Conflicting Post Office News: Eleanor Holmes Norton Says No Post Offices Set to Close in DC – CM Graham Says T Street Station to Close Dec. 31st

14th and Wallach Place NW

Well, yesterday was a confusing day for Post Office news. First Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton sent out a press release saying there would be no closures:

“Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) has confirmed that there are no current plans to shut down any D.C. post offices. Norton contacted the U.S. Postal Service after being informed that District residents had heard that two post offices would close in December.”

Then later in the evening CM Graham wrote:

“I am advised by the employees at the “T Street Post Office” (14th and Wallach Place NW) that operations will close on December 31st of this year. They have also been told that there is no plan to open a new post office location.

If this is in fact the case, it is a serious blow to Ward 1 postal services. As we all know, “T Street” is typically jammed with people, as is the much smaller operation at Kalorama and 18th St. The Temple Heights office at 1921 Florida Avenue is also very busy..

Losing “T Street” or any of those facilities will have an adverse impact to be sure.

Development is planned for that site and the USPS lease is expiring. But the new construction could have included a post office and, obviously, another site could still be found.

I have today contacted DC Postmaster Roane requesting confirmation that the “T Street” postal facility will be relocated, and can thus be counted on to serve our residents. I support Congresswoman Norton’s position that neighborhood post offices should not be reduced.

Please email the DC Postmaster and his assistant at these addresses:

[email protected]
Postmaster of the District of Columbia

And his assistant
[email protected]

Bests, Councilmember Jim Graham”

I asked both offices to reconcile the conflicting info and CM Graham writes:

“The building in which “T Street” is located is about to be demolished and developed. I have spoken to both USPS employees there, and the developer, and—as relevant to them– they all confirm that there are no apparent plans to either include “T Street” in the new building or to find another location.

Since all of this is about to happen very soon, if there is no concern, then USPS should announce the new location or the plans for a new location.”

Rep. Norton’s office writes:

“We were referring to post office closures as a result of the U.S. Postal Service’s nationwide study to determine which, if any, post offices should be shut down. Our office has confirmed with the USPS that the lease for the “T Street Post Office” expires at end of February 2012, but that the post office is not on the USPS list of postal facilities to study for closure. The Congresswoman continues in her view that District residents must have convenient access to postal services. Because the “T Street Post Office” is not on the list of possible closures, she will insist that the USPS finds a new location in the neighborhood before the lease expires so residents are properly served without interruption.”

So there it is – certainly seems like the T Street Station will be closing. Though to be honest, it’s not clear to me, how many tears will be shed for that particular Post Office…

Do you think a new location should be found for the T Street Station?

36 Comment

  • So many quotation marks! Is it possible that “T Street” never really existed at all?! Was it only a theoretical post office?

    • Given that the photo shows the name “T Street Station,” it seems like CM Graham’s communique should’ve just referred to it by that name. No quotation marks would’ve been necessary.

      I’ve seen a lot worse in the “unnecessary use of quotation marks” category, though.

  • It’s too ugly to keep.

  • Maybe instead of closing on weekends they should focus on accepting mail when people are off work to actually bring mail in like 5pm until 9pm. Same thing with banks.

    I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to mail something but had to be at work during the limited daily hours when the post office is open… They should also be hosting official email addresses for people where bills and other things can be handled. Their failure is because they are soooo far behind the times… Bass Ackwards.

    • do you not work near a post office?

      • Hahah, its impossible for everyone to work near to a post office… The only one near my house is the depressing Petworth office, and that has a line that way too long for a lunch break. Its totally dis functional, now wonder why they’re out of money.

        • but not far fetched at all that you pass close to one on your way to work.

          don’t get me wrong though, they really should be open when people are available to use them. their hours are very last century.

          • Being late for work is not an option for me, going to a post office would cause me to be late… Their hours and pace are so inconvenient that mailing stuff form there is not an option. I needed to send a certified letter, that’s the only place to get that done and they either take an hour to get through or are closed every time. Thank the Lord for email and online payments, I used to hate having to rush just to buy a cheap book of stamps in the past. The post office is losing tons of money due to being unresponsive to public need, whoever is in charge should be fired…

  • Anyone know where we’d have go to pick up packages if this location closes and doesn’t relocate?

    • Base camp will hold packages for a nominal fee. if that is not out of the way. – 18th and williard

      I’ve done this once or twice.

    • I second BaseCamp! $2 a package and totally worth it. They also will receive UPS, FedEx, etc. And they’re really friendly.

      I live a little further down U Street so my post office is technically the one on Florida Ave and my package pickup location is at a major postal distribution center that is a total pain to get to (impossible without a car). Hopefully that same plight doesn’t befall the folks in 20009.

  • ledroittiger

    What does one do at a “post office”? Is that where people used to go before you could purchase stamps at an ATM?

  • Jammed with people? I live down the street and every time I’ve been there it was mostly empty.

    • When the heck do you go? Early morning Monday through Friday? It’s always a mess when I have gone (weekday afternoons and Saturday morning).

      • I’ve always gone in on Saturday mornings, usually after I’ve finished running, so I would guess between 11 and 12. Maybe I scare everyone away because I’m all sweaty?

        Also, by always I mean the 3 times I’ve gone in a year. I won’t really miss it if it closes.

  • “Email” the post-master general and his assistant about closing a post office.  Does anyone else see the irony in this??

