Signs posted along Sixth Street prohibit construction parking. Rob Douglas says construction vehicles are taking up all the parking downtown.

Photo by John F. Russell

Signs posted along Sixth Street prohibit construction parking. Rob Douglas says construction vehicles are taking up all the parking downtown.

Rob Douglas: Downtown parking redux

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Rob Douglas

Rob Douglas' column appears Fridays in the Steamboat Today. He can be reached at rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.

Find more columns by Douglas here.

— In recent weeks, it has become apparent the signs stating "Absolutely No Construction Parking" posted in Steamboat Springs have become invisible to, oddly enough, construction workers. Perhaps a friendly reminder is in order.

First, let me begin with well-deserved praise.

All winter, I've watched hundreds of construction workers toil under difficult conditions. Each day, they've battled record snowfall and freezing cold with almost no recognition from those of us who will benefit for years to come from their labor.

I know I speak for many when I say thank you to these hard-working folks for the great job they do under difficult circumstances.

Because I'm appreciative, I'm hesitant to nitpick at the crews currently transforming Steamboat Springs. But pick a nit I will in hopes of preventing a replay of some of the ugliness that transpired last summer.

As a creature of habit, most days, I venture downtown to Steaming Bean Coffee, where Todd's bevy of beautiful baristas have all I need to satisfy my morning addictions - a warm smile, a warm mug of Velvet Hammer and the Steamboat Pilot &Today.

Of late, while in pursuit of my morning fix, I've noticed along Yampa Street and in the parking lot at Seventh and Yampa two items in abundant evidence. "Absolutely No Construction Parking" signs paired with absolutely parked construction vehicles.

The scene often is replete with construction workers standing by vehicles - bearing the name of the contractor they belong to - as they put on their tool belts and head off to work. And, if I happen into town later in the day, I see the same scene with the same vehicles juggled to different spots to avoid the two-hour parking restrictions while still ignoring the "Absolutely No Construction Parking" signs.

Admittedly, it's hard to find fault with anyone trying to park close to where they work. We all do it - including those who work downtown in businesses other than construction. And we should all remember that construction is, after all, the business of construction workers. So they, like us, prefer to park close to their business. Still, construction crews were last to the downtown parking dance and agreed to make use of alternative parking sites so downtown parking remains open for patrons.

Hopefully a friendly nudge now - to abide by the parking terms agreed to - will prevent a larger problem when the summer business season warms up.

But our friends in construction aren't the only ones in need of a nudge. Some among us need something far stronger.

Recall last year when there was enough ugliness directed at construction workers by passersby that, as reported by the Steamboat Pilot & Today on Sept. 3, 2007, "one construction company lost all of its flaggers, who reportedly quit the job because they were tired of receiving verbal abuse and obscene gestures from citizens and tourists."

Let's be clear. That type of abuse directed at any worker, construction or not, is intolerable, and I'd hope that the rest of us would have enough civic pride to either chastise the abuser or call the police.

The rising tensions surrounding parking and other construction issues last summer resulted in powwows between construction firms, business owners, city staff and the public. Those meetings - with Steamboat Springs' Construction Service Foreman Greg Gunn packing the peace pipe - continue on a bi-weekly basis.

I had a chat with Greg on Wednesday that left me reassured that the right man is dealing with the difficult job of balancing the needs of contractors with the needs of local businesses and customers. Greg acknowledged that in recent weeks there's been an increase in contractors not abiding with parking agreements, and he's prepared to use additional enforcement arrows from his quiver if voluntary compliance doesn't increase.

Let's hope that's not needed.

So, if I might, I'd like to offer suggestions for each of the stakeholders in our downtown business community in an attempt to reduce tensions as the summer business season approaches:

Construction site supervisors must insist contractors use the alternative parking locations the city has provided in order to keep downtown parking open for patrons of local businesses.

Downtown business owners should encourage employees to use alternative transportation and parking to keep parking available for their customers.

City Council must create long-term parking solutions.

And the rest of us?

Let's offer a smile, a hello and a thank you when we pass construction workers working hard to make Steamboat a better place.

Rob Douglas can be reached at Douglas@privacytoday.com

Comments

justathought 6 years, 7 months ago

bandmama, I also doubt Drahota's owners or an employee high enough to have a company truck works 24/7, could they be parked there for another reason?

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dave reynolds 6 years, 7 months ago

justathought has it right you cannt hav eyour cake and eat it too..it apauls me the peolpe who park in handicapped areas (and are not)they are handicapped alright mentally so disrespectful...but i also see locals and tourist parking in disignated delivery and fire zones,parked in the alleys and double parking in front of business so its not just construction workers who are guilty if we dont play by the rules how can you expect them to..its just like the driving habits of people around here

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Jason Miller 6 years, 7 months ago

These signs are not written in spanish.So how are they to know not to park there.

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id04sp 6 years, 7 months ago

Justa,

Wow. How ignorant. In a successful "small" business, the owners and managers work longer hours than anyone else.

There's an old adage (or maybe one that I just made up, but anyhow) that says, "If you're not watching the store, your employees are stealing from it."

