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Door-To-Door Mail Delivery To End Under New Plan

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the through-rain-or-shine-snow-or-sleet-we-deliver-your-mail-to-a-centralized-location dept.

Communications 867

First time accepted submitter Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Reuters reports that under a cost-saving plan by the US Postal Service, millions of Americans accustomed to getting their mail delivered to their doors will have to trek to the curb and residents of new homes will use neighborhood mailbox clusters. 'Converting delivery away from door delivery to either curb line or centralized delivery would enable the Postal Service to provide service to more customers in less time,' says Postal Service spokeswoman Sue Brennan. More than 30 million American homes get door-to-door delivery and another 50 million get their mail dropped at their curbside mailboxes. But the Post Service, which is buckling under massive financial losses, sees savings in centralized mail delivery. Door-to-door delivery costs the Postal Service about $353 per address each year while curbside delivery costs $224, and cluster boxes cost $160 per address. But unions say it's a bad idea to end delivery to doorsteps and will be disruptive for the elderly and disabled. 'It's madness,' says Jim Sauber, chief of staff for the National Association of Letter Carriers. 'The idea that somebody is going to walk down to their mailbox in Buffalo, New York, in the winter snow to get their mail is just crazy.'"

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Already happening (4, Informative)

JackieBrown (987087) | about a year ago | (#44375637)

We have been doing this for new homes in San Antonio for the past 5-10 years. My house was built in 1993 and it's like this.

Re:Already happening (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44375693)

That's how it was at most apartments I've lived in as well. Not that big of a deal - generally you stop by the mail area on your way home from work.

I'm all for a small fee to deliver to the door. I might even pay it if it meant I don't have to install a box at the curb :) The delta seems to be about $10/month.

Re:Already happening (5, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#44375819)

It's not a problem in apartments, where it is safe and easy to get down to the mailboxes. However where I live the distance between residences is about 0.5 mile, and if they create a mailbox cluster it would be about 3 miles away. Do you want to drive for 12 minutes to just get useless ads? If they go ahead with this method, I would be tempted to cancel mail service. Those who I deal with have email, and I can pay them electronically.

Re:Already happening (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375987)

We lived in an apartment complex--a gated apartment complex as if that meant the USPS letter carrier, UPS courier, FedEx courier, Cops, Firemen, Pizza Delivery guys (every pizza place within two miles), florists, etc., etc. didn't have the code. Well, anyway, the kids in the complex would take the delivered mail after each delivery and toss in the trash, take it home, put it in other boxes, etc., etc. A central delivery point doesn't work too well for us.

Re:Already happening (1)

Valcrus (1242564) | about a year ago | (#44375711)

like what? That you walk to the street? Or that you pickup from some central location? As far as going to the street it depends on the area. Around me its all curb mailboxes unless your are in a condo/Apt. But go to my parents and all the mailboxes are mounted box the door so the mailman walks the whole neighborhood to deliver.

    Personally I don't see an issue with having to get your mail from the box out at the road. Assuming you aren't going to do something stupid like say deciding that all mailboxes need to be on the same side of the road so someone is gonna have to play frogger to get their mail. As far as the centralized delivery goes that is a stupid idea. If we are going that far just make people pickup the mail from the post office directly and then you can fire all the postal drivers.

Re:Already happening (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375791)

Assuming you aren't going to do something stupid like say deciding that all mailboxes need to be on the same side of the road so someone is gonna have to play frogger to get their mail.

You mean on one side of the road, like the way it is everywhere I've ever seen mailboxes at the curb?

Re:Already happening (1)

thaylin (555395) | about a year ago | (#44375865)

Not everywhere. Here in NC it happens sometimes in really rural areas, but not typically in populated ones.

Every other day delivery is much better..... (4, Insightful)

pollarda (632730) | about a year ago | (#44375727)

Face it, we don't get any mail anymore that can't wait a day. Bills and junk mail are the norm. It makes a huge amount of sense to deliver non-priority packages every other day. It would cut the manpower needed for delivery almost in half. Combine that with community / street mailboxes and then that makes some real savings.

