LARKSPUR, Colo. (KDVR) — The Renaissance Festival is in full swing which means hundreds of thousands of people are traveling from all over the country to check it out. It’s a good boom for local businesses but some neighbors are frustrated with the amount of traffic they are seeing this year.
“I googled just to see from Castle Rock to the Ren Fest and sure enough it sends you right through this residential area,” Eric Beavers, a Larkspur local who has lived there for 12 years said.
Beavers said every Saturday and Sunday morning the traffic starts to flood in around 9 a.m. He said usually by 10 a.m. there hundreds of cars sitting bumper to bumper just feet from his front door.
“Everyone in Sageport is frustrated. You can’t get out of your driveway if you live on this two miles of residential road,” Beavers said.
Beavers said this year it seems like more people compared to years past. The festival was canceled last year because of the pandemic.
“Maybe everyone is pent up thinking thank God I can go to the Ren Fest this year. How can I get there faster?” Beavers said.
He stated one of the main blames for all the traffic on his quiet neighborhood street is apps like Google maps and waze. He stated if you type in the Renaissance Festival address these apps give you the option to cut 25 minutes off your commute by driving through his neighborhood.
“It doesn’t seem like they can handle that amount of traffic they are getting in the first few hours,” Beavers said.
Another worry neighbors expressed to FOX31 and Channel 2, is they don’t feel safe having their children play outside because there are so many cars.
“This morning the girls wanted to ride their bikes. We came out here and thought no there’s too much traffic,” Beavers said.
He and other neighbors also said they wish the festival organizers would add more entrances so cars can get into the parking lots quicker.
“The parking is free. Just get the people off the road and get them parked,” Beavers said.
Festival organizer, Jim Paradise said he has no control on which route people take to get to the festival grounds but he doesn’t like to hear that people are driving through private residential neighborhoods.
“Take I-25 to exit 173, then one mile off I-25 at Larkspur and it’s a direct route. There is no reason people need to go through neighborhoods,” Paradise said.
Paradise said they’ve had a busy first few weeks but the numbers aren’t significantly higher compared to previous festivals.
“We have been more constant through the first three weekends after a year off. People are looking forward to being outside,” Paradise said.
The festival, according to Paradise, is working with Colorado State Patrol and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office to help with traffic.