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colowoodsman 6 years, 7 months ago

Once again RD has proven that the Today is worth exactly what I paid for it as he continues to make a fool of himself. Were it not for letters like those of Omar Campbell and Mike Turner I would think the price of the Today somewhat inflated. I appreciate Rob warning us of his mourning whereabouts so we can avoid those areas. Perhaps those guilty of parking illegaly will benifit from his lectures on civics and economics. I wish the SP&T was as concerned about the illegal aliens working here as they are about illegal parking!!!

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424now 6 years, 7 months ago

Once again Native has the right idea in regards to this issue. Parking structures need to be built.

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id04sp 6 years, 7 months ago

Seems to me that, without an ordinance that can be enforced, the signs are just BS anyway. I guess you have the right to tow abandoned vehicles off private property, but not off a road owned by the city or the county.

Mr. Douglas misses the point that construction vehicles contain tools and supplies required by construction workers. Also, such vehicles are subject to vandalism and theft if parked at a remote spot. Tools are highly pilferable, and they ain't cheap, and more than one local construction worker has had the tools of his trade stolen from a job site. In most cases, the tools belong to individuals (at least the ones you can walk off with easily) and represent a considerable investment.

I think it's a total HOOT that people move to the Colorado Rocky Mountains and can't find a place to park. A growing city in the midst of all these natural wonders is truly an abomination before God (which I guess is why people around here don't like to believe in him).

Once the construction is done, the workers will go away, and all will be well again -- except for the people who still won't be able to find a place to park.

Steamboat was a pretty girl when I moved here back in the early 90s. She's starting to show her age, however. The facelift won't cover up the underlying ugliness of people screwing each other over for a profit, and the drug abuse, and all the rest. It had to happen as long as the money kept flowing in, because towns will grow as long as you can provide income to support additional jobs and homes.

Resort town life is great for a little while. Then reality sets in. Unless you have an income that lets you pick your friends and your own schedule, it begins to suck in a year or less, and then by three years it's just like living any other place. Trouble-makers still make trouble, cheaters still cheat, liars still lie, and all the rest. The only thing we really have to offer is a -- for now -- relatively violent-crime-free town.

Human nature is the same all over. We don't have a parking problem. We have a people problem. Just suck it up until it gets better, or you get used to it, or move away to a town with less congestion. It really doesn't take me any more time to buy groceries in Hayden than to come to Safeway, and the folks in Hayden are much nicer, and generally speak English. Try it. You might like it. They've got plenty of parking available over there.

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logbuilder 6 years, 7 months ago

How about actually TICKETING them? Again and again.

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 7 months ago

Ok, A country dog comes to the city. As he was walking down the street, he sees a city dog stop and pee on a parking meter after his master put coins in it. He says; I'll be dogged, what do ya know.....pay toilets!

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papafu 6 years, 7 months ago

id04sp

With such a negative view of the people in our town, it might be time to consider a trip "Into the Wild."

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another_local 6 years, 7 months ago

id, I am pretty sure the parking agreement is enforcable. When permits were issued the conditions on everything from hours of operation to materials staging, road closures and, yes, parking were agreed to. The enforcment mechanism is a "stop work order" to require compliance. Extreme, yes, but perhaps this will get the general contactors paying attention again.

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justathought 6 years, 7 months ago

If this isn't a total hoot. I can see "no semi parking", "no passenger vehicles over ?", "no motor homes", etc. due to size, and I can see limiting the time you're allowed to park, but to limit it by occupation is discrimination. How cocky can one town get, they want the building, just not the builders... they want the gravel and paving, just not the pits... they want tourism, but they want to hand pick the tourists, the list goes on... BUT stmbt is just a friendly little mountain town with smiling welcoming locals that want to keep that down home feel. Like I said, isn't it a hoot?

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another_local 6 years, 7 months ago

Parking is not limited by occupation. A construction worker is welcome to park downtown if they are coming to dine or to shop just like anyone else. This is about mitigation of the negative impact of the work on hundreds of other people's jobs. If the hundreds of workers on the jobsites take up the parking spaces and the downtown businesses are hurt, a bunch of your neighbors will not have jobs. Or, doesn't that bother you?

You state that limiting the time for parking is OK. Do you also think it is OK to get around that by moving your truck to the next spot every two hours? Everyone needs to work together here. Asking the construction guys to respect the neighbors and follow the agreements is not unreasonable.

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AmebaTost 6 years, 7 months ago

How much work is getting done if these workers are moving there truck every two hours. This should be a concern of the contractor. "justathought" I agree, most people around here want to have there cake and eat it to. Soo many whiners and soo little time.

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David Stone 6 years, 7 months ago

In Steamboat,the parking problems go far beyond the construction workers.I am a permanently 100% disabled vetran with with a handicapped Vetran's lisence plate.Seldom am I able to find a parking spot downtown as other cars,trucks,etc.are parked in the clearly signed Handicap Parking spots.In my travels,I can think of no other town that just simply seems to ignore the restrictions and park wherever they choose.I asked a police department employee about this situation last winter and was told,"well this is Steamboat and no one here is supposed to be handicapped".So,you see it is not just the construction workers,as the police just seem to go along with the flow.

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Stephen Blinkenberg 6 years, 7 months ago

"I'm from the Government of (insert whichever) and I am here to help you find a frigging parking space."

Let's see; softball, a County Sheriff fighting a DUI and now finding a parking place. Will the madness ever end?

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424now 6 years, 7 months ago

David,

Thank you for your sacrifice. God bless you soul.

