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Post Office Notice
updated: Feb 23, 2013, 5:00 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

We have a new mailman that I guess has been doing fine (although I got my mail from him yesterday at the curb because I was unloading groceries and he had may mail in one hand and a cigarette smoking in the other). Well, today I got a nastygram in the mail from him stating that I have to leave 10 feet open on each side of our mailbox so that it can be easily accessed. It went on to say that if I did not comply, my mail service will be suspended without any future warning.

Our street parking is scant and although I am usually the culprit parked near (but never in front of) our box, if it were not me, it would be someone else.

I don't get much mail but for obvious reasons, having it delivered to our house is easier for us than a PO box. What are my options? Can I have a box installed at/on our door or is that only ok in certain areas?

Any suggestions?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 377927 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 05:10 PM

They need to publish a clear and readable specification. I want to move my mailbox at the street to the other side of the driveway, but don't know if this violates any of their edicts.


 COMMENT 377933 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 05:24 PM

I've never understood this because people have their boxes next to their front door too.


 COMMENT 377945 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 05:34 PM

Go down to your local post office and talk to the station manager and resolve the situation. Bring photos of your existing box (not close ups) and driveway and ask him/her what solutions they can live with.


 BECKY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 05:36 PM

I know it's not what you want to hear, but you're out of luck. The mail person can decide that access to your mailbox isn't sufficient -- it's slowing them down in finishing their route -- and almost always find a rule or regulation allowing them to stop delivery. I dropped my elderly Mom off in front of her driveway (because the curb was too high for her), and it was unfortunately at the same time that the mail was normally delivered. We got the same notice. I tried politely explaining to the delivery person, and she agreed to make an exception. Good luck.


 COMMENT 377950 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 05:42 PM

A little bit like informing the waiter that your meal is not up to standard. They'll take it back to the kitchen, but what you receive afterwards may be worse than before.

My suggestion; Park a few feet further forward. He'll feel like he won. Anyone else may block it, but that won't be your responsibility. This way you'll receive your mail and won't need to look for it in the nearest creek!


 COMMENT 377951 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 05:43 PM

The usps has information about moving your mailbox on its faq. Essentially, you need the approval of your post master. As far as having space on either side of the post box, perhaps an email or call to the post master on that front might be helpful as well.


 COMMENT 377952 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 05:46 PM

I've received this notice also... Kind of makes no sense... The street is public and has no signs prohibiting parking. I park in my driveway, so the cars blocking are those of my neighbors, their kids and visitors... Has nothing to do with me. I ignored the notices, since I couldn't change the parking habits of random people I don't know. After a year I stopped getting the notices. That was six years ago and I still get my mail. Honestly I think the mail person took notice that my car was always in the driveway and that the blocking cars always changed realizing they weren't all mine.


 COMMENT 377955 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 05:54 PM

I have been having the same problem for months now. You cant complain to a government agency. They answer to no one. Just wait till your health care is the same way. You get what you voted for I guess.


 COMMENT 377967 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 06:25 PM

952 I agree. I live on a cul-de-sac and I have no control over who parks in front of my house, especially when I am not here.


 COMMENT 377968 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 06:26 PM

paint ur curb red in front of mailbox and dont block it


 COMMENT 377979 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 06:49 PM

@Hermes, while I don't agree with 937 either, it's a complete fallacy (and a really obvious one at that) that Congress forced the PO into anything.

They are the sole architect of their own dilemma. Read up on it, if you don't trust my word for it. Prepare to have your eyes opened.


 COMMENT 377986P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 06:58 PM

I lived on a Cul-de-sac for many, many years and the parking was limited. I was in the upper area of the loop and it clearly states that the box cannot be blocked, or no mail. The delivery guy started whizzing past our house because there were cars there that we had no way of controlling. Back then, mail was everything and even though I would meet the carrier at the street, he pitched a fit and still zoomed by. We were not given the option to even pick up that mail at the Post Office. I finally went to the Post Office and tried to explain our situation and got no where. We were also unlucky when the carrier would swoop around and there were the empty trash barrels in his way. One day in an effort to "punish" us he not only did not deliver the mail but actually ran over one of the trash cans and dragged iit under his vehicle all the way around the corner. And, right around the corner he had to start getting out of his vehicle to deliver the mail to homes without a street mailbox and that meant he was in and out of his truck for quite a stretch. One holiday season I was expecting many packages and when our carrier actually had to get out to bring them to the door, he'd stand on the path leading up to the house and "fling" them at the porch. One of them was full of glass and clearly marked as such, but he flung it at the house and broke the contents. When I brought this to the attention of the Post Office things settled down a bit, but one day while I was going to leave I noticed the carrier talking to the folks at the end of the street and I stood there waiting for him. Finally I decided to walk down and get my mail from him, and I could clearly see one of the packages in his doorway that I had been waiting for and when he saw me approching he floored it and was off again. Sometimes you just can't win.


