December 16, 2015

Post Office alley way traffic safety brought to council’s attention

By Annette Tait
Ongoing confusion as to parking and direction of travel, as well as blocking of the alley north of the Post Office, led U.S. Postal Service Employee Larry Erhardt and former Center Post Office Officer in Charge Sally Jons to appear before the city council at its December regular meeting. Erhardt and Jons requested the alley be limited to one-way traffic only.
Erhardt contacted USPS officials and was told that, if the city approved limiting the alley to one-way traffic moving west, the blue mailbox can be placed in such a way as to facilitate more efficient use. Limiting traffic flow to one direction and moving the mailbox will also place liability on drivers who enter the alley way traveling in the wrong direction.
Council asked if parking signs were posted; Erhardt responded that posted signage is routinely disregarded.
Relocation of the blue mailbox has been approved by the USPS pending approval by council to limit travel in the alley to one way heading west.
“All we are asking is that, if this is approved, that council will send a letter [to the USPS] stating the alley will be one-way moving west,” Erhardt said. “Once that is received, the post office will move the mailbox. Signage will also be needed to indicate direction of travel.”
If council approves the request, notification of the changes will need to be made to residents. It was noted that council will need to work with City Attorney John Mahoney to make sure the process is completed correctly. The topic was tabled until Mahoney can provide council with information regarding the necessary process and/or procedures.
“We’re pursuing this because it is a safety issue,” said Jons.
The process to limit direction of travel in the alley was begun while Jons was still working at the Center Post Office. She is now USPS officer in charge at Turtle Lake.

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