Post Office Responds Quickly to Neighborhood Concerns

by Randy Shaw on July 1, 2010

The U.S. Postal Service may be the nation’s most frequently criticized institution. Blamed for rising costs despite Congress’s refusal to allow reduced rural mail deliveries, and forced to waste resources on Saturday mail, the U.S. Post Office is used by anti-government activists and politicians to attack the public sector. That’s why the public needs to know about the Postal Service’s quick action in removing two problem relay mail boxes in San Francisco’s Uptown Tenderloin neighborhood. One could not ask for better consumer service.

I contacted the Postal Service because people were hanging out by leaning against the two relay boxes at the corner of Eddy and Leavenworth, where the Tenderloin Housing Clinic which I head has administrative offices. I learned from Cadillac Hotel owner Kathy Looper that the two boxes, used exclusively by postal staff to store mail, had long caused problems, as people hid behind them to urinate or deal drugs.

Having seen the removal of a bus shelter at Hyde and Turk Streets greatly improve public safety, a similar impact could be achieved by the removal of the relay boxes.

I sent an email to James Wigdel on June 14, and received a vacation message indicating he was gone until the 21st. Once he returned, he had referred my complaint to Kathleen Chung of the consumer division, with whom I spoke on June 24.

Within 24 hours, David Jones of the Postal Service investigated the situation and agreed to remove the boxes. They were gone within days.

This rapid response occurred in a neighborhood that for decades has been at the bottom of lists for getting its needs met. The Postal Service has not only sent a message about its own high level of efficiency, but further shows that the perception of the Uptown Tenderloin is improving.

Randy Shaw is Editor of Beyond Chron and Director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic.

Filed under: Archive