Are These The Final Days Of Door-To-Door USPS Deliveries?

Inscribed above the entry to the James Farley Post Office in Manhattan are the famous words, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” But you’ll notice that this unofficial postal carrier creed doesn’t specify that your mail will actually be brought to your door.

CNNMoney reports on efforts by both the USPS and legislators to curb — and possibly put an end to — door-to-door mail delivery.

Citing its authority to create cluster mailbox units (or CBUs, if you prefer postal parlance) in new areas where routes did not previously exist, USPS has started notifying people in new residential developments that they will not get mail delivered to their door, but to a nearby unit containing individual mailboxes for each address; basically what you’d find at an apartment building or some condo complexes.

This isn’t sitting well with some folks who think these boxes are ugly, annoying and possibly unsafe.

“We understand what’s driving this is a cost savings,” says the manager of Cranberry Township, PA, where residents in newly constructed developments recently learned they will get CBUs instead of door-to-door delivery. “But you can’t just take a cluster box and drop it into the community without planning for its safety, use and access.”

There are some legislators, like California Congressman Darrell Issa, who simply want to do away with all door-to-door deliveries and have everyone get their mail from a cluster unit. Doing so would save the USPS an estimated $4.5 billion a year. The aborted plan to scuttle Saturday deliveries would have saved an estimated $3 billion per year.

A union representing letter carriers tells CNN that switching everyone to CBUs would put an undue burden on the recipient.

“It’s madness,” said 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.”

Personally, I feel that if the USPS and Congress want to move us all toward cluster mailboxes, then they should include paper shredders and recycling bins at each CBU so we don’t have to carry all that junk home just to discard it.