The needler in the haystack.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Postal closings will hit Plainfield hard


Plainfield's Muhlenberg Station is one of three slated to close.
Three Plainfield postal stations will be closed under a proposal released by the Postal Service yesterday to shutter 3,700 post offices nationwide. Those affected would be the Muhlenberg Station on Arlington Avenue, the Netherwood Station on North Avenue, and the North Plainfield Station on Jackson Avenue (national list here, NJ list here).

If implemented, the closings would leave Plainfield-area postal customers with just the downtown main Post Office, Station 'A' on Clinton Avenue and the Watchung Station
just over the North Plainfield line on Somerset Street in Watchung.

About two thirds of the stations closed nationwide would be replaced by the USPS' new 'Village Post Office' model (see here), in which local retail merchants take over some of the functions of a post office.

These Village PO's sell stamps and flat-rate packages and offer mailboxes where there is demand. They do not sell money orders or offer certified receipts or priority mail envelopes. They also would not handle odd-sized packages or offer passport services.

While outlets come to mind immediately for Netherwood (the nearby Walgreen's?) and North Plainfield (the QuickCheck?), there is no such retail outlet nearby for the Muhlenberg Station.

Besides the effect on postal customers, the proposed closings will involve large scale disruption of the postal worker system, which is likely to include early retirement/buyout programs as well as outright termination of workers with the least seniority. USPS can expect pushback from the two largest unions representing workers, the National Association of Letter Carriers (whose local #396 represents workers in the Plainfield area) and the American Postal Workers Union.

The proposed closings would take place in 2012, after community meetings are held by the USPS in affected location to seek alternative locations for services. After these community hearings, local users will have sixty days to appeal a closure to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). This will be small comfort, however, as the USPS is not bound by the PRC's recommendations.

Plainfield Today will stay on top of this process as it moves forward and provide information on community meetings/hearings once they are scheduled.





Map of proposed closings nationwide (from USPS).

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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11 comments:

Rob said...

they did this to themselves...getting anything at the Post Office is a complete and total lesson in frustration. Buying a roll of stamps is akin to watching glue dry. Won't step into one unless I am forced to.
I use Fed Ex for most anything.

Anonymous said...

Sad for a lot of reasons but I suspect this will even further lower the rate that people use the USPS...parking for the main PO is almost impossible, convenience is the key for me to use something. I'll miss the Muhlenberg PO, I know the closing of the hospital had a great impact on that branch..this is another domino effect I'm afraid.

juggler314 said...

Eh, I wouldn't say they did it to themselves per se. But with the advent of the internet, and the rise of FedEx/UPS in the 80's...

The writing has been on the wall for a long time.

I just wish they hadn't already lost many billions of dollars by doing the regular government thing of ignoring the writing on the wall!

gwsmitty said...

I totally disagree with ROB'S last comment. He is a disgruntle postal customer hater. He most likely had a bad experience at some post office and feels all postal offices are all the same. In
life you can not please everyone. The United States Postal Service is still the BEST in the world. We still have one of cheapest stamps in the world. The reason why the Postal Service is having a money problem is the INTERNET has cutted into their revenue. People are paying their bills on-line and not buying stamps. Most people don't know that the Goverment do not give the Postal Service any revenue.

Anonymous said...

The real problem is that the postal service did not reinvent itself to account for additional services and create new services for their customers.

In order to survive for any length of time in a business, you need to keep up. So, the postal service should look at themselves, not as mail deliverers, but communication deliverers.

Still sad. Hate to see people lose jobs.

Anonymous said...

gwsmitty:


"disgruntled"
"post" offices
"cut"
"does" not give

Anonymous said...

the Postal Service were the place to work for the people just geting out of the service and going on the g.i. bill to work school.
thank Dan. stop by the rushmore pool the young people are having the time of there life this week and last were the thing to do go to the pool and thank to Mr Dave and hios peoples

Keith said...

For another library, I looked into providing postal services as we did passport services. However, the US Dept of State offered a small financial incentive to provide the service, whereas the Postal Service would have required us to put money up front, and then not receive any revenue. Hard to imagine any small stores taking this on, onlky large ones that already have the foot traffic.

Rob said...

"disgruntled postal customer hater"???.... First off this supposed "negative experience" you are ASSuming I had...not there. Never been berated, treated badly, abused or anything of the like...so, as per assumptions, your's couldn't be more off the mark.
THEY ARE SLOW. THEY BREAKS and CLOSURES SCHEDULED at the the PEAKS of their customer needs. I've never had an issue with any carrier whether it was an employee or a contracted rural carrier.
It isn't about cost...THEY ARE SLOW. I've NEVER been to a Post Office where they actually moved at a speed close to normal. THAT IS THE ISSUE. It could be almost free...still wouldn't use them.

Jack Angas said...

I think there are certain things to be address first before the government decided the closure. This is in order to find this alternative solution.

Anonymous said...

Wow really.