So U.S. Postal Service management seems determined to close the heavily-used and necessary Peter Stuyvesant post office on E. 14th Street in New York City and relocate it to a much smaller location a block away http://town-village.com/2013/05/31/usps-decides-to-proceed-with-relocation-of-peter-stuyvesant-post-office/.
And this new location may not serve all the functions of a conventional post office either. According to the
Villager, the new location would only sell stamps and house post office boxes. Other functions would be farmed out to other locations in Manhattan. This move will likely destroy more of the USPS’s effectiveness http://thevillager.com/2013/04/25/people-going-postal-over-14th-st-p-o-closure-plan/.
Presumably USPS management thinks this move will save it money and build efficiency in the long run.
Plus, it might just give the USPS another building it could sell off to private real estate developers and make a pittance in return. This might also drive another nail into the coffin of government operations which many in high places think should always be in private hands.
Reportedly this decision is not yet final since people have 30 days to submit written comments to the USPS protesting this move.
This sounds just like the public comment period which precedes every subway and bus fare increase. Despite the most reasoned and eloquent opposing arguments the fares always go up.
The USPS’s planned post office closings were originally intended to save money and cut excess capacity t, not to deprive ordinary people of essential services which it seems to be doing.
There are at least two things going on here. First, the USPS is trying desperately to reduce costs any way it thinks it can, now that Congress has slapped down the idea of reducing delivery down to five days, down from its current six.
The other potentially more sinister scenario is that Congress is allowing the USPS to take all the flak for trying to reduce postal costs while it sits on its hands and allows the USPS’s finances to further deteriorate. In the quarter ended March 31, the USPS lost $1.9 billion http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2013/pr13_051.htm.
As with any other big political fight it may take more than raucous rallies to impede the USPS’s decision. This may include getting elected officials excited about this issue. And most of all it’s gonna take continuous agitation over a long period of time. Nothing else has ever really worked.
But saving what’s likely the nation’s most trusted public institution is well worth the effort.