Re:Every other day delivery is much better..... (5, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#44375841)

Without this "almost free" mail, another segment of the economy collapses. Print shops would disappear, for one.

Look at it this way: Advertisers hire people to create copy and design layout, which goes to print shops that buy ink and paper, then bulk send the result via a postal service to my home - where I retrieve the contents and promptly deposit them in the recycling bin.

But it doesn't end there! Then the waste management company comes to collect those, deliver them to paper mills that supply the print shops... Cue Elton John! It's the "Circle of Life"!

Somebody is gainfully employed at every stage of this pipeline, and it is no more or less absurd than any other form of socially connected human endeavour. Everything is social policy, like it or not. Wait on the mail? Only at an overall social cost which, like the beat of a butterfly wing, may be of inestimable consequence.

Re:Every other day delivery is much better..... (4, Insightful)

RCL (891376) | about a year ago | (#44376029)

Why don't we hire people to break windows using the same logic?

Re:Every other day delivery is much better..... (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44375847)

I get my bills online. The only thing I get in the mail are county tax assessments once or twice per year. EVERYTHING else is bulk advertising that goes straight into the trash.

If I wanted to deal with a giant apartment-style "all mailboxes in a cluster far away from your house" thing, I wouldn't have bought a god damn house. I'd be living in an apartment.

But, really, mail is pretty irrelevant. Save a ton of money for the USPS by delivering mail to each address once per week. That is frequent enough.

Re:Already happening (-1, Flamebait)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#44375729)

How sad.

They could instead, go to MULTIPLE door-to-door deliveries per day.

This would INCREASE the time required, causing a shift to greater hiring, and increased overall employment. Then? More parents could buy cars, eat out and send their kids to college.

You see, the government is NOT a private business, and it does not "lose" money like a corporation, no matter how many MBA's it takes to screw-over a light bulb. In fact, "losing" more money on more postal service and more postal workers means MORE economic long-term gain, overall. This includes those private businesses that need customers. But short-term, zero-sum-game trained business management thinking just wants to eliminate workforce competition by public sector employment, and to create an extractive revenue model out of postal service.

I might remind you that it is postal service that was historically considered one of the foundation pillars for the creation of a nation, as the concept emerged in the late 18th century. You can't really claim to be at all patriotic, if you advocate the national abandonment of infrastructure to profiteers.

Re:Already happening (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375773)

Worst. Idea. Ever.

Re:Already happening (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44375795)

Thomas Jefferson called me, he says they totally didn't have iPhones back then.

Re:Already happening (2, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#44375931)

Which operate over the PUBLIC airwaves, which by rights should also be under the appropriate level of management as national infrastructure - serving the purpose of a great nation, subject to the consent of it's people as a whole.

What's true for the post should have been true for the Telegraph - as it was in much of Europe after Napoleon.

That is, until the pirates and grafters took over completely, and brainwashed you lot into believing that if it didn't turn profit, then it had no value.

Re:Already happening (1)

nschubach (922175) | about a year ago | (#44375935)

He also didn't have a regular phone... so how did he call you? Via horse messenger or was it a shout from across the street?

Re:Already happening (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375805)

Are you serious or some kind of troll? Throw more money into the pit that is the postal service for something that we don't need anyway (multiple deliveries per day).

I'm all for reducing deliveries to twice a week or something. Requires less workers, less fuel, and doesn't really make any damn difference as far as the service you are receiving.

Re:Already happening (5, Informative)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#44375943)

The USPS wouldnt actually be in the red if it werent for the stupid rules congress imposed on them a few years back where they are the only federal entity that has to have 100% retirement funds paid for (my understyanding is the industry standards are 10-15% funded) In fact they were doing fairly well until the change.