    USPS is running a $10 B billion operating deficit in fiscal 2011.  They have not pulled a profit since 2006.  The post office is in such a financial pinch that it is no longer paying its future retiree health benefits; they are required to by law.

    It is not going to get better without significant reform.  Mail volumes have declined dramatically as people pay bills online, wish people happy birthday via facebook and send evite invitations.  That is just the tech and communications world we live in. 

    Moreover, there is significant resistance to cut increase revenues (stamp increases!) and cutting USPS’s costs such as eliminating Saturday delivery and closing down post-offices.  The T St post-office is one local example; look at the bigger picture and imagine how this is magnified across the nation, a thousand times over (especially in rural communities).  Local politicians are part of the problem, not the solution.  And clearly, that is the case here.

    The post-office simply cannot afford to keep all these post offices open (and I’m sure the lease rate at T St NW has more than tripled).  Let’s not micro-manage their decisions.

    The post office is looking to re-structure, the President has proposed a plan and legislation has been introduced in both the House and Senate.  Support ideas such as allowing the post-office to share space at city hall or other state/local government buildings.  Support ideas (which have worked in other countries) to allow the post office to share space and workers at CVS or Giant.  There are better, more intelligent solutions to the issue of access to postal services rather than “don’t close my post office!”

  • They’re already delivering my mail at 8pm or so – who knows what time it will be once they close this place.

    If they rented space in DCUSA, that would be awesome. Or maybe they could just move back into the old post office that was supposed to be a restaurant just a few blocks away? It already says “Post Office” on it and everything…

  • I know I like the convenience of a local post office the 4 times a year I need to go to one, but seriously, for the good of the entire service nationally some locations are going to have to close. Quite frankly, it would be much better to consolidate all these small ones (there is a crappy up on GA ave I think too) into one large, FULLY Staffed location right by a metro. Keep it open till 9pm at least two nights a week. this would actually serve people much better and probably cost less in the long run without all these smaller and poorly staffed locations scattered everywhere.

  • Put a post office in the Reeves Center where those “never open” convenience stores are. Done.

  • So, can we take the self-service kiosks out of all the closing post offices and put them in grocery stores and drug stores? Oh, wait, most of these post offices didn’t have self-service kiosks, meaning that everyone had to wait in line for everything. It’s almost like there was some kind of syndicate trying to generate artificial demand for low-skill labor.

  • Just so you all know, it is possible to file complaints online regarding bad mail service (delivery at 8pm??) or other issues (mail theft is a common occurence in our neighborhood). If you report them, the USPS investigations office will supposedly do something about it. I’m hoping if enough people complain they will actually look into it. Go here to fill it out/submit online, it only takes a minute and who knows, maybe it’ll improve the abysmal mail service in our neck of the woods.

    • Thanks for this.

      I saw what looked like a letter carrier delivering mail in my neighborhood last night around 9:30 p.m…. but dismissed the thought, thinking, “No way can that be a mail delivery at this hour.” Next time I’ll look more closely.

      I’m also finding that I get my neighbors’ mail (and presumably vice versa) alarmingly frequently. Maybe this explains the parking ticket I knew nothing about until I received the so-called “Notice #2.”

  • I agree with the suggestion to consolidate smaller neighborhood post offices into one large one with expanded hours and served well by transit (DCUSA would be a great location for this)

  • I actually did file a complaint couple of months ago when our letter carrier kept refusing to treat the three apartments in my building as separate addresses, even though we have separate mailboxes. (Thanks, pal. You realize this means my neighbors might be receiving my credit cards, health insurance bills, and other sensitive info? And that if they’re away for a few days, I wouldn’t even know it?)

    Starting about 5 days after I filed the complaint, the delivery was done properly for a week or two. Then it went back to lazy-carrier style. I did have the childish pleasure of calling the carrier out on it, though. I came home and noticed him working his way down the block. I got into the vestibule of my building and waited for him to shove all 3 apartments’ mail into my neighbor’s mailbox. Then I sprang out like a winged avenger, cried “hey!,” and was received with the most dim-witted, vacant expression of confusion I’ve seen since Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel.

    So 2 days later, they started screwing up our delivery again. Time to file another complaint, I guess… Or time to stage an elaborate, dramatic sting involving my dog, a hidden camera, and possibly some handcuffs.

    In all seriousness, though, I mean, what the heck? Is this guy seriously so lazy that he can’t perform the most basic element of his job? If there wasn’t a monopoly, and I could switch my mail service to a different company, oh man, would I ever!

  • Whats a post office?

  • This is what happens when you have a non-voting representative in Congress.

  • Perhaps the T Street post office branch could be moved to that empty old building on T Street next to Policy that once served as a post office! Seriously, however, USPS needs to modernize the way European postal services have. Why not put a postal counter in one of the neighborhood’s zillions of CVS stores?

  • I hope that place closes. It has the WORST customer service I have ever experienced.

    The employees behind the glass seem like they are perpetually engaging in a role playing game where the dungeon master warlock has cast an eternal slowness spell on them.

    No wonder the postal service is losing money. Compare the people that work there to a private sector carrier–fedex, ups, dhl, whatever–the people working for those places know how to hustle and they are very responsive to their customers. The postal service employees could not care less. That’s what happens when you have a job that is protected like USPS jobs are…the employees get lazy.

    I am not saying that all postal service employees are lazy. They are not. But many of them are, and it’s a huge problem that I think will ultimately be a major contributor to the decline of the USPS.

  • The Florida Avenue PO always seems dead. This one and the Kalorama need to stay open.

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