 COMMENT 377989 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 07:01 PM

Hermes is right. One thing congress did was mandate pension funding 75 years out. Two, congress will not allow USPS to branch into other fields such as online bill paying. The USPS gets no tax money for operations (not including borrowing money) but congress still controls how the USPS operates.


 COMMENT 377993 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 07:05 PM

I have read up on it, 979, and if you want to tell me that Congress mandating that the USPS pre-pay 75 years of future health benefits in 10 years isn't the major contributor to their current financial situation you're kidding yourself.

http://www.esquire.com/features/post-office-business-trouble-0213 Here's a really, REALLY good article on it in fact. Including how the USPS is still relevant, could be solvent and more if Congress would just stop screwing it up. :)


 COMMENT 377994 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 07:08 PM

Get a PO Box, have all your home mail forwarded to the PO Box and then you're done dealing with the lousy home delivery.


 COMMENT 377995 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 07:11 PM

The Postal Service can just decide they wont deliver your mail, and then suggest you buy a PO box. I lived on Salinas Street and they decided not to deliver my mail. I went to find out about it, and they said my dogs were upsetting the carrier, they were behind a fence not even near the mailbox. Pretty funny I told them a week later the mail carrier started putting the neighbors mail in my box and continued for weeks but refused to put mine in there. Feel lucky they warned you, and haven't returned all your mail to the senders.


 COMMENT 378001P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 07:31 PM

I get the same notices. My cars are not the culprit but postmaster says there is nothing they can do. They agreed that the mail carrier was "not nice". Mail carrier even complained when a wood chipping truck and trailer were in my NEIGHBOR's driveway. I leave notes asking what he wants me to do.


 COMMENT 378006 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 07:53 PM

994, I wanted to do that since I rent in a bad area of town. But the postal carrier said utilities only send bills to street addresses, not p. o. boxes. Is that still true?


 COMMENT 378016P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 08:37 PM

I've seen more then my share of mail boxes that violate that edict. What does it matter if the darn thing is buried in a rock wall as long as they can open it to put mail in?

Besides, I think this letter is bogus just from reading their own guidelines:



 COMMENT 378023P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 08:53 PM

Thank you for posting this, OP.

I herein give a shout-out to my wonderful mail carriers: Daniel and Masout! Thanks for always be cheerful and personable and even bringing my boxes up my sloping hill of a walkway to my front porch. I love you guys.

To the OP again: Maybe you could sweeten this carrier up a bit with a Xmas tip? Kinda late now.

Talk with the Postmaster. I think you need to get things set straight. I had a problem once, many years ago. The problem was all with the carrier. I was polite, but firm. The Postmaster understood and the carrier was replaced. Some people just shouldn't be working with the public. Period.


 COMMENT 378032P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 09:19 PM

Be very careful. You don't want them disgruntled.


 COMMENT 378042P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 10:32 PM

8016 - "they" claim they need to be able to drive up and deliver the mail without getting out of the truck. We used to have a wonderful mail carrier but our new carrier is a pain.


 COMMENT 378048P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 10:56 PM

My favorite "carrier" story is the time I noticed my mail guy was delivering mail sans shirt. It wasn't even a hot day. I called it in. I like to see a recognizable uniform if any utility/mail men are near my yard. Maybe I wouldn't have called it in if he'd looked like Ryan Gosling or Taylor Channing. Sexist? Tsk, tsk.


 COMMENT 378050 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-23 11:32 PM

OP, you're saying that the carrier told you not to park, or let anyone else park, in front of your mailbox? If it's a legal street-parking space, then their request is absurd. And how on earth would you prevent members of the public from parking there?


 COMMENT 378058 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 07:12 AM

@HERPES; Like any business, if you lose money, you make changes. USPS has done nothing to improve the business model except choose to limit service. Closing the doors to your business doesn't equal making more money. There is an enormous amount of waste in this organization that hasn't been addressed because the only solution they can come up with is demanding more money for less service. The USPS is an obsolete dinosaur and should be disbanded.


 COMMENT 378059 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 07:16 AM

006 - no that isn't true, the utilities will mail the bill to a PO Box.


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 07:24 AM

Seems un-American you can't get your mail delivered because some lazy delivery guy needs to get out of his truck to do it. If they can deliver thru, "rain, sleet or snow", or however the saying goes, why not give you yours. The city/county needs to get involved if the Post Office thinks you should keep people from parking on a public street, in a legal space, to accommodate a lazy mailperson.


 COMMENT 378064 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 07:32 AM

My neighbor moved their mailbox next to mine, postal carrier likes it. No law about moving it if the carrier likes it, they are the law.