Thread,

Spread the word and point out the people who park in handicapped spaces.

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jeep 6 years, 7 months ago

when jim cook made everyone move out of westland trailer park (100+ people) he said all of his projects on main street----the workers will be parking at westland. theres your answer, give jim cook the ticket he made the mess for parking in the first place.

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 7 months ago

I don't know if I want to comment on the handicapped parking issues here. I have only harsh verbiage for those who are not disabled that park in those designated parking areas! Being a little bit facetious here, I would like to see how much the contractors will "surcharge" the project in cash because; the construction workers time to commute back and forth from job site to vehicle for tools? Oh lets see, I need my saws-all. I will travel to the park and ride 1.5 miles round trip to get the tool and waste 30 minutes! LOL! I guess, at $34.00 and hour and an average of 5 trips a day, that adds up to $85.00 in cash and 2.5 hours of productivity lost! Hmmm. Can you say construction budget override! Wouldn't this increase the traffic downtown, all in the name of parking? Could it make a development go belly up, all because budgets are spending too much because of unnecessary travel and overrides, all because someone restricted the parking? Maybe the construction workers could use the city busses to load their tool boxes on, like they do bikes. No, that would make those who ride the bus mad because, those tools would be taking all the room to sit and an inconvenience. Well, I don't have too much problem parking my pick-up downtown. If I have to walk a little, I don't mind. Walking is good for a person! Ah, the growing pains of Steamboat. I guess some would say we have a lot of them! They come in all shapes and sizes! LOL! Yeah, I can be one of them too! Have a good evening!

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housepoor 6 years, 7 months ago

don't worry, it appears all that retail space that was pre-sold is now????? and the river walk project is on hold...next ski time square will sit flattened for much longer then u expect and they continue to renew the tuggies lease...........blight

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raver 6 years, 7 months ago

just wait 'till all the tenants of all these new buildings need to park!i really doubt they will use the transit center and walk to thier million $ plus townhomes.Till Jim Cook gets shut down,get used to it!

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 7 months ago

Parking was an issue before all the construction and it only got worse with the new projects and will certainly get worse when they are done.

Downtown needs a minimum of two parking structures.

Several weeks ago the city was talking about expanding their space. Well why not use city land to construct a parking garage for the city and incorporate their facilities within the garage. Go vertical!

We need to beef up the shuttle service downtown at the same time. This will encourage people to head straight for the parking garages on either side of town and make them pedestrians quicker.

How many times do you all find yourself spinning in circles looking for a spot adding to the traffic bottlenecks?

Where the hell is our traffic study we spent 6 figures on?

How much parking was allocated to all these projects downtown? 1 space per unit? That means they'll be a minimum of 2-3 cars per unit by the time you add in all the people living in them or renting them.

Rob the problem isn't just construction workers. It's downtown, it's the lack of a bypass, it's the lack of parking lots, it's the ratio of units to parking spots. Parking areas are being gobbled up by development.

IT'S TIME TO DEVELOP SOME PARKING STRUCTURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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dave reynolds 6 years, 7 months ago

if i remember right when the good news building blew up they wanted to put a parking structure there nto sure why it didnt happen but know we have steambaot ski and bike care thats not a bad thing though

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bubba 6 years, 7 months ago

Coloradonative, I have never had to circle to find a spot, and I would think that the people who do circle as you describe do so to get a spot really close to where they're going. A garage on the end of town won't help them. There's a big parking lot at stockbridge that is vacant most of the time, and there are buses every ten minutes from there to town, so why aren't people using that? If parking were that bad (or if there were meters) people might park there.

With steel and concrete costing what they do these days, the construction cost alone for structured parking goes into the range of 60k PER SPACE. That is if the private sector does it, so with the city in charge, that would probably be 80-100k per space. That's a million bucks of tax money for every ten cars that don't have to park on lincoln.

Generally, more parking spaces translates to more traffic problems, because it makes it easier to drive into town, so I don't think spending 20-30 million to build a modestly sized parking structure will really alleviate any traffic. And really, I would guess that it would have to be paid parking to justify the expense, so people will still drive around looking for a free space until there are meters in town that cost more than the alternative.

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colowoodsman 6 years, 7 months ago

There's a real simple solution to the downtown parking problem that wouln't cost us a dime. Simply have RD approach each driver as they get out of their vehicles and give them a lecture on parking, tourism, civics, economics or anything else that comes to his mind and presto!- no more parking problems.

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another_local 6 years, 7 months ago

Know it all, where does your info come from. That is one of many ideas that has bounced around for a while (along with taking over the Epicurian and the Pawnshop buildings and doing a structure from 8th to 9th along Oak) but I am not aware that it is a plan that is "set".

I agree with the poster above that says they never have to circle. With the exception of events like 4th of July or the Lighted Man, I never have to park a block away from where I am going and I end up downtown for one thing or another nearly every day. I might hope to park right in front and will go around the block to get to an open space that I have already seen, but the bottom line is that we really do not have big parking issues once the construction is cleared out and the spaces blocked by the site fences are opened up again.

A by-pass is another thing alltogether. Long term, we need on and the place for it to go is behind Howelson Hill. Yes, that is the holy of holies for a very small number of preople but there really is no where else to go until the rail line goes out of use.

