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Hundreds of Post Offices Could Soon Close

By Ed O'Keefe

Hundreds of post offices like the one above could soon close.

The Postal Service has marked 677 post offices nationwide for possible closure or consolidation, according to a document given today to a House subcommittee holding a hearing on the future of American mail delivery. Among them are 10 post offices in the District and three in the Maryland suburbs of Hyattsville, Rockville and Silver Spring.

Click here for the full list of possible post office closures

“The writing is on the wall and the postal service obviously has to make some tough decisions if it wants to weather this storm," Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) told Postal officials during the hearing.

“You better believe that if those post offices have to be closed I’m going to be besieged by people asking, ‘Please don’t close my post office,’” she said later.

Postal and Congressional sources said privately that only about 200 of the 677 postal facilities are likely to be closed after a review. Regardless, several lawmakers criticized Postal officials for not informing them about possible closures, cutbacks in service hours and the removal of mailboxes.

“I’m afraid the Postal Service leadership has lept to the conclusion that the only way to keep the Postal Service solvent is to cut back on hours of operation," said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who noted that many of his constituents have long commutes and cannot get to post offices before they close in the late afternoon.

The House subcommittee that oversees the Postal Service today reviewed the various options as the Postal Service struggles amid sharply declining mail volume and the gradual migration to e-mail and online payment systems.

As The Eye reported in today's Post, the Government Accountability Office added the Postal Service to its list of high-risk government agencies and programs on Tuesday and has urged a rapid overhaul that includes layoffs, plant closures and changes to retiree health benefits.

Review the possible nationwide closures and see the possible D.C.-area closures below:

Station Branch Name City/State
Columbia Heights Finance Washington, D.C.
Derwood Rockville, Md.
Fort Davis Washington, D.C.
Friendship Heights Washington, D.C.
Landover Hills Hyattsville, Md.
Ledroit Park Washington, D.C.
Naval Research Laboratory Washington, D.C.
Navy Annex Washington, D.C.
Northeast Washington, D.C.
Petworth Washington, D.C.
Randle Washington, D.C.
Silver Spring Center Silver Spring, Md.
Woodridge Washington, D.C.
Source: U.S. Postal Service

By Ed O'Keefe  | July 30, 2009; 2:59 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Congress  
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THe US Postal Serfvice is the most underpriced/ best value added service in the world. People complain about first class postage rates where a letter goes coast to coast in two days for under 50 cents. They then turn around and pay FX or UPS 8 to 10 dollars for one day delivery when in fact one day delivery is not required.

Get wise and raise first class rates and junk mail rates (I know USPS does not like that term) to cover more or all of the costs. Return the posal service to a full governement operation and don't expect it to cover all costs of this valuable service. Cut back delivery to 5 days and close many of those mom and pop post offices that serve mainly the political interests of the local representatives instead of providing a real service to the local community.

If the USPS goes under FX and UPS will run up rates out of proportion to any reasonable service levels.

Bite the bullet and work directly and hard with the unions to increase labor productivity.

Posted by: dbax | July 30, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

How many post offices are there in New York City...based on this list, they are planning to close 53 post offices in the five boroughs. The number being closed in the LA metro are isn't even that close.

Posted by: Rob63 | July 30, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Decision to close PO is probably based on projections for declining mail volumes at each facility. I couldn't find any PO's to close in Delaware. USPS doesn't want to upset Sen. Carper?

Posted by: ChasRyder1 | July 30, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

When was the last time I sent a letter?

About 1998.

Email is the conduit.

The Post Office has gone the way of the Pony Express, Western Union, and the land line.

Get used to it, bamas!

Posted by: bs2004 | July 30, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

So they'll close the Fredericksburg office (which is a county seat), but leave King George County with *three*--one in Dahlgren? King George is an essentially rural county. No business but the Navy base, and apparently its post offices are more critical than the ones in Fredericksburg?

Posted by: agnesnitt | July 30, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Small package of meds for my dog was sent from the southwest corner of UT to the northwest corner of AZ - it took over a week to arrive! Of course, first it had to go to northern UT and then who-knows where before it got here. The drive takes 3 to 3 1/2 hours - flight seems to take forever.

Now they want to stop the mailing of cigarettes and tobacco products to consumers. This act means a large loss of revenue for the postal service. Yes - I will hear from those who would outlaw all tobacco products saying that they are deadly and lethal and should be illegal to use. Seems like there are always those who would do things "for your own good" - but only if it fits their wishes.

