fillmore from my friends house to a restaurant when some gangsters flew by in an old car and shot up a building(probably aiming for the people inside) with an automatic. "That was one of the many drive-by shootings that occur daily," my friend said.You could get shot or even killed by somebody who wants something of yours. Remember to stow away expensive-looking items if you leave your car. There is picture of some of the housing projects on fillmore street.
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
The town itself is about 7000 feet above sea-level. It takes some time to adjust to it if you are not used to it. I'm serious about this. I'm from Europe and do lots of sports regularly, so I thought that playing in a soccer game 4 days after my arrival wouldn't harm me. Well, I almost passed out at half time!!! The air is very thin up there, so let your body some time to adjust before doing anything of physical extenuation (i.e. hiking up Pikes Peek which is on 14.000 feet!!!!)
Colorado Springs seemed, upon...
Colorado Springs seemed, upon my first visit here, a magical place. And it is. It is also a city, with crime. I don't think the crime rate is all that bad here, but there is still a night-long flight by what I think is a police helicopter, every night, searching for bad guys. So, either the cops here do a really good job, or crime isn't that big a problem. One thing I will say about crime, is that there seem to be a lot of homeless people here. Either they are just more visible, or I need to spend more time in cities. They might ask for some money, and leave it at that, but there have been a few incidents where they have attacked people, even in broad daylight, on a public path (Monument Creek Trail). That's few and far between.
When driving around the city,...
When driving around the city, watch out for school zones. The speed limit is 25 mph in these areas, and you really don't want to exceed that, if not for the kids' safety, than for the fact that the cops love these areas, because not only are you breaking the speed limit, but it's in a school zone, so they probably get to give you a bigger ticket. Anyway, seriously, go slow in these areas.
Other than that, I haven't seen too many undercover cars. I haven't driven that much there either, so I'm sure they exist. They do, however, have a huge mosquito of a helicopter which buzzes annoyingly about the city. The few police I've come in contact with were nice, decent guys.
I have lived in North Carolina, Tampa Bay, FL, Kosovo, and Germany and I think that the people of Colorado Springs are the absolute worst drivers I've experience anywhere. For the first 8 months we lived here, my husband and I would remark on how awful they are almost anytime we got in a car. He believes it's due to oxygen difficiency at this altitude.
If you are from an elevation...
If you are from an elevation under 7,000 ft. please do not get off the bus and try to do anything of physical extenuation. You may become faint or pass out because the air is very thin at the elevations in Colorado.
The roads going up the...
The roads going up the mountains are typically narrow and sometimes steep. Make sure you get breaks and everything checked before going up. And be careful going down--breaks can start smoking! Oh and enjoy the signs('Leaving the road is strictly prohibited'--considering, to leave you'd have to scale a very huge, steep rock, or fall down a couple hundred feet--in other words, unless you're desperate, there's really no place you could go.) SO, be careful!!
Fillmore Ghetto? Warning post in error
Other poster's pic of tall brick buildings does NOT look like Fillmore street--what ghetto is he talking about? I think the photo is a mistake--
Low fast food buildings, & small businesses ARE what line Fillmore, NORTH of the downtown area, where Nevada Street has it's 'Route 66' style motels and funky little businesses. Not what I would highlight for visitors but not a ghetto. Locals go to shop or get KFC chicken. Or go to the Omelet Parlor for good breakfasts.
As far as I know the city has built no high rise project housing. I live here. The photo resembles office towers downtown. (the lofts in these go for ++$250,000)
There are homeless persons near downtown, esp. near soup kitchens and assistance ministries. Ghetto? If we have those, they take the form of single family homes that are run down and tiny, e.g. between downtown and Memorial Park. Even there, the mix includes houseproud tenants who keep up their end, even as neighbors struggle economically.
You will not be struck by the sight of an urban ghetto if you visit downtown Colorado Springs. You may see homeless people. You may see 'marginalized' vets near the W. Bijou St. bridge, with VA facilities located just west of the freeway, and St. Mary's sees some traffic in helping homeless near there, too. You will see broad boulevards with great trees in grassy medians, bronze sculptures, historic houses and buildings of all different and interesting architecture. Few towns were planned as well as the one William Jackson Palmer envisioned with the building of his railroad and the town of Colorado Springs. There are 1,000s of acres of parkland set aside here, thanks to him.
Most of us feel very safe walking downtown along Tejon Street, grabbing a meal in one of the restaurants, or going to a movie or the french bakery. I don't work for the city or the chamber of commerce---but I do live downtown, which I much prefer to the 'Little Boxes' or the ' McMansions' covering the hills east of Academy Blvd. Come see for yourself!
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
Lions, Bears Oh my...
Important information to remember when hiking/biking/running in black bear & mountain lion country:
Black bear and mountain lion are more active at dawn and dusk. Also, black bear can be active at all times of the day/night, searching for food prior to hibernation.
A mountain lion's predatorial instinct can be activated by things that are going fast or are small and making high-pitched sounds (esp. during the times they're most active).
Keep small children close to you and don't let them run ahead or lag behind on the trail.
Use extra caution where hearing or visibility is limited: in brushy areas, near streams, where trails round a bend or on windy days.
Reduce your chances of surprising a bear or mountain lion by talking, singing or wearing bells during the times they're more active.
Always have your dog on a leash.
Unless there's a bear-proof trash can around, take any garbage with you.
Mountain lions cover their prey with dirt, leaves, etc. and return to feed until it spoils. If you encounter leftover prey while hiking, calmly leave the area immediately. You could be seen as a threat if the mountain lion should return. (Note: It's uncommon for mountain lion to leave prey by a trail, but it has happened.)
Avoid berry patches in the fall
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