Curious Colorado: Why so many “Cheyenne” streets?

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Nestled beneath Cheyenne Mountain sits Cheyenne Mountain Junior High School, located on Cheyenne Road. Or, is it Boulevard?

“It’s either Cheyenne Mountain or Cheyenne Boulevard,”  John Orinjok said with confidence. “Cheyenne something.”

He’s not alone in his geographical challenges – especially when it comes to navigating all the streets that share the Cheyenne name.

Judy Johnson picks her up kids at the school every day and knows the area well.

“This would be Cheyenne Mountain Boulevard,” she incorrectly told us.

“It’s confusing. I just know I get where I need to go,” Johnson said.

Kimberly Fitch moved to the area from Texas about four months ago. She admits her dog might have a better sense of direction when walking in the neighborhood.

“Well, the Cheyenne Mountains are right there. So it makes sense, but why put so many so close to each other?” Fitch said. “It’s confusing. We actually just got lost and ended up walking for an hour.”

Bailey Rayter is visiting from Vancouver, Canada.  He was cycling near Cheyenne Cañon, trying to find his way up the mountain.

“The people are very nice here as they gave me directions, but it’s hard not going in circles with all the Cheyenne roads, boulevards and cañons,” Rayter said.

Megan and Jarrod Plantenga live on Cheyenne Boulevard.

“This runs parallel to Cheyenne Road like most of them, but I still use my phone to navigate between them,” Megan said.

“When we give friends directions to our house, we always get calls from Cheyenne Boulevard because the GPS even messes up,” Jarrod said.

Bootsy Jones is Public Safety Street Naming Administrator for the city of Colorado Springs. He makes sure there aren’t any duplicated names so people can pinpoint where they are, especially in times of emergencies.

“They Cheyennes are out of control,” Jones said. “That goes way back a long way when it wasn’t really enforced.”

Jones also said even though there are at least 14 Cheyenne roads, another Cheyenne road would be permitted “as long as it’s not repeating another existing street.”

Here’s a list of the 16 Cheyennes we found:

  • Cheyenne Mountain Road
  • West Cheyenne Road
  • Cheyenne Road West
  • North Cheyenne Canyon Road
  • South Cheyenne Canyon Road
  • Cheyenne Mountain Boulevard
  • West Cheyenne Mountain Boulevard
  • East Cheyenne Mountain Boulevard
  • Cheyenne Meadows
  • Cheyenne Villas Point
  • Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road
  • Cheyenne Mountain Highway
  • Cheyenne Avenue
  • Cheyenne Summer View
  • East Cheyenne Road
  • Cheyenne Boulevard

Matt Mayberry of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum said the roads reflect the area’s early founders.

“The Cheyenne, Native Americans, settled here,” Mayberry said. “The roads in the south were outside of the city and home to farms and ranches. They reflected the name of the mountain, the creek and surroundings.”

For others, like the Pantengas, Cheyenne is a special name.

“That’s the name of our daughter,” Megan said. “So when we saw the house on Cheyenne, we knew we’d remember the name.”

Finding the right Cheyenne on a map? That’s a different story.

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