USPS takes advantage of disaster to eliminate door to door delivery in Joplin MO

The US Postal Service has long tried to minimize door to door delivery by requiring cluster mailboxes in new developments, and asking homeowners to place their mail receptacles on the street rather than at their door. Now the Joplin Globe reports that the USPS is taking advantage of the tornado that devastated Joplin last year in order to eliminate some door to door deliveries in the city. According to the paper, the worst hit parts of the city, where homes were completely destroyed, will be served by cluster mailboxes that city officials thought were temporary. The USPS hasn’t decided whether to extend the policy to less badly damaged areas, but it seems likely:

A change in the way mail is delivered in the hardest-hit area of Joplin’s tornado zone has sparked complaints by some residents and a grievance by union postal workers.

U.S. Postal Service authorities have decided to eliminate door or porch delivery in that part of the disaster zone where expedited debris removal, or EDR, took place. A decision is pending about mail practices in the rest of the disaster area — where houses were damaged but not destroyed and many have since been repaired.

City officials said they granted permission only for temporary cluster mailboxes to be installed, not a permanent change in delivery. But postal officials are unapologetic, saying the decision is theirs and not the city’s.

via Mail delivery sees change » Local News » The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO.

  • franklin

    Cluster boxes are not secure and are subject to rampant mail theft. Also, in certain neighborhoods, it is not safe to venture to a dark corner to pick up one’s mail.

  • Michael

    Yes, because the unlocked fliptop box mounted on the side of a house is very secure. NDCBU’s are a very secure. They make it easier for the carrier and the customer. Parcel lockers attached to the NDCBU make retrieving their parcels 100% more efficient.

  • Nutzy

    USPS The S being SERVICE Should change to USPL L being Lack of service.Yes the USPS gets all revenue from postage sales but after that it has nothing else to offer but service to the customer.Take service out then who really needs them.Postal Management keeps putting holes in A sinking ship faster than the Union workers can plug them.As long as they have the right to Mismanage USPS is doomed.

  • Bob

    Dont blame the mail carriers for this stupid decision they want to give the service to you but the postal service keeps changing thing and makes the carriers jobs harder call your congressman and complian if enough people call they will do what he people want not the postal service they want your vote

  • Scout

    There should be no more door service.This is 2012 and if people can’t get off their butts and walk out to the mailbox to get the mail well then they should get no delivery at all.

  • Mr. Postman

    Folks, it’s all about time and money – and wear and tear on human beings. I’ve been a mail carrier for almost 29 years, and door-to-door delivery is a time wasting and very physically tedious way to get the mail delivered, and oftentimes unsafe. I’m on a mounted route where the mail is delivered at the curb, and it’s one of the biggest routes in my city. I’ve got nearly 700 addresses on it. I drive over 26 miles a day, about 21 miles of it servicing the boxes. I think it’s a no-brainer to figure out it would be physically impossible to walk 21 miles every day up and down steps to the front doors carrying all that mail in a bag on your shoulder, and getting the job done in 8 hrs. In the past, I used to walk about 12 miles a day doing door-to-door delivery when I was younger in all kinds of weather. I’m almost 58 years old now. I’m not lazy… I’m getting older. The US Postal Service is a numbers-crazy organization. They keep production numbers on EVERYTHING, and they want better numbers all the time. I guess they’ve finally figured out they can’t get much more out of us, and so it’s the public’s turn to make sacrifices in the quest for better numbers. Oh… if you want maximum security for your mail, go to the Post Office and rent yourself a PO Box. Someday, USPS management will realize if they cut ALL street delivery, and make everybody in the USA rent a PO Box, they will eliminate all letter carriers, an aging fleet of vehicles that are constantly breaking down (mine needed a new battery today), and the Holy Grail of numbers will be become a reality. In other words, things could become worse for people who think their biggest problem of the day is walking out to the curb or down the block to the cluster box to get their mail.

  • crazy

    Mr. Postman, 29 years of service, turning his back on fellow carriers by promoting elimination of door to door delivery. Mr. Postman, remember when you first started as a letter carrier? Those door to door routes kept you going. But now you are fortunate to have a mounted route so you turn your back on those carriers who would lose their jobs because of your actions. You complain about the numbers, but your current position on delivery is very similar to your opinions on management numbers. Thanks for working 29 years, now you turn your back on fellow carriers. You better watch whats happening with retirement benefits also. Shame on you Mr. Postman.

  • Tonya

    Mr. Postman, I have one of those door-to-door routes you’re complaining about. Interestingly enough, MY ROUTE has 653 deliveries on it… virtually every one of them requiring walking up to the door. I walk over 6.5 miles per day on the side of a mountain. And yet your 700 and 21 miles is supposed to make me obsolete. Thanks. Really.

    Is my route hard? Yes. Is it destroying my body one piece at a time? [hmm… nerve, broken bone, carpal tunnel, tendonitis, ganglion cyst…] Yes. Does every one of the 100 carriers in the office of 69 routes say that I have one of the top three WORST routes in the entire city? Yes.

    Do I think door delivery should be ended? No. And it has nothing to do with keeping my job. My route is an inner-city, depressed urban area. I don’t care what anyone says about NDCBUs, they are NOT secure when it’s the start of the month and someone’s out there with a crowbar. They’re NOT secure when the entity who installs them [postal or civilian] opts for the cheapest plastic ones they can find, which warp and degrade in less than two years. They’re NOT secure when frail 80-year-olds have to walk to the end of a bad city block to pick up their checks and food stamp cards.

    I have customers who can barely walk to their front doors to get their mail, much less go down the street. I have customers whose neighbors would rather kill them [and I mean that literally!] than allow them to exist peacefully; how much would it take to prompt a murderous incident if someone put one’s check in the other’s box? [That happened while I was off with my fractured foot; I found it when I got back.]

    We have people in our city who have tried [TRIED but not succeeded!] to steal the old relay boxes for scrap metal. I think those same people might be willing to snatch an NDCBU for fun and profit, especially since they’re lighter.

    And do you have any idea how much of a PIA it is to deliver food stamps and checks to an NDCBU in a bad area? They’re lined up or clustered all around, making it impossible to “safeguard the sanctity of the mail”.

    Besides, you don’t have a clue what it’s like to carry in an area like mine. I have customers who get up to ten packages in a day [eBay resellers] and people who get fully 6″ of flats on a regular basis, alongside people who are so destitute the only things they receive are shut-off notices; and NDCBU would never work as well for my high-volume customers.

    If we didn’t hit every house, we’d STILL be deviating constantly for parcels and accountables – there’s no way an NDCBU could hold all the parcels for a particular area.

    We can’t get to the curb in most of our city; with few or no sidewalks, we already walk through yards to avoid congested streets. On my route, I honestly would have a terrible time figuring out where an NDCBU could be “safely” located… safely for ME, that is. There are entire blocks where it’s unsafe to be near the edge of the street.

    And the idea about “shutting down all delivery” and requiring po boxes? Bad idea. Not only would it be a requirement [under existing policy] that all po boxes must be free [due to lack of street delivery], it would be a space nightmare.

    Allow me to elaborate: My office has 69 routes, with an AVERAGE of 700 deliveries per route. We would need 48,300 PO boxes for OUR part of the city alone [not including three other stations]. The typical post office only holds a couple hundred PO boxes; the USPS would need to build new, HUGE facilities to handle all the boxes. They would need massive storage capabilities, squads of box section clerks, 24-hour staffing [because we aren’t all 9-5 in order to pick up certifieds and parcels], and so much more.

    Eliminating any or all street delivery is seriously not a possibility… well, not if they actually pay attention to reality for a change.