Gilroy post office creating a safety hazard

Sometimes the stupidity of the bureaucratic process is so
glaring that it defies comprehension. A case in point is the United
States Postal Service’s refusal to consider relocating Gilroy’s
post office.
Sometimes the stupidity of the bureaucratic process is so glaring that it defies comprehension. A case in point is the United States Postal Service’s refusal to consider relocating Gilroy’s post office.

Because the facility has enough room for carriers inside the building, they turn a blind eye to numerous problems, no matter how bad the situation outside the building is.

And it’s bad.

The parking is woefully inadequate with just 11 spaces that are constantly full, turning postal patrons into parking vultures circling the block just so they can get inside to conduct their business. It’s a recipe for road rage and accidents.

It’s especially frustrating when you consider that tiny San Martin’s parking lot is larger. San Martin has 4,200 hundred residents but a bigger post office parking lot than Gilroy, which serves more than 10 times as many residents. And that doesn’t even include the business community which also makes heavy use of the post office.

The alley where drive-up mailboxes are located is frequently jammed, causing problems for the post office’s residential and business neighbors as well as its patrons. And the location, nestled in a quiet, partially residential neighborhood off the beaten path at Fourth and Eigleberry, is hardly ideal for a retail-oriented enterprise that needs easy access for cars and plenty of parking. San Martin’s post office is on that town’s main drag, San Martin Avenue, and Morgan Hill’s facility is on busy Monterey Road.

Gilroy public officials have been clamoring for a new post office for years. What’s been the response of the bureaucrats at the quasi-governmental postal service? Maybe a new post office – in 15 years.

It’s outrageous. The blinders the postal service pencil pushers wear make us wonder: If a post office were found atop a toxic waste dump, but had ample interior space, would they refuse to relocate it?

The City Council needs to up the ante. Without delay, it should draft a strongly-worded resolution and letter that puts the postal service on notice: The current location is a danger to the health and welfare of the community.

The growing number of cars plowing through the back alley creates a dangerous and intolerable traffic hazard. So is the way the cars back up on Fourth Street waiting to make the turn into either the jammed-up parking lot or the backed-up alley. The post office simply draws much more traffic than its location can safely handle. It’s more than a nuisance situation for neighbors. The alley is unsafe for children or pedestrians and, without swift action, the post office location will be the catalyst for serious injury or death.

The Council should direct staff to send that resolution to every state and federal representative who has ties to Gilroy. Then, Mayor Al Pinheiro should request meetings on the issue with those representatives.

Nothing short of a community pressure campaign will get the job done. We’re sure Economic Development Director Bill Linsteadt wouldn’t mind putting together a possible new location list that Pinheiro could carry to our legislators.

Given the complete lack of responsiveness the postal service is showing Gilroyans, it’s no wonder that mail volume is down nationwide while alternative shipping companies like UPS and FedEx, as well as electronic mail, are doing so well.

We’ll happily save the Council the time of tracking down the address for the Postmaster General and Chairman of the Board of Governors – ironically, it’s not listed on the U.S. Postal Service’s Web site. And we urge Gilroyans to join in and send a letter expressing the serious need for a new post office.

Maybe if we’re forceful enough, they’ll listen. It’s worth the effort:

Postmaster General John “Jack” E. Potter

Chairman of the Board of Governors S. David Fineman

United States Postal Service

475 L’Enfant Plaza Southwest

Washington, D.C. 20260