Re:Already happening (3, Informative)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year ago | (#44375909)

You don't seem to understand how the USPS works. The USPS is NOT part of the government, it's a government-owned corporation. That means it has to run its finances exactly the way every other company does: it brings in revenue from customers, and then spends that revenue on expenses (operating expenses including salaries, capital expenses, and employee pensions). If they hire more people, then they have to raise their prices to pay them, which means more people switch to shipping stuff by UPS/FedEx, or they just don't send any mail at all. The USPS gets a lot of its revenue from junk mail, unfortunately. If they jack up the price of sending junk mail, then the junk mailers will send much less of it, which equals much less revenue from the USPS to pay all these new employees, which means they go bankrupt.

The USPS is, in fact, quite reluctant to hire ANY new employees at this time, because it costs so much, since they have to pre-fund every employee's pension fund for the next 75 years, thanks to the stupid law Congress passed in 2006 (with both Dems and Reps, so save your partisan bullshit). This is why the USPS has been moving to shut down Post Offices and instead encourage more franchise operations, called CPUs (contract postal units); the franchise operations act as postal clerks and handle normal mail duties like any PO location, but they're separate companies and not USPS employees so the USPS doesn't have to deal with any pensions for them.

Re:Already happening (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#44375977)

Re-nationalise it. Now.

This was spun out so that it WOULD fail - creating opportunity for the FedEx/UPS bastards. They funded the campaigns of House Committee chairmen, and similar "Grima Wormtongue" types, to betray YOU and sell as a franchise, that which was core to national identity and shared purpose.

When they say "Free Market" they really mean regulatory policy to advantage themselves. You ARE smart enough to be a free thinker, and reject knee-jerk conventional wisdom, are you not?

Re:Already happening (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375733)

I've always thought ending the post office as we know it in favor or rural broadband would be a good way to modernize our system and communication methodologies, however it appers now that the sealed envalope is the most confidential method of remote communication available.

Re:Already happening (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | about a year ago | (#44375837)

It's as secure until someone spills a powder on the letter you want to send and they are then authorised to open it up under safety and security concerns about what this powder is.

If the police plant false evidence, then surely this isn't far off.

Re:Already happening (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year ago | (#44375925)

Actually, the USPS already takes photos of every piece of mail and saves it. They might not know what's inside, but they can tell the NSA who you've been communicating with.

Re:Already happening (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year ago | (#44375755)

We already do this in Edmonton, Alberta and manage to get to our post boxes even in -40C weather in the winter so while door-to-door delivery is nicer I think those living in Buffalo will survive.

Re:Already happening (1)

dwillden (521345) | about a year ago | (#44375969)

To further counter that idiotic Buffalo argument: The Residents can't walk 30 feet through the snow once a day to get their mail, but the mail carriers can walk from door to door to door through the same snow and cold with no problems? Curbside works great in many areas, cluster boxes are the new norm. It sounds like a good idea, but then so did cutting to only 5 day a week delivery but congress was bought off by the unions or someone and blocked that good idea as well.

Re:Already happening (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44375815)

I have a better idea. How about they deliver TO THE DOOR but only deliver mail once per week? Believe me, if I have anything that is more time sensitive than "about a week", I am NOT sending/receiving it by USPS. As it is, I don't check the mail more than once every week or two *and it is delivered right to my door*... and that is, frankly, just to grab it out of the little box and throw it directly into the trash. Hell, moving it to the curb or somewhere else would be fantastic -- because it can be someone else's problem and I won't even have to ever empty my mail...

Re:Already happening (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year ago | (#44375821)

It was the same way in several Phoenix-area neighorhoods when I lived in that crappy city. I lived in two different houses, built in the 80s, and they had centralized mailboxes scattered throughout the subdivision; each location had 32 boxes IIRC.

The thing that really sucked about it was that the individual boxes were quite small, and could barely hold all the junk mail. This isn't a bad idea, as long they make the boxes much bigger so you don't miss something if you forget to check your mail one day to clear enough space because it's so full of junkmail that the carrier saves your mail for the next day.

Re:Already happening (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44376021)

I grew up in the country. We walked down and up a steep gravel driveway to get the mail all the time. Or take out the trash.

Common in Canada (3, Informative)

danbob999 (2490674) | about a year ago | (#44375653)

My mailbox is something like 400m away.