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mtroach 6 years, 7 months ago

Why is the space station lot now fenced off? I would think that the construction accross the street could work a deal to park over there. I think parking isn't any more a problem than the traffic. The only time I had problems parking downtown was during the height of tourist season, I had to walk a block to Mazzola's, and the hour long wait to get a table was more a hassle than the nice walk down Lincoln. Us locals need to get over the fact that we now have light traffic, and cannot park right in front of the busines we are going to, spending millions to build a bypass, or parking garage is a waste of money. We all would be better off by riding a bike once a week in the summer, or using the FREE bus. Taking 1/7 of the cars off the street would solve this problem. Let's not look to the government to spend our way out of our traffic problem.

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mtroach 6 years, 7 months ago

I hope that the Space Station opens back up. The downtown area needs a good convience store. Or any convience store for that matter...

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id04sp 6 years, 7 months ago

fudj,

I don't live in town, bubba, for exactly all these reasons. I don't even go through if I can help it.

I saw a lady take the only handicapped spot there next to Off The Beaten Path last summer, get out of her SUV, walk around and get her beach mat out of the passenger side, and stroll away merrily toward the river -- with no apparent handicap.

The reason we have parking problems in town is that the SSPD is simply not being visible and enforcing the restrictions. Somebody else can figure out why that is. Discounts for cops on condos, perhaps? People don't pay the tickets anyway, and nobody goes after them, perhaps? Is a yokel from Ohio going to pay a ticket in Colorado when they'll never drive through the state again?

Living near Steamboat was nice for a while. Now living as far away as possible seems the better choice. I didn't come here for sidewalks and multi-story facades, rude folks grubbing for space and rushing to the head of the line. There are better places to live, and better places to ski.

School is out in just about one year. Empty nest will be a reality. No further reason to stay here and struggle with the effects of overdevelopment. I think the real key to enjoying a ski town is to visit for a week or two, and then leave. I once thought you could live "on vacation" but this ain't the place anymore.

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OnTheBusGus 6 years, 7 months ago

mtroach, I drove through town yesterday and was wondering that myself. Why is the Space Station fenced off? After all this time is the developer finally going to demolish the structure? Or did the owner of the property finally get tired of locals parking there (covered!!) for free? It was a darn good parking area and funny to see tourists pull up to try to pump gas! I would rather it be used for parking (I know, at the owner's expense but they could charge for parking and make a buck!) than be fenced off and collecting windblown garbage and weeds.

ido4sp, I agree, this place isn't what it used to be. Living in a semi-retired/on vacation state was good for years but not here anymore. I'm out of here in a year or less myself to return to school and although I have had job offers for when I am done with school, I can't envision coming back because this place will never be the same. In fact, I bet it ill be worse. Good luck on your move. If you find that next great place, let me know, I'll meet you there!

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ruff 6 years, 7 months ago

Of course, once you all get to the next great place.......it won't be very great anymore.

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Hammurabi 6 years, 7 months ago

I wonder why there is never a mention of parking meters? It would accomplish several things: First, it would keep business owners and employees from parking in front of establishments where they work and second, it would become a revenue source that could support the cost of a parking structure.

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okiegal 6 years, 7 months ago

I ride my bike and never have a worry about parking.

gee Rob, maybe you could quit bitching and start being part of the solution instead of another whiner talking about how "I never have anywhere to park MY car because everyone else is driving THEIR car"

jeez you're a piece of work.

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playa46 6 years, 7 months ago

I really don't really want to comment on this because there are too many whinners here in STMBT, but I also agree with ColoradoNative. Some more parking spots would be a good idea, but think about it! It is not that hard to walk around, or perhaps people should bike to places! My dad has a good friend who I never see driving, but on a bike no matter what the weather is. So what I am saying is that a few parking spots would benifiet STMBT, but if more locals could use thier legs to move rather than push them down into pedals, we could keep parking problems (like this one) from happening. But that is just one idea, there could be a better one.

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424now 6 years, 7 months ago

We are going to add 700 acres of development.

We need to build some parking structures.

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colowoodsman 6 years, 7 months ago

I belive the owners of the Space Station, Monument Oil Co. are trying to get new tenants in there.

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id04sp 6 years, 7 months ago

Gus,

The next great place is the one you make for yourself. If everybody around here was doing that instead of waiting for someone with money and ambition to supply it to them, we'd all be happy.

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424now 6 years, 7 months ago

A bike and more importantly the use of a bike will do anyone good. So get on your bikes and ride!

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corduroy 6 years, 7 months ago

I'd like to see a parking lot with shuttles on the EAST side of town. All us South Routters who work in town have no choice but to drive into downtown. I would be all over a shuttle (assuming I could bring my dog) on the east side! Or just have the bike path go past the hotels or something so I can park there, and ride the bike to work with the dog in tow :) I'd LOVE to be on my bike instead of in my car that's for sure!

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twostroketerror 6 years, 7 months ago

Rob still won't answer his fan mail.. Who's going to build a parking structure? Does the city have land in town to build on? If it's a private (ie pay) structure, it will be 'last resort' parking. People will walk 5 blocks to save $5. If it was yours, and you had a 200 car cap, and you charged $5 a day, and it was always full, you'd pull in 365k a yr. If you turned that same space into 'multi-use' buildings w/ 1.5 parking spaces per unit, you walk away with.. how much would all of Riverwalk sell for?