I don't drink alcohol, but I am not about to push for making it illegal. This proposal called "Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act" (PACT) makes it sound like the trafficking is in an illegal substance. The Postal Service enjoys large revenues from the mailing of tobacco products - millions of dollars - and this act will cost more millions to enforce.

Posted by: Utahreb | July 31, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Ed—The neighborhood in DC is called "Woodridge", not "Woodbridge." That's a far-flung exurb in Virginia. Please make the necessary correction. Thanks!

Posted by: IMGoph | July 31, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

It is apparent that absolutely no one at the Postal Service has applied modern economic theory to their dinosaur business model. Maybe the USPS should raise the price of a first class stamp to five dollars, then ten dollars after that if they're still running budget deficits. Yeah... that's the ticket!

Posted by: tuzoner | July 31, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

In Las Vegas there are many,many POs. And none are small. They're open all day six days a week.
There is just no need.

Posted by: MRGB | July 31, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Landover Hills is the nearest post office to me, but I never use it if I can avoid it because it's small, cramped and has a tiny parking lot. This really won't impact me much even though it's 'my' post office. I suspect there are other locations with similar stories...though if I were a carless person living in the apartment buildings nearby, I might feel differently.

Posted by: danacruikshank | July 31, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

After reading some of the comments....

First of all they are not going to close post offices on military bases and those just off military bases--where the people who work there live.

I am sure many of these post offices closed in cities are small satelite offices. In places like Chicago and New York you have post offices a few blocks apart. Many of these post offices are part of other local store or a small store itself. In Los Anglese things are much more spread out because its not a foot friendly community.

I dont have a problem if they cut delivery service. The issue I do have is the post office itself needs to be open and be open longer hours that is more accomodating the peole the live in the community. My post office is only open from 830-530 which is the same time I am at work. Why cant it be open from 7-7?

For example in Fredericksburg, one of the post offices is a satellite location in the mall.

Posted by: djp98374 | July 31, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Remember the LIVERY STABLE?




Remember the GOP?

Posted by: Tomcat3 | July 31, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

$0.20/Message per text message! Yet mail is considered expensive? Parents please teach your children the art of handwriting, so that our country can regain its educational status! Even if a person is not the best speller, or punctuational pro, it helps!

Posted by: brujosalazar | July 31, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

The USPS has been a disaster for years..mail to wrong addresses often, poor service. waiting in a 40min. line for 1 lousy stamp, what a joke.

Posted by: cjcanu01 | July 31, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

There is little need for full-service post offices anymore. The old biddies and geezers can get one of their kids or grandkids to order stamps for them from the internet, if they can't do it themselves. There are dozens of pack and ship stores all over. As long as they can continue to deliver snail-mail, I have no need for a brick-and-mortar post office.

Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | July 31, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Looking from the inside out you can see the systemic-failings that has gotten us where we are today. The Postal Service has never hired professionally trained/educated business people; they hired a genuine CFO onetime and reaped great rewards.

Postmasters have hired from the troughs of this world: a stripper/lap-dancer with no formal education is making eighty-thousand dollars running a distribution plant somewhere and yet could not compose a sentence with the simplicity of: See Jane run. The Postmaster moves on-and- up, on-and up making similar choices along the way; the result is a manifestation of wrong decisions (removing collection boxes, forcing the postal patron to use the intranet to pay a bill) and voluminous ineffective and unnecessary policies directed at the person moving and delivering the mail.

There are tens-of-thousands of unnecessary trough-hired people (administrators,managers and supervisors) receiving mega paychecks and producing absolutely nothing toward the bottom line. If the postal service could get these people off it's roles the figures back into the black.

Posted by: professorJ31 | August 1, 2009 6:43 AM | Report abuse

a couple of comments...

Anyone in the business of direct mail has come to believe that the Post Office doesn't really want to handle mail anymore. The manuals and rules have become so convoluted and anti-customer that even the Post Office itself has a hard time interpreting its own manuals.

My ex-father-in-law used to be a postman. He's be home at 1:30 or 2 o'clock every day except when there was a audit and he was followed through his route. Those weeks he'd work until 6pm.

Certainly the digital age has affected the postal business BUT they've also done much of the damage to themselves and have been for many years.