Re:Common in Canada (3, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#44375667)

Not really all that common in Canada actually. It's the trend in new subdivisions built in the last 15 years, but most people still get their stuff to the door.

Re: Common in Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375713)

Where do u live?

Re: Common in Canada (1)

soupbowl (1849394) | about a year ago | (#44375881)

mid/north BC. Most mail is delivered to the door.

Re: Common in Canada (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#44376019)

Where do u live?

The SWON aka South-western Ontario.

Re:Common in Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375871)

Community mailboxes have been the norm, for new subdivision in Canada, since 1985.

Re:Common in Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375959)

Yes they have (mine is like this). I don't like it, it sucks. I'd rather have the junk delivered at home even if it'd mean to pay a small fee.

Re:Common in Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375735)

To be fair, that's to scale with your distance from civilization compared to most Americans.

(I tease, but I love Canadians. And coincidentally, Canadians are way over-represented among my software's user base.)

obligitory meme spam. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375679)

Madness? THIS IS SPARTA!!!

So what? Cluster boxes are awesome (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | about a year ago | (#44375681)

I've spent my whole life around them & to be honest I'm more comfortable w/ walking ALL THE WAY TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STREET than a strange man (or woman) putting shit through a security-risk insulation-killer hole in my door. Lets take a step back here: When the postal service started, you went to your nearest post office & got your mail by name. Then, later on, they decided to add numbers to every house & it'd be delivered. Curbside makes plenty of sense to me, but a hole in your door? REALLY? BTW IIRC in certain areas you can still get your mail by name at the office.

Re:So what? Cluster boxes are awesome (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | about a year ago | (#44375697)

& yes I'm familiar w/ wall-mounted doorside mailboxes but I'm sure many people would still prefer something on the curb than someone dicking around your doorstep 6 (or maybe in the future 5) days a week.

Re:So what? Cluster boxes are awesome (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44375739)

I've, um, never really had a problem with a pretty trustworthy guy sticking stuff in my door. Did you have some kind of bad experience or something?

Re:So what? Cluster boxes are awesome (1)

EvanED (569694) | about a year ago | (#44375757)

Huh, I'm actually the opposite. I've had a locking mailbox and currently have a "normal" curbside mailbox now. I'd much prefer a door slot to the normal curbside mailbox, and would prefer it to a lesser extent to a locking mailbox. A door slot is more secure than a normal curbside mailbox and I wouldn't have to worry about stopping mail delivery if I'm away for a week or two to prevent the mailbox from filling (or to reduce signs of me being away).

Plus secure parcel delivery (3, Interesting)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year ago | (#44375803)

The other advantage is that cluster boxes (at least in Canada) have secure parcel delivery capability which, while limited in size, is still a big improvement over what can fit through a letter box. Only downside is that unlike your home the parcel boxes are not heated which means if you parcel contains electronics you need to let it heat up before opening it in the winter when temperatures drop below -30C otherwise you risk condensation.

Re:Plus secure parcel delivery (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#44375983)

I came here to mention this. Best part about having locked community mailboxes. You don't have to be home to have packages delivered to you.

Re:So what? Cluster boxes are awesome (2)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#44375831)

Around here our mailboxes are normally attached to the outside of the house. There's no bigger danger than having no mailbox at all.

What you're also ignoring is that when the post office started it was open 7 days a week and they didn't have the benefit of things like cars.

Re:So what? Cluster boxes are awesome (1)

anubi (640541) | about a year ago | (#44375891)

It could be worse.

The Post Office could easily see fit to give you a "free" PO Box at the post office....

And eliminate delivery altogether.

Frequency vs. Distance (5, Interesting)

crow (16139) | about a year ago | (#44375685)

I think most Americans would rather give up Saturday delivery than have to walk farther to get their mail. I would be happy with just MWF delivery, but I would not want to have to walk to the end of our block to a cluster box.

Re: Frequency vs. Distance (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375751)

You are the pinnacle of a lazy ass! I'd much rather walk a few yards but be able to get a package any day than MWF delivery. day vs. 5 min. walk.