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elkeye 6 years, 7 months ago

Twostroketerror...what makes you think you wont have to pay in a city parking structure?

I expect to see a fee-based parking structure and paid (meter) parking in downtown Steamboat Springs in the near future.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 7 months ago

I doubt meters will pop up on Lincoln any time soon. This will be looked at by the business owners as a way not only to keep employees from taking up parking space on Lincoln, but also keep shoppers from parking there.

Personally, I think meters along Lincoln is a great idea. The money collected could be put toward paying for the SST, and earmark any tax money that subsidizes the SST to other uses. Or, it could be put toward a SSPD officer's pay for checking vehicles parked illegally.

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playa46 6 years, 7 months ago

Parking meters sounds like a good idea, but that could get people angrier because: 1. People who work on Lincoln would have to pay to get to work (I know this happens in bigger cities, but STMBT seems to be working fine without meters) 2. People will not be able to not pay for parking because all other spots could be taken without meters.

But then again, there are lots of pros to this idea as kielbasa said above me.

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mtroach 6 years, 7 months ago

I think parking meeters are a great idea, let's all start paying for the problem we are causing. Let's face facts, most of the parking downtown is short term, putting a quarter in a meter to park is really nothing, and it would give the city a revenue source, and quantify how many people are going in and out of downtown. Knowing the demand for parking will be the first step toward solving this percieved problem. The second step is going to be finding a way to get downtown workers to quit driving to work everyday. Incentives for commuting, or using alternate methods for getting into downtown should be encouraged by business owners, and supported by local government.

playa46 says this will anger downtown workers 'cause they will have to pay to get to work, but i repond that this is just the type of incentive that will encourage people to not drive downtown, and take up a space all day.

The only way we will free ourselves from high gas prices, and our dependance on foreign oil, and traffic, and parking, and carbon polluition is to start rethinking the gas powered automobile as our main means of transportation.

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armchairqb 6 years, 7 months ago

It wouldn't be foreign oil if they would just let Bush do his thing and take over the middle east and make it the 51st state.

Okiegal Can i borrow your Rose Colored Glasses or perhaps the prosec you're on because you can't possibly be that nieve or or dumb to think you have all the answers??? I dislike reading your malarkey worse then all those who hate Sbvor

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 7 months ago

For all you people that think parking isn't a problem think long term. With each and every year more available parking is gobbled up by development. It appears the old goffer foods downtown is ready to be taken out soon. Plenty of people used that location. At the current pace there won't be any surface parking lots left within a few years.

I can see the parking situation being like the bypass talk. 20 years from now we'll all be bitching that we should have built a parking garage downtown while some options were still available.

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424now 6 years, 7 months ago

Bingo!

Native, You have a good grasp of the long term picture.

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elkeye 6 years, 7 months ago

Its time to revise the fee-in-lieu of charge for failure to provide adequate on-site parking!

How about $50K/space and require that all fees collected by the City be dedicated to one or more parking structures.

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bandmama 6 years, 7 months ago

ok, I for one would rather park 6 blocks away from my destination than try to park on Lincoln....(just disgraces me, Joe and any others watching the unmanageable feat...just a personal shortcoming I have come to accept....HA!) For such a healthy community...why the complaints about having to walk a block or two down such a realitivly safe, and a beautiful town to go ......SHOPPING? to drink JAVA? to oh, I dont know...maybe visit the "House" for killer wings and a friendly served beverage? get over it, walk a bit, improve your heart in oh so many ways......DONT park in a handicapped spot..(yes, that is just a really crappy thing to do) and enjoy the views! HECK! you just might run into someone interesting (like Rob! early in the morning making inappropriate comments about the baristas serving his morning coffee........hmmmm another nice discussion, no matter how cute he thought it was....) This isn't Denver.....get over it and enjoy the fact that you, most probably, are able to walk that extra block.

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bandmama 6 years, 7 months ago

ok, one last pot shot.....than mama will try to just read...and keep the mouth shut, look carefully at the photo........ I really dont see any vehicles parked in front of the, "No Parking"sign.....Drahota's truck is parked several places AWAY from the sign.....anyone shout out "DOH" ???????? (or liable......)

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AmebaTost 6 years, 7 months ago

justathought, In terms of a construction company, Drahota is a small business. Pull your head out, you must not understand the construction world. Employees need direction and supervision all the time to get a job done right.

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stayinbalance 6 years, 7 months ago

Plain and simple, the lot on 8th and Oak needs to be a three story park house. Make it paid parking (to pay for the structure)and add meters to the prime areas like Lincoln Ave. Use this money to address mass transit needs, bike lanes, etc. BTW, Go-Fers is privately owned and not intended to be free parking, what a nice benefit some folks had for a while. And to all of you who feel so privileged that you park in handicap spaces, fire lanes at Central Park because of your laziness, shame on you. Our community service officers should patrol these areas and issue heavy fines for doing this. When I was handicapped after an injury, I could never find a spot. Always, they were occupied by someone without the proper permit. One of my pet peeves along with smokers who throw their butts out the window!

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justathought 6 years, 7 months ago

id, you can take you ignorant statement and stick it where the sun don't shine. I don't know where you think Drahota is a "small" business, besides 3 major projects going in stmbt they have multiple projects going in Ft. Collins, Loveland and Laramie. Most major construction companies have company vehicles for owners and supervisors and they don't spend all day sitting on one job. Some employers can actually trust their employees to get something done without breathing down their neck constantly, they can actually attend to other aspects of the business. Are you the paranoid employer or are you the have to be watched employee? Go back to your window for a while, someone that you don't approve of may be using your road!

