Fostoria Post Office recently set up curbside mailboxes on a portion of East Sixth Street in light of a threat recently made to a mail carrier.
According to Postmaster Ken Price, a subject threatened to kill a mail carrier while they were walking in the area on their route. Mail items for residents in that area were being held at the post office for pick up due to the threat.
Letters were sent to those residents explaining the issue and offering them the options of a free P.O. Box or curbside mailboxes. Price said mailboxes were then placed along the curbs in front of residences on a portion of the street.
In addition to keeping the carriers safe, the curbside mail delivery cuts costs in half and reduces accidents and incidents by 30 percent, according to Price.
While this isn’t something Fostoria’s post office is currently considering at all addresses in the city, Ohio officials are looking into changing the mode of delivery throughout the state.
A bill currently in Congress will phase out door delivery if passed.
House Bill 756, or the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017, seeks to “restore the financial solvency and improve the governance of the United States Postal Service in order to ensure the efficient and affordable nationwide delivery of mail.”
The bill will require any newly established delivery point to have a primary mode of mail delivery “other than door delivery” — such as curbside or cluster boxes — unless that point is built within a block of existing delivery points whose primary mode of mail delivery is door delivery or if the delivery creates a “physical hardship” for the resident.
Locally, in addition to East Sixth Street, Price said the post office is also looking into implementing curbside delivery along Eisenhower Drive due to safety reasons. However, nothing has yet been set in stone.
When looking at curbside delivery, Price said they take into account both safety and efficiency.
“If there aren’t any sidewalks and our carriers have to walk into the street to deliver the mail from house to house, then that’s a safety issue,” he said, noting curbside delivery was set up on Roosevelt Road about a year ago for safety reasons due to a lack of sidewalks.
Every year, the post office completes a route review, where officials go on routes with the carriers in an effort to improve safety for employees as well as improve employee performance.
The review looks at items such as whether the route has sidewalks and where the carriers park their vehicles while walking to determine safety and how much space is between the houses they’re walking to and from to determine the efficiency of parking on that route.
“We’re always looking to improve delivery,” he said. “If we look at an area and see a problem, we try to be proactive.”
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