Re: Frequency vs. Distance (2)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44375981)

Uh. This isn't about "not leaving your package". This is about them leaving it at your door versus leaving it at some weird "community bundle" down the street. Personally, I'd rather they just leave it on my doorstep and ring the bell, like they already do.

Well, the one time every year or two I get anything of any importance via the USPS. 98% of everything actually goes through UPS and FedEx, which go out of their way to deliver things to you and give you great service.

Give me the option to totally opt-out of the USPS. I'll gladly do that.

Re:Frequency vs. Distance (1)

clem.dickey (102292) | about a year ago | (#44375809)

I would not want to walk a whole block 6 days a week, but once a week would be okay. And put a big shared recycling container just below the mailbox cluster. Or would that make the obvious too obvious?

Re:Frequency vs. Distance (1)

dwillden (521345) | about a year ago | (#44376007)

Then just convince the mailman to only deliver the actual mail and drop all the bulk crap directly into the recycling container.

Re:Frequency vs. Distance (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#44375875)

Most Americans would prefer that the US government stop shielding UPS and Fedex from competition with the USPS and allow the USPS a more leisurely schedule for funding its pension system.

What you're ignoring there is that the benefit of USPS is that you can get things delivered on saturday without having to pay extra like with the competition.

Re:Frequency vs. Distance (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44375889)

I would rather give up all deliveries.

Seriously, it's enough of a hassle to have someone shove a bunch of fucking junkmail every day into the box outside my door. Now you want me to walk to the curb or down the street for the pleasure of collecting all of your shitty paid-for advertising so I can throw it in my trash that I also have to pay for?

Re:Frequency vs. Distance (1, Funny)

The Sad Nazgul (2803507) | about a year ago | (#44375997)

What bugs me is that I have to walk all the way to my front door to get my mail. I would be much happier if the postman would just bring it to me in front of the tv, but I do not want to walk to my porch.

How about .. (5, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year ago | (#44375691)

How about un-funding the massive health fund payments that they were forced to make?

Re:How about .. (0)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44375743)

Yes, the Detroit model. Worked out well for those retirees.

Re:How about .. (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#44375823)

Err, it's not the "detroit model." It's the "we're going to impose unreasonable costs on you in an attempt to make you look bad and justify shutting you down" model. Forcing the USPS to maintain a fund for worker retirement up to 75 years from now is completely and totally unreasonable and serves only one purpose.

Re:How about .. (1)

soupbowl (1849394) | about a year ago | (#44375927)

It amazes me that so few Americans realize this.

Re:How about .. (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44375877)

I don't think you quite understand the situation. The USPS is not in a money crunch. It is a fabrication forced upon them through ridiculous per-funding requirements that aren't forced upon other institutions. The whole "they're bleeding cash and gotta cut spending!" thing is a farce.

Re:How about .. (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year ago | (#44375811)

How about un-funding the massive health fund payments that they were forced to make?

Yeah, I love the phrasing here:

'Converting delivery away from door delivery to either curb line or centralized delivery would enable the Postal Service to provide service to more customers in less time,'

So will de-funding the health fund payments.
Also, throwing away all large packages (it's not like post office is responsible) would allow to provide service to more customers in less time.

Re:How about .. (0)

abroadwin (1273704) | about a year ago | (#44375851)

Brilliant! We can make people exercise less and remove their healthcare at the same time!


Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375695)

You young people have it easy !!

happens in nyc (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44375709)

Old people have to go to community mailbox in their building

Re:happens in nyc (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#44375893)

Those are apartments, and you usually have an elevator that takes you 95% of the way to the mailboxes. It's like that around here for apartments as well. But, for most houses you still have individual mailboxes at the house. I think it's mostly suburban developments where the mailboxes are set up in one location.

The Wussification of America Continues (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about a year ago | (#44375715)

'The idea that somebody is going to walk down to their mailbox in Buffalo, New York, in the winter snow to get their mail is just crazy.'"