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playa46 6 years, 7 months ago

mtroach, Why bother making parking meters, to scare of tourists so that YOU can park? You said that we should pay for our own problem, we don't need more pay. Steamboat is a beautiful place, walking I think is probably the better solution or even public trans.

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 7 months ago

Walking down a highway 46? Lincoln is a highway folks. A highway through an area some people are trying to sell as a pedestrian zone. Well which is it?

You can't have it both ways.

Get the cars off the road or get the people out of their cars.

Or we can do nothing and expect it to get better. That seems to be the direction we've taken.

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bloggyblog 6 years, 7 months ago

blog thinks playa46 is the voice of reason and shows the most forsight. one of the benefits of living in a small town is being able to ditch your car and enjoy a stress free lifestyle. blog thought that the whole point of living here was slow down and enjoy the natural beauty. instead of looking for a parking spot, you could be looking at the scenery!

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justathought 6 years, 7 months ago

Amebe, I sure hope you don't own a business because working for you would be a nightmare. When you pay a decent wage, screen your aps and don't hire illegals, you get capable employees that you do not have to babysit. Yes, employees need direction, however, if they cannot follow direction without YOU looking over their shoulder you have the wrong employees. There is such a thing on the job as an experienced foreman that works and supervises the daily progress but they aren't usually provided a company truck. Good employees generally respond to responsibility and trust, if you can't trust them, replace them. I know enough about the construction business, my family has been in it for over 40 years but since I'm anonymous and won't prove that, we'll just leave it at you not being able to trust employees. I don't know if that's because you are an employee that must be watched constantly to ensure you do your job or if you're an employer with lousy employees, either way that attitude will get you nothing but headaches so maybe you should stand up and air yours out.

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id04sp 6 years, 7 months ago

Justa,

Sorry for the choice of words.

I do think, however, that anyone who assumes you can engage quality employees by paying more, screening applications and not hiring illegals does not have any experience in the local market. You take whoever you can get, or you don't stay in business. The money you pay out has to come from the money you take in, and the reality of the situation is that you cannot be competitive and profitable and do all the things you suggest.

And this, my friend, is why id04sp is no longer in the construction business . . . because I could not deliver the quality people deserve when they pay for a home in this county and also make a living competitive with what I can make working for other people doing other things. I'd rather be able to sleep at night and know that I hadn't resorted to using cheap materials and undocumented workers for a profit. But that's just me . . .

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colowoodsman 6 years, 7 months ago

id04sp- your last post proves the points I have been trying to make. Since most local construction is for housing it is more than ironic that construction employers cannot afford to pay enough to attract and keep quality workers and at the same time 'play by the rules'. If the rich people want to live here why wouldn't good workers? Is there too much competion from contractors that DON"T 'play by the rules'? Undoubtedly! Does the community 'look the other way' in regards to illegals? Worse, they incourage and recruit them. Are land and housing prices inflated? We have a small army of realators that do everything thay can to get 'top dollar' for the sellers. Does the Tourism industry cause local housing prices to escalate? Housing/lodging is the number one money maker for tourism!

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bandmama 6 years, 7 months ago

well, just have to say....playa------ out of the mouths of babes!!!! justa-yeah, may i presume you see a point? ameba-just an fyi....drahota kid had to pay a BIT of his own tuition to go to school.....smart old daddy thing. and to all...... yes, Lincoln is hwy 40.....but is still running though OUR town. Deal with with it for awhile, enjoy the ambiance, parking meters would only be complained about in...oh I would say.....a very short while. again, it is called a respect thing..if you are not handicapped, just dont park there, if you see someone who does, just plaster the car with flyers..of any kind, then fine the butthead with littering. ORRRRRR just smear the windshield with a partialy eaten ice cream cone from Fuzzies or Choc Factory...they do cover a good few blocks, if you think about it........ bloggy- i would still like to see bloggytown............

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 7 months ago

bandmama, Why would you want to waste good ice cream!

bloggy, Is there any room for a Botanist in bloggyville?

Have a good day!

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id04sp 6 years, 7 months ago

Woody,

You're right. It's all nuts.

I have reached an age and a point in life where I can consider retirement. When I first moved here, my idea was to work on the weekends when the ski hill is crowded, and then take Wed or Thur off to go skiing when the crowds are down.

I own another home in another state that's larger than the one I have here, with more land, in a lower cost-of-living area, and for which I paid about 2/3 of what it cost to build my house in North Routt. When I'm over there in that house, I'm rich because of equity in my Colorado house. When I'm in the Colorado house, I'm a low-income guy (based on local standards of second-home owners) who was lucky enough to get in when prices were 1/4 what they are now.

I think what I've decided to do is sell both places when I retire, move to a truly rural area in a mountanous eastern state where there's low-cost housing, no traffic, easy access to good medical care (closer than 150 miles . . .) and STILL a low-crime area.