 CORKY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 08:03 AM

We moved our mailbox years ago to the other side of the driveway and never thought to ask. I have been very lucky with mail carriers. We try and leave the area clear enough so they can pull in and out, but I've seen carriers get out to deliver to neighbors' boxes when they don't have truck access. Aso, they always bring boxes, etc. to the porch. I do try and meet them out front when I hear the truck, so they don't have to waste time stuffing junk into the box. I know it's not legal, but I always tip at Christmas. My son was a carrier and took treats for the dogs. They loved him.


 COMMENT 378071 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 08:09 AM

Its too bad the USPS doesnt relocate its workers like the military... I'd love to see these SB postal carriers work a week in a cold, snowy climate. They have it sooooo good here and yet they act as if their lives are so hard. You're walking in shorts in February!

This is just a tiny human's attempt at power. And since they've chosen a profession that offers them absolutely no control or power, they grasp onto the only thing they can... your mailbox.

Start mailing yourself boxes after boxes of bricks with signature required... sure it will run you a couple of hundred but you'll have so much fun messing with them...


 RESIDENT agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 08:57 AM

What ever happened to "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds?"


 COMMENT 378090 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 09:09 AM

Plus, quite often, the carriers are pressured by management to finish their routes within a certain amount of time. So, for a carrier to stop their vehicle, turn off the engine (safety), get out, walk to the mailbox to put the mail in there, obviously takes a lot more time, then driving up, leaning over and putting the mail in.


 COMMENT 378093P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 09:32 AM

nature boy - I am not the OP but YUP. Current carrier leaves nice marked diagrams in my box but does not tell me how to keep people from parking there. I can see the problem if this is at every house and all the time but most of the time there is no care parked withing 10 feet of my box. So a couple of times a year, the carrier piches a fit. Plus one side is my driveway so he (this one is a he) does not really need the 10 feet in front to get to my box without getting out of car. Told my mother the same thing in Los Angeles. Also told my mother they would not deliver her mail because there were loose dogs...... three blocks away. Previous carrier was a gem. She got end of the year tips:)


 COMMENT 378097P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 09:39 AM

d8 vanilla - not the OP but how do I cooperate by having the neighbor's tree trimmer park somewhere else? In front of the hydrant? How do I get people to not park there when I am not home? The truck was in their driveway with part hanging in the street. My mother gets the notices when she has measured and marked 10 feet. There are no driveways on her street. How does my mother control loose dogs she can neither see nor hear - too far away. I did a google search and found some towns prohibit parking withing 10 feet of a mail box between 8am and 6 pm. If we had such a law (not suggesting we should) I could at least have an offending car ticketed or towed. BTW no curb to paint red and don't think it is legal to do that on my own anyhow.


 ARCHIE agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 09:53 AM

These examples sound malicious. Also reminds me of old gangster movies about "the protection racket". If you want to escalate, why not write a letter to your congresswoman and show the letter before sending to the postmaster, just in case he'd like to resolve the situation himself.


 COMMENT 378103P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 10:02 AM

@377950: Actually, it doesn't matter who blocks the mailbox - whether it's you or someone else. I've gotten that warning after neighbors' visitors parked in front of my mailbox.

The carrier doesn't know whose car is in the way. All he knows is that the box is not accessible. It's up to the property owner to keep the space clear.

I like the idea of painting that area of the curb red. I wonder if there's a rule against it?


 COMMENT 378105 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 10:18 AM

just to infuse a bit of lightheartedness into this discussion...

My brother moved to a rural area where it snowed in winter. They lived on a gravel road, 3 miles off the nearest paved road. Their mailbox was concreted into a 5 gallon bucket, and sat along with all the others at the paved road junction. My brother worked out of town during the week and drove home to his wife and kids on Friday night. The mailman, once he found out the situation, put the mailbox bucket into the back of his pickup, drove to my SIL's house, put it down outside her front gate, and continued to deliver the mail to their house every delivery day. Ralph was an angel of a carrier.


 COMMENT 378118 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-24 11:32 AM

I found out to my dismay that having a box on the sidewalk meant that periodically I'd find the door hanging open with no mail in it, stolen, so I tried moving it back down the driveway a bit to keep it away from tempting low-lifes walking up and down the street. Oh no, no dice. Once it has been on the curb you must not move it and cause the delivery person to take any extra steps. I tried having a locking one, but then if I got a box they'd toss it on the sidewalk, so I had to go back to a big one and try to have anything of importance delivered to a PO Box downtown.


 COMMENT 378584 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-25 03:33 PM

I live in a condominium. Our mailboxes are all together in a gang. I think they call it a gangbox.


 COMMENT 378724 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-26 06:57 AM

Neither rain, nor sleet nor snow will stop your mail delivery. A car parked in front of your mailbox can


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