Oh the horror, the horror....

Re:The Wussification of America Continues (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about a year ago | (#44375961)

Bunch of candy-ass whiners I tell you... Tell that to anyone living in the upper midwest or Canada and see how long they keep a straight face.

Re:The Wussification of America Continues (1)

Ignacio (1465) | about a year ago | (#44376017)

Right up until the full stop. Then I was somewhere between "LOL" and "ROFL".

Save on cost (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375717)

Cut out the middle man and send it straight to the NSA

dissolve the USPS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375763)

either take it private or let (profitable) companies fill the void

anyone who works for USPS is a glorified welfare recipient.

people get their mail delivered to their door?!? (1)

XaXXon (202882) | about a year ago | (#44375767)

wow.. I'm in the wrong place.

wanna make bets.. (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#44375775)

...about whether or not it ends in to THESE congresscritters.

We have a ruling class in the USA, just like the founding fathers were scared of.

Re: wanna make bets.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375833)

People who write congresscritters are lame.

Re:wanna make bets.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375913)

You actually ARE and idiot, Mickey. I don't even know what the hell you are trying to say: "it ends in to THESE" isn't even proper fucking grammar. Try again.

End the monopoly. (0)

jcr (53032) | about a year ago | (#44375777)

Lysander Spooner already demonstrated that private mail carriers can do a better job for less money, back in the mid 1800s. It's even more true today.


Re:End the monopoly. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375957)

Right, because we have never had horrible horrible results when we de-regulated a service and made it for-profit.

Buffalo, NY in Winter (2)

Erik Noren (926115) | about a year ago | (#44375779)

The idea that somebody is going to walk down to their mailbox in Buffalo, New York, in the winter snow to get their mail is just crazy.

If a person doesn't keep their path shoveled enough to walk to their own mailbox, why should the mail carrier trek up to their door? Where I grew up if you didn't shovel the mail carrier wouldn't even bother. Maybe he or she would come up once and ring the bell to at least give you warning they won't come up again if you don't shovel. Most often they would just skip you. At least this way a kind neighbor could help the elderly couple with shoveling or bringing up their mail rather than getting nothing.

Re:Buffalo, NY in Winter (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44375905)

Holy shit, I never thought of this. You mean, if I refuse to shovel my walk in the winter, they will refuse to deliver stacks of junkmail to my door?

It seems so fucking obvious, but I never thought of doing that. Looking forward to next winter!!!

The Post Office is not buckling.... (3, Insightful)

stox (131684) | about a year ago | (#44375783)

under massive financial losses. It is buckling under the massive stupidity of Congress.

This would also mean that you have to go to the Post Office every time you have a letter/package to sign for, as they are probably not going to come to your front door for that anymore, either. Even though I live less than a half mile from a Post Office, due to the insanity of current cost cutting, I have to drive 8 miles away to get to the Post Office that serves my house.

Re:The Post Office is not buckling.... (2)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year ago | (#44375885)

It is buckling under the massive stupidity of Congress.

Indeed -- aren't they prevented from raising prices more?

Also, aren't they subcontracted by UPS/FedEx on "unprofitable" routes because USPS has to serve every location at roughly the same price?

It is this ridiculous idea that you can run something like a public utility service and business at the same time, i.e. keep prices low, guarantee universal service and be self-sustaining or profitable. Something's gotta give.

8 miles (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#44375897)

And hope you can get there before they close. And since Saturday hours is on the chopping block too, there goes the chance for most of us M-F folks to get a package and will have to choose other carriers.

Back to the 'community boxes' concept, i prefer my mail to be securely delivered on my property, not some 'common area' down the street, ripe for robbery and theft.At least in an apartment building its normally ON your building and not down the street ..( around here anyway )

My neighbor is elderly and we would have to get her mail for her. but of course, that is a crime....

Re:The Post Office is not buckling.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375919)

no. I have clustered mailbox. If it needs a signature, they come to the door. That's why adding "signature" to the package costs so much. It includes the walk to the doorstep.