I guess I have had the advantage of living in ten different states and fourteen different cities in those states, and am not all hung up on how effing wonderful the Square State is compared to anywhere else. Colorado is GREAT for summer outdoor activities, and for skiing, but it's not the same for a guy 70 years old as for a guy 35. I just turned down a deal to buy 28 wooded acres with a 3-acre pond, waterfalls, etc., for $150,000 because the view from the most practical homesite was not good enough. It's in a state with no income tax, low food costs, reliable energy from nuclear, hydro and coal, and with no violent crime to speak of outside the cities. The only downside would be no ski hill 5 miles away where I could buy a season pass. Well, guess what? If a school teacher can live in KOA, then a retired guy with a season ski pass can do it too, and be way ahead financially.

The problem with people around here is that have limited their possibilities by failing to obtain education and careers that give them choices. Dare I say it? They have been too lazy and lacking in ambition to secure the benefits they desire in choice of hometown and housing.

I can't think of a single person around here who has "problems" regarding jobs and housing that did not, in some way, create them by making poor choices; me included.

I can think of several young women who used to drag in to work depressed, hung-over, lonely, poor and wishing for a better life FOR NO OTHER REASON than they limited themselves to living in Steamboat Springs. If you've got nothing here, guess what? "Nothing" goes a lot further in other places with better jobs, cheaper housing, and a population that isn't made up of 10% real-estate agents, developers and builders and 40% who struggle along making wages. The other 50%, of course, are second home owners who don't worry about money, and don't care about people who do.

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AmebaTost 6 years, 7 months ago

It doesn't sound like you know anything about the family business. Maybe you just let daddy do the work. Know that I mention it, you do sound like one of those spoiled rich kids that never had to work.

ido4sp- Great response

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justathought 6 years, 7 months ago

bandmama, I SEE some people can't trust their employees to do a job because they hire "whoever they can get" and must keep one eye on the employee and one eye on the cookie jar at all times. I believe that kind of attitude gets them that kind of employee. I SEE that running a business that way will eventually send you to work for other people. Stress and blood pressure must be overwhelming in that situation,

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bloggyblog 6 years, 7 months ago

blog thinks things are gonna get allott better once bloggytown is done. mtwarlock, botanists will be held in the highest regards in bloggytown! blog will set you up with a comfortable yurt right in the botanical garden. the 'coup' is facing a slight delay as blog tries to assemble an army. so far its 3 moose,2 semi-tame chipmunks, blog, and blog's dog. not quite the force needed to pull off the job but what we lack in size we make up for in fierceness!!

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jeannie berger 6 years, 7 months ago

bloggy, I have a few squirrels in my yard that you could recruit, you need to be quick though before the neighborhood cats turn them into breakfast.

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424now 6 years, 7 months ago

King Bloggyblog,

You have my sword at your disposal.

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colowoodsman 6 years, 7 months ago

id-thanks for the insights from your experience. As the old saying goes- What we all need is 'good judgment' and that comes from experience and experience, of course, comes from 'bad judgment'. Those that support tourism marketing and City built amenities either don't realize or ignore the fact that these activites also attract investor/ speculators that couldn't care less about maintaining our quality of life. They are not here to be part of the community but to 'take the money and run'.

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 7 months ago

So I was downtown yesterday observing lincoln avenue and couldn't help but think what a mess it really is.

You have a downtown area that is trying to attract pedestrians along it's flowered sidewalks.

You have people using Lincoln as a parking lot struggling to even step foot out of their cars because of the big rigs and traffic zooming by.

I observed a huge city bus struggle to pick people up at designated stops because it couldn't even get far enough off the road. This same bus was causing bottle necks all the way down lincoln at every stop. Even when it was in it's designated lane vehicles were having a hard time passing it.

And what's with the timing of the lights? I watched vehicle after vehicle struggle to make a left turn onto lincoln to merge with traffic.

To those that say we don't need a parking garage with a combination of a by pass are fooling yourselves.

Our main street of town has become a parking, pedestrian, and traffic nightmare. Keep in mind this was a sunday in May I was observing. This summer is going to be pure chaos. All the development hasn't even hit full swing yet. Pretty soon those multiple car families will be moving into their condos that have ONE parking spot.

Ok bike riders time for you to chime in and tell us how you don't need any parking downtown. Let me guess you ride your bike in from Hayden when it's Zero degrees and blowing wind 20 mph?

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bloggyblog 6 years, 7 months ago

blog agrees with cnative, lincoln is a mess. yampa isn't much easier and oak st. is becoming the new autobahn. even for a seasoned local getting through downtown can be a chore. but blog thinks the money put towards infrastrucure improvements should be targeting alternative transportation, specifically commuter trains. part of the infrastructure already exists (the rails). with the money spent on a bypass we could build a commuter rail system connecting O.C., steamboat, hayden, and craig. a commuter tain allowing for easy access to the free bus would alleviate a good deal of local traffic.

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colowoodsman 6 years, 7 months ago

bb-you are as far out of touch with reallity as those that want to build a bike path from Toponas to SS. There is NO MONEY for any of your 'pipe dreams". There is not even enough money for feasability studies much less engineering or drafting to say nothing about obtaing 'right of ways' or actual construction costs. The railroad will never allow commuter tranins and light rail is way to expensive for the small number of local s that would use it. SS will have parking problems as long as there is fuel available. You and RD must live in the same fantasy world.

