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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 4, 2009 7:50 PM. The previous post in this blog was Look what's "for the children" now. The next post in this blog is Always wear protection. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Post Office deserting downtown Portland?

An alert reader sends along this list of Post Office branches that are under closure watch. In Portland (page 11), in addition to the Central Station at 5th and Pine, the Gus Solomon Courthouse branch is on the list (apparently, but misspelled). And of course, the Main Post Office is doomed to demolition for "urban renewal." Nobody seems to want to be downtown any more -- even the Postal Service. Brooklyn's also about to lose its branch. And so it goes in the internet world. Go by cell phone!

Comments (24)

Actuallu USPS is bleeding money and prob needs another couple of $billion gift from the govt.

Between mail volume dropping and UPOS/FedEx being better, they are dying. I've heard rumors of 2/3 of post offices closing.

I believe they are moving the fed agencies around because of the renovation to the Edith Green Federal Building(http://bit.ly/hSFIV). Probably going to make the Gus Solomon into all fed agencies and add security and no one wants to go through security to use the post office. I believe about half the space now is being leased to non-government entities.

Gus Solomon doesn't have many (or any) federal agencies in it any more, except the Post Office. They moved the P.O. back in there after they turned the Pioneer Courthouse into a Ninth Circuit luxury resort, kicking the postal branch out.

The post office isn't a federal agency

You're right.

Gus Solomon Courthouse branch? Redundant, just like the old courthouse itself. A couple of blocks south is a real P.O. branch in the old Lincoln-Mercury dealership. The Pioneer Square closure is still smarting, though.

Well that blows, the "Central Station" was closest to my work. The University station is quite a hike from Morrison for lunchtime.

Are you sure "Central" refers to SW 5th and Pine, not NW Hoyt and 9th?

Yes. There's a difference between Central Station and the Main Post Office; the former is on the list.

Another reader sends along this Excel file of most (if not all) postal branches that are on leased premises in Oregon.

I think the post office isn't a federal agency like the Federal Reserve isn't one ... The president appoints the postmaster general and congress retained ultimate authority over this "private" company's operations. It may not be a regular federal agency, but methinks it's too much to pretend that it's not part of the federal government.

If you cut out all the junk mail, how much mail do you actually receive a week? For me once a week delivery would be just fine. Besides closing offices they really need to look at cutting back from 6 day/week deliver to 4 or so. This would work for most home owners, might have to do something different for businesses.

Or they could simply remove the monopolistic controls over first class mail service and allow private industry to compete for the business.

So long as the courts specify US mail for most kinds of service and filing, and rules require certified mailings of things like a demand to pay judgment, law firms need easy access to post offices. I work for 4 attorneys and they each receive 5 to 15 pieces of first class mail every day--letters from other attorneys, court notices, bills from vendors or expert witnesses, voluminous paper discovery from adverse parties. The post office is still the easiest way for clients to send us their supporting documents (most people still don't have a computer, let alone a scanner), to return signed copies of fee agreements, declarations, and settlement agreements, and to send checks to pay their bills.

Or they could simply remove the monopolistic controls over first class mail service and allow private industry to compete for the business.

Not without a strong mandate for universal delivery. Otherwise, private companies would drop unprofitable, far-flung delivery routes. So no more sending letters to your crazy cousins in Alaska for only 44 cents each.

The Gus Solomon Courthouse has evicted all non-federal tenants. The fed agencies from the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt building are moving in while that building is being torn down to the bare concrete and rebuilt.

Private first-class mail delivery in this country was a substantial business in the first half of the nineteenth century. Google Lysander Spooner.

We should just close the post office and go all electronic. It would be cheaper and have a far lower carbon footprint.

wonder how they will cost out areas with no home delivery, as we have in cannon beach? Natives enjoy the social contact of picking up their mail at the post office, and mostly it is a trip combined with other errands, so it probably is an overall energy saver.

Anybody know how long the University Station branch has been a post office.

"Not without a strong mandate for universal delivery. Otherwise, private companies would drop unprofitable, far-flung delivery routes. So no more sending letters to your crazy cousins in Alaska for only 44 cents each."

Good point. Email solves that concern with my rural Montana relatives.

"We should just close the post office and go all electronic."

This just does not work for rural homeowners.

They are not allowed to "close" PO's, rather they call them relocates. The USPO at 14th and Powell is to be merged into the PO out on Foster and 52nd (ish). Which sucks for business in inner SE. The PO Boxes will keep their 97242 Zip but move to this new spot farther out. I'd rather see no mail delivery on Saturdays to save dough.

As I have said here before, the P.O. is in need of a huge open site to build the next generation of automation equipment. It is called the FSS. Check it out on Youtube. It is so big they will have to consolidate smaller sorting facilities into one building.

There are already 3 postal facilities by the airport. The rumor mill puts the location of this monster out at Cascade Station or thereabouts. The P.O. is going to pull out of down town eventually. My prediction is the city will pay a premium for the Hoyt building, because they are shrewd(/s) negotiators.

Bear in mind this was the thinking before the P.O. began bleeding cash.

The Saturday delivery is history bome October, 2010. That is what the PMG wants.

As an aside, I work there. I think we do a fairly decent job. There are boat anchors in every service profession. But it's funny how in threads like these, everyone remembers the bad stuff that may have happened 15 years ago, but people don't realize the sheer volume, even in the down times, and the amount of strain the carriers and clerks are under.

The people, on the streets especially, are getting hammered by the bloated management in this town, and they are trying to do too much with too few bodies. I hung up my satchel last yearand went to fix the machines, but I hear about how bad things are for the carriers.

Cut them some slack for a while.

most people still don't have a computer

Wow. In 2009.

really ?


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