Re:The Post Office is not buckling.... (2)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#44376013)

The nearest Post Office here is in about 15 minutes of driving. However parking there is pretty bad, the office is tiny, and the lines are huge. If you come at rush hour you cannot easily leave because of traffic issues. You need to allocate at least 30 minutes if you only want to buy one stamp at the counter. I cannot imagine myself ever going there; the few times I had to do that to retrieve a package were a sad waste of time.

What USPS needs to do is this. They scan the front of all incoming first class mail and make the scans available to you over the Internet. (You can register for that.) Pieces of mail that you mark for retrieval could be delivered on a weekly basis by a carrier, to your existing mailbox (or door.) Pieces of mail that you explicitly decline (and all flyers, if you so desire) are trashed right at the post office. Pieces of mail that you haven't marked for a couple of weeks are returned to sender. You would be also able to configure vacation mode, where this limbo time is extended (for free or for extra pay, depending on how long the vacation lasts.)

This way you'd be receiving important mail once per week, and the carrier would be running light. The number of carriers can be reduced, since they don't need to deliver from 9am to 11am; now they can deliver 24/7 if they want to, as long as they visit every mailbox not more often than once per week.

same here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375789)

here the law was changed recently, now requires the mail box be at the side walk or apartments at clustered at the front door
disabled can request a dispensation

Trash Day (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | about a year ago | (#44375829)

I don't get any mail that's so sensitive that I can't get it weekly. Bring back the corner mailboxes so I can drop off outbound mail or just leave it to be picked up at the curb/cluster/whatever.

We might have to get bigger mailboxes though considering about half my mail (by weight) is junkmail. I do get three magazines. One motorcycle and two guitar.

The banks, credit card companies, utilities, etc would have to adjust to make sure mail is sent in enough time for the mailman to pick up the outbound and deliver it in time.


Re:Trash Day (1)

Shados (741919) | about a year ago | (#44375939)

The boxes better be big if you go look weekly. I have a fairly large mailbox, and if i wait a full week to pick mail up, because of all the trash mail, my REAL mail barely fits or gets damaged as the mailman squish it in the box. So i have to go every 2 days or so.

That's gonna be annoying as hell.

Finally a good idea for the post office (1)

Pfil2 (88340) | about a year ago | (#44375843)

I see no problems with this. The post office will still need door to door delivery for packages. If someone is disabled or elderly then I'm sure it'd still be cheaper to create a registry where the post office delivers mail to the door of those people. As an added bonus every cluster box I've seen has a key to your mailbox so your mail is more secure and nobody other than the mailman can put mail in your box.

This isn't new either; as was mentioned already. I grew up in a small town of 700. Nobody in the whole town had a mailbox. Everyone in town had to go to the post office and get their mail form a PO Box. Sure, for some it was a mile away but your mail was always delivered at 9 AM if you wanted to check that early. This was in the 1980's and as far as I know it'd been like that the previous 30 years. Then when I went to college all the mail was centralized near the cafeteria. When I graduated and moved to small city in Indiana all the houses in my subdivision had cluster boxes for every 10-20 houses. This was a subdivision built in the early 1990's. Now I'm living in MD in a gated community and it has cluster boxes too although for some odd reason I have to walk past the nearest cluster box and down the street to next one to get my mail from that box. So, from my point of view I've never had door to door service.

Garbage (1)

computersnstuff (799942) | about a year ago | (#44375845)

Did they factor in the wasted time and money of delivering junk mail that inevitably gets tossed in the garbage?

Re:Garbage (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about a year ago | (#44375979)

Junk mail is what has traditionally kept the USPS afloat.

Great for parcels (5, Interesting)

gehrehmee (16338) | about a year ago | (#44375849)

I've lived in places with the mailbox-cluster idea in Canada. Personally, I love it. It's especially great for parcels that would otherwise be left on a doorstep or taken back to a depot.

What happens here is that the mailbox-clusters have a a small number of large mailboxes. If you have a parcel, it goes in one of the large mailboxes. Then the key to that mailbox is put in your personal mailbox. You open it, take your parcel, and lock the key inside. Awesome.

