Plans to remove more than 80 mailboxes in Palo Alto are temporarily on hold until at least after the first of the year, a U.S. Postal Service spokesman said on Friday, Dec. 11.
USPS had posted notices on the collection boxes throughout Palo Alto neighborhoods on Nov. 7, writing that the receptacles would be removed by or after Dec. 7 due to a decrease in mail volume. But as the deadline loomed, the postal service revised its removal schedule to after the Christmas holidays to accommodate customers' needs.
Postal service spokesman Augustine Ruiz said the mailboxes slated for removal are taking in fewer than 25 pieces of mail daily, which is the criteria the post office uses for removing a mailbox.
But many residents lamented the loss on Palo Alto Online's Town Square and neighborhood email lists. Some residents have tried to contact the post office and wrote to ask USPS to reconsider, they said.
"I've been very upset, seeing the messages taped to our neighborhood corner mail boxes," a Palo Alto Hills reader wrote. "There won't be one left in my neighborhood, and what they call the nearest equivalent is more than a mile away, across Oregon Avenue. Not exactly walking distance."
Another said, "All three of the mailboxes in our neighborhood (Evergreen Park) are slated for removal. My guess is that if only two were removed, the remaining one would get significant use. I regularly use all three, depending on my bike or walking route."
"Please leave at least one box in each neighborhood for now. You can always remove more later," added a Greenmeadow resident.
Ruiz said Friday that the posting of the removal notices was premature.
"To ensure our customers have use of the boxes during our busiest time of the year and beyond, we will review the need to re-position the boxes to other locations after the first of the year," he wrote in an email to the Weekly. "At this time we will be pulling all the notices currently on all the boxes that were scheduled for removal. No collection boxes will be removed at this time."