Posted by: rickedmonds | August 1, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

What Rick Edmunds didn't know or didn't care to mention is that his father in law reported to work at 5 am. So who is working a short, full salay day? Not daddy in law. He probably worked more overtime than he wanted. It's a very hard company for which to work, and getting harder. Most people wouldn't last 5 minutes, and that mainly includes the vocal critics. Walk a mile in my shoes.....

Posted by: stephanie98 | August 1, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

If the Postal Service is ever replaced with a private company they will pay low hourly wages which in turn will attract more desperate people which translates into more packages, medications, eBay shipments, checks, etc etc. disappearing in the mail flow. They will also be "casing" entire neighborhoods while people are at work. Why? Because they will need to supplement their low wages and won't really care about getting fired from a low wage job if caught. Another thing to think about is that Fed Ex and UPS will then be free to conspire to raise their fees as high as they can. The public will cry but by then it will be too late. If an emergency occurs (an electro-amtospheric explosion) which takes out all internet and wire communication in a rogue attack, the United States Postal Service will then be recognized as having been necessary. When bashing the Postal Service be careful what you wish for. You might get it and forever regret it. Support your Postal Service while you still can.

Posted by: vistaman | August 4, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Decreasing drop boxes will only increase pick-up mail at businesses and residences (those little red flags on mailboxes will all go up). USPS needs to put the deadwood on furlough and, eventually, raise the bar on minimum test results of new recruits. They should consider stopping bulk mail and junk mail delivery and start subbing it out to private contractors.

Posted by: oldmagnolia | August 6, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

professorJ31 gee professor bitter much? my word its something brand new its an elephant bird...

Posted by: brujosalazar | August 6, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

has any person on this board delivered a letter? i assume you e-mailed or unpaid credit card bills to the collector in Mass. from say California? Now imagine the driving time it would take to deliver that unpaid over due credit card bill? Sure you can now pay online I assume it wont mean much when a hacker steals your info, since you have no money saved or a life apparently.

Posted by: brujosalazar | August 6, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Offices will be closed, 7 districts have already been combined, why only 7 is ridiculous, and why the 7 chosen is a mystery. In Central Florida, one district was closed, and combined with the Sun Coast, no one lost their job, though a few retired. Now the USPS is moving the Sun Coast district to Central Florida?? and will pay unbelievable moving perks. Management in the USPS receive unbelievable perks, the greed, corruption and incompetence borders on criminal. These managers have never been investigated, the perks have never been challenged, and the managers continue to hide behind the good offices created by carriers and clerks.

USPS is a beloved Federal agency, but is poorly managed, with no over site, and top heavy with managers, supervisors, inspectors, and OIG.

Why there has never been a major story on the unbelievable amount a money the USPS handles and misuses is a mystery.

Posted by: jta515 | August 6, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I live very close to the Derwood post Office. I realize it is not that busy, but there are always customers in there.

If it closes, which they have planned/delayed for months I will have to go to downtown Rockville to pickup a package to buy stamps, etc. There is almost no parking downtown and the lines are ridiculous. I'm talking about 15-30 minutes to get to the counter in the afternoon or on Saturday. I'm not against closing inefficient offices, but they better have a plan for where the extra slack is going to be taken up. I'm do not want to drive for 30 minutes in traffic then wait up to 30 minutes to pick up a package.

Posted by: quiktake | August 7, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Many of you have failed to mention that many of these smaller post offices help keep our carbon foot print from expanding. The farther away the post office the more fuel for your car, your productivity is hampered,etc. We all need to meet locally with our communities and figure this out. We all have different needs, and although I use the internet our post offices are our "hard copy" links to the out side world. Oh yeah I'm a boomer and there are so many of us that use this older system that can you imagine the effect.
Th USPS needs to get its act together and do what ever it takes, such as raising the rates! Get real folks, everything will cost more in the future, but the cost to our environment will be even greater.

Posted by: bwcates | August 8, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Many of you have failed to mention that many of these smaller post offices help keep our carbon foot print from expanding. The farther away the post office the more fuel for your car, your productivity is hampered,etc. We all need to meet locally with our communities and figure this out. We all have different needs, and although I use the internet our post offices are our "hard copy" links to the out side world. Oh yeah I'm a boomer and there are so many of us that use this older system that can you imagine the effect.
Th USPS needs to get its act together and do what ever it takes, such as raising the rates! Get real folks, everything will cost more in the future, but the cost to our environment will be even greater.

Posted by: bwcates | August 8, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

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