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Rob Douglas 6 years, 7 months ago

On May 21 & 22 there will be a conference on transportation issues here in Steamboat titled: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles--Transportation and our Economic Future see: http://www.steamboat-chamber.com/info/economic_summit_2008.asp Topics include: 1) The "Quiet Crisis" in Transportation Funding 2) Highway 40: Congestion or Compromise? 3) Carbon Footprint of Travel and Renewable Fuels 4) Plans for Getting Around Town 5) Understanding the Needs of our City and County Road System 6) Flying to the Future 7) Regional Transportation Authority as Potential Solution for Funding and Implementation in NW Colorado How do you establish a regional transportation authority and fund it? 8) Where to Park for How Much? 9) Recreating on Public Lands 10) Alternative Transportation 11) Passenger Rail Service: Myth or Reality

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colowoodsman 6 years, 7 months ago

Here is a suggestion RD. Go to the meetings, capture all the 'hot air' that will be released there, fill a hot air balloon and fly back to OZ.

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bloggyblog 6 years, 7 months ago

thanks for the information Rob, sounds like an interesting seminar, blog will be there(incognito of course). colowoodsman, sorry if my ideas angered you but blog doesn't look at the idea of a commuter train as a pipe dream. on the contrary, blog thinks its a logical solution to a growing problem that isn't going to just go away if we keep our heads buried in the sand. the reality of our dependence on a finite resource (oil) and our growing infrastructure deficit need to be addressed. i agree there will be many obstacles, but there always are. the important thing is having a realistic view of the future and being open minded towards new ideas and change. where there's a will, there's a way!

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colowoodsman 6 years, 7 months ago

bb- your 'ideas' do not anger me, I find them very entertaining,hilarious even. The 'idea' of cummuter service on the existing railroad has been kicked around for as long as I can remember,probably ever since it was discontinued and the depots closed. Dreamers like yourself only 'muddy the waters' for discusion of any real solutions. You should join RD in the suggestion mentioned above.

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bloggyblog 6 years, 7 months ago

thanks 424, FYI commuter rail service is very much a possibility for us in NW colo. fortunately we have individuals leading our transportation departments who understand the dilemma we are facing and see commuter rail as a viable alternative. colowoodsman, it would really help your credibility if you tried educating yourself(maybe just a little) before going off on your angry rants.

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424now 6 years, 7 months ago

Come on Woodsman,

Bloggy has the right idea in discussing alternative transportation for the Boat. Any kind of commuter service is an excellent topic and worthy of discussion.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 7 months ago

Yeah! You're muddying the waters with ideas that nobody cares about since it might actually work well. Imagine- people taking a train instead of driving all the way from Oak Creek or Craig to work. Might help replace the SST Craig-Steamboat route, allowing some of that money to be put to normal routes. It's not like real cities use trains as transportation whether elevated or subterranean. Trains are only for moving coal, livestock and making people wait at crossings. Who in their right mind, in any city, would ever commute by train?

Boy- that just makes me bunchy when some idiot tries offer something that might also help alleviate traffic on West. Hwy. 40, Hwy. 131 and downtown Lincoln Ave.! Shame, bloggy...shame! Go back to the drawing board and this time, stop using crayons!! Use Sharpies!

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colowoodsman 6 years, 7 months ago

bb- my 'education' comes from the fact that this 'new idea' has been kicked around for the last 20 years or more and the cost of implementing passenger rail service is NOT justified by the number of cummuters that would use the service. If you don't belive me check the Pilot archives.

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bandmama 6 years, 7 months ago

bloggy-I still am supporting BloggyTown. I like trains too! But I do think that if you ever achieve this goal, it should be painted to resemble the Hogwarts Express......complete with chocolate frogs..err Blogs. Seriously, a good option, ahhhh...there already seem to be tracks here and there......

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424now 6 years, 7 months ago

Mama,

Now that would be one cool Choo choo,

but how about the Polar express instead. It would play well with the Ski crowd and I do so love hot chocolate.

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bandmama 6 years, 7 months ago

424- You are so right! Your idea is much better than mine! AND because we wouldn't be driving, would you join me in a shot of peppermint "extract" in that cup of cocoa? If only people would just listen to us and use our ideas................:)

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424now 6 years, 7 months ago

lol shhhh they'll try to get to run for city council

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424now 6 years, 7 months ago

and I love that perticular flavor in my cocoa but just the extract now, I'm a dry old nerd.

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424now 6 years, 7 months ago

Lol

And good on that nephew. May God bless him and keep him out of harms way.

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bloggyblog 6 years, 7 months ago

424 and bandmama, thanks for your continued support. it is much needed as bloggy was getting kinda discouraged and contemplating leaving steamboat and going "into the wild" (without the starving to death part). blog thinks you both will like the transportation system for bloggytown. it's going to be patterned after a swiss ski area that has a roller coaster type light rail. they will pass through intermittent solar powered charging stations and have stops at various transportation stations where you can hop another train or catch a bus wherever you want to go. there will handicap access and room for skiis, bikes, kayaks etc. there will be a commuter train linking all of NW colo. so our friends in neighboring towns can easily get arround too. the whole thing will connect with a high speed rail system connecting to other parts of colo. and the front range. blog procured funding by telling President Bush that June is national 'take a break from war month'. this will free up 18 billion dollars, which should get er done (and allow blog to see a nephew who fly's Apache's in Iraq). anyway thats the plan so far, hope you like it and of course always open to some positive input.

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