What is happening to you guys? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375857)

Non-American here.

What is happening to the largest economy in the world? You guys have the largest military, largest economy, dominant currency and you need to cut back on the mail service? I am even more flabbergasted at this than the lack of universal healthcare and the furor surrounding Obamacare.

Mail delivery for me is as basic as clean water and electricity; a basic staple of civilization that is part of every modern society.

Please don't take this as a veiled anti-American rant because it is not. I honestly wonder if I am witnessing the decline of a once might country. The other possibility is that the political stalemate in govt. is responsible for these basic things not getting fixed. If so this is almost scary: institutions in a superpower are crumbling because the politicians cannot work together.

Any American that cares to enlightens this foreigner?

Ouch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375859)

It makes perfect sense from a logistical standpoint. Unfortunately, mail clusters are an appealing target for mail thieves. Pop open the big door, and all your mails are belong to us.

Solves the obesity problem in the US? (1)

pbjones (315127) | about a year ago | (#44375899)

Walking out to your mailbox may be the only exercise that some people get. :)

How about we pay them to stay home? (1)

ioconnor (2581137) | about a year ago | (#44375921)

I have not wanted to receive anything via mail in over two decades. I'd be ok with paying them to stay home and stay out of trouble. Now if we could pay our politicians to stay at home...

the idea that someone is going to walk to their (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375937)

mailbox in a snowstorm is crazy but having the mailman walk from house to house in the snowstorm isn't????

Good solution! (1)

richardoz (529837) | about a year ago | (#44375953)

We walk to our box and sometimes pick up the mail when we are on the way home from other errands. We've have a cluster box for over 20 years. I see no reason to have people manually deliver the arbitrary bills and junk mail to my door. It seems like a waste of time.

Can you move it a bit further away? (1)

istartedi (132515) | about a year ago | (#44375955)

Can you move the box further away? I'm thinking that I'd like my mailbox moved into the industrial side of town. Now bear with me, I'll explain why. What's on the industrial side of town? Recycling centers. So? Virtually all of my mail goes into the recycling bin. I have a few pieces of real business that come in the mail. I could tell those companies to send it to a PO Box on Broadway (there is a street by that name here lined with shops, it's a nice walk). The rest of the mail would go to the box on the industrial side of town.

Now you're probably still thinking this idea is crazy. I'd still have to go across town, right? Nope. I could just tell the recyclers to get it, or... better yet, the USPS could offer "hole in the box" service.

They just lease a building next to the recycling center, cut a hole in the back of my box, and shove it all the way through. Problem solved.

A winning combination (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375975)

Less service for a higher fee.
A winning combination in Fantasyland, D.C.

Fracking Insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44375993)

This idea is fracking insane.

I live a block from a high school in a suburban community. If you put mail at the curb, it will be messed with. It will also make it much more apparent when someone is not home. And it will make the streets--already a patchwork of wires and telephone polls--even uglier by cluttering the curb with mailboxes.

Here's a better idea--why don't they charge communities for to-the-door delivery? That way a town can decide whether to splurge for it or not.

Google will develop a solution ... (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year ago | (#44376001)

Google will merge the self driving car technology it has developed with some robots from ai.mit.edu and complete the mail delivery from the cluster boxes to the door. But first it has to complete the robot that will open the mail and merge it with the OCR technology it developed for the Gutenberg project.

Considering the Constitutional Nature.... (4, Insightful)

KalvinB (205500) | about a year ago | (#44376025)

Really, the Post Office is the one thing we shouldn't care about losing money on since it's a necessary and constitutionally required function of government. When's the last time we complained about the military losing money?

What is a much bigger problem is the absurd amount of money losing ventures the government embarks on that it's not even supposed to be involved in.

Go Postal! (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about a year ago | (#44376031)

Go Postal does not have the same connotation as Go Federal.

The postal orifice had it's chance when the trial balloon of personal eternal email addresses was popped by corprat interests.

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