Where the pavement ends, the problems begin in Pioneer Village.
Private dirt roads in this section of the Rancho Colorado subdivision west of the Pikes Peak International Raceway on the eastern edge of Fort Carson are not for the faint of heart. They're rugged, peppered with potholes and ruts, the kind of trails pioneers trekked on when covered wagons were the main mode of travel.
The thing is, it's 2013.
Vehicles get damaged. First responders can't find the roads because they're not on GPS. The roads that do show up on satellite are inaccurate, residents say.
Once given the correct directions, ambulances and fire trucks can still have problems. They have to drive slowly because of the road conditions, lengthening response times. If it rains, they can get stuck.
"We've had one guy killed," said Jim Rice, a retired colonel from Fort Carson, who is among those spearheading an effort to improve road conditions. "We've had multiple people wreck and get hurt. I've personally pulled firetrucks out of the mud."
Residents of this high desert island south of Colorado Springs will vote in November to form a Public Improvement District to fund road repair and maintenance on its 16 miles of private roads.
Roughly 100 families will determine if they want to pay around $30 a month - enough to generate about $30,000 a year to pay a contractor to grade roads with a small sum for repair work, Rice said.
It's been a long time coming.
Rice said the subdivision was created in the 1970s, but he estimated development didn't start until about 30 years later.
He bought his house in 2007, a five-bedroom home on 5 acres.
These are large lots seemingly in the middle of nowhere, homes scattered around fields of cacti bushes three and 4-feet high, next to arroyos.
It's peaceful here, except for the rattle of machine gun fire, the thunder of artillery, the heavy thud of helicopter blades and rumble of tanks and Humvees.
That's music to the ears of some of the residents, who are, or were, in the military.
"To me, it's the sound of freedom," Rice said.
Others just get used to it.
"It can be entertaining at times," said Lydia Montgomery, who has lived in Pioneer Village since 2004. "At night, when they do the helicopters and tracers, it's kind of a fun thing to see."
Montgomery is against the tax.
Hers would jump by about 50 percent and she said she's not convinced maintenance will cure the community's road ills.
"The residents are the ones who are destroying the roads," she said. "So, basically, they want me to have an almost 50 percent increase in my taxes going to grade roads that will be destroyed a couple of days after they are graded."
Residents routinely speed on the roads, she said. They beat them up with ATVs and other recreational vehicles. After rains, a popular neighborhood sport seems to be mudding in the huge puddles that pop up, she said.
"There's a general disrespect for the community and the neighborhood to begin with," she said. "How do you expect to bring a community together for something like roads, when nobody respects their neighbors to begin with?"
Indeed, the problems with the subdivision's thoroughfares have split the community.
"This road situation has been dividing the neighborhood for years," she said. "It comes up once or twice a year."
Tami West's home is among the closest to the edge of Fort Carson.
On Aug. 14, the sound of machine gun fire could be heard from her patio.
The sounds of war being practiced virtually in her backyard don't bother her, but the roads do.
In June, she enlisted a neighbor to drive her to Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs because she was in severe pain.
"I didn't call paramedics," she said. "It would have taken them forever."
She bought her home in Pioneer Village in 2004 and put up with the bad roads until a resident was killed on High Plains View, considered one of the worst roads because of a low spot that gets flooded.
"Once the guy got killed, that's when I said 'this is it, something has to be done,' " West said.
The official cause was that the driver was going too fast for road conditions, but to some residents the question remained: How much did the poor conditions contribute to the crash?
Meantime, residents do what they can to improve the roads.
Rocks are dropped into ruts to level them. Some take their tractors and do some grading themselves. A couple of times a resident has ponied up to pay for the work.
"They've only lasted until the first rain," said El Paso County Commissioner Dennis Hisey, who has been working with Rice and West for at least three years.
Pioneer Village is in his district.
"These roads are a mess," Hisey said. "We met several times and talked about it. I told them about the PID option, but told them they would have to vote on it."
The county can't maintain the roads because they don't meet standards.
"Those roads are just so far off of meeting county standards that it just isn't feasible to try to do that," Hisey said.
Hisey estimated there are hundreds of miles of private roads in the county - many in poor condition - and residents really don't know the difference between county-maintained roads and their own private roads.
To them, he said, "a road's a road."
While there are plans for community meetings to discuss the ballot issue at Pioneer Village, the outcome is far from certain.
Rice acknowledges there is opposition.
He's paid to have grading done twice, but his own finances are limited.
"We have either passed the hat or a couple people have dug deep into their own pockets to have it done," he said. "But that doesn't have enough oomph. If we run this on the ballot and it doesn't pass, then I don't know what we would do."