March 09, 2010

Whither Mr. Postman? Wither Mr. Postman.

LeDroit Park Post Office

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.

When in April the City Paper reviewed the post office (yes, they used to do such a thing), they awarded it a D+, but we doubt the reliability of such a whimsical alt-paper metric.

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.

Categories: Good Goverment
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4 Replies

  1. For Ledroit Park, it not an inconvenience, but for those of us south-east (Fl & N. Cap), our closest options would become union station, Mt Vernon Square or the Howard PO, most at 1+ miles. Other than the late opening, it’s not too far of a detour to swing by it and use the Shaw metro rather than NY-AVE.

    TCres - March 9, 2010 @ 3:18 pm
  2. I’m just happy it has the convenient FedEx drop box out front. For use when I am worried the USPS is just not reliable enough to get my mail there on time.

    3rdStreetDesign - March 9, 2010 @ 3:47 pm
  3. I sent some x-mas presents from here once. Granted it was like 1:30 in the afternoon on a weekday….so not sure what their real hours were. I asked the lady if it was going to be closed anytime soon, she mentioned that even if it is shut down for good, it would take 6+ months for it to ACTUALLY close its doors.

    Flagler Pl NW - March 10, 2010 @ 4:16 pm
  4. That whole intersection is a mess. Left for LeDroit – would you want to put your creative mind to work to figure out how the NJ/FL/RI Ave/ 4th St/ S St/ 5th St. intersection could be improved? I, personally, would eliminate the S to 4th connection road, and use that new triangle for either A) a small park or B) a development parcel to enliven the intersection. The whole RI & FL Ave intersection area is blighted in my opionon with the three gas stations and a very inefficient road system that makes the area difficult to traverse as a pedestrian.

    Bryan - March 11, 2010 @ 11:20 am

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