Whither Mr. Postman? Wither Mr. Postman.
The LeDroit Park post office, located at the entangled crossroads of Rhode Island, Florida, and New Jersey Avenues and S and Fourth Streets, is a mystery to us. Every time we have paid it a visit— even during the day on weekdays!— it has been closed for lunch or just closed for the rest of the day. In fact, we have never set foot inside due to its inconvenient hours.
Nonetheless, just before we moved to the neighborhood— that is, before we left for LeDroit— we couldn’t help but wonder how a post office with such inconvenient hours could generate enough revenue to justify its existence.
Our intuition was right, for we soon learned that the Postal Service had added the location to its list of offices to close nationwide. Makes sense, after all, and the second-nearest post office isn’t too far away, located on the Howard campus.
Not so fast. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) congratulated herself in her most recent biannual newsletter for removing all District post offices from the closure list. Though Ms. Norton surely believes she’s helping her constituents, nowhere does she explain how the Postal Service is supposed to close a projected $238-billion budget gap over the coming decade. If every Member of Congress intervenes on the behalf of each low-performing post office in his own district, the Postal Service will have to find other ways to compensate for the resource drain, perhaps by raising rates and eliminating Saturday delivery. Mrs. Norton may think she did the District some good, but she and her colleagues are hastening the demise of the mail.