Call it postage and mis-handling!
Boerum Hill residents will soon have to trek to an entirely different zip code to retrieve missed packages when the Times Plaza post office relocates on Jan. 17, and locals are already stamp-ing their feet about the long walk.
“You’re kind of screwed if you don’t get your package the first time,” said resident Bill Harris. “It’s a big inconvenience — you have to walk all the way up to Flatbush and cross two more long streets.”
The 11217 postal depot at 542 Atlantic Ave. between Third and Fourth avenues is closing its doors on the red-letter day of Jan. 13 and moving across the street to 539–541 Atlantic Ave. the following Tuesday, according to a Postal Service spokesman Xavier Hernandez. But parcel pickup won’t ship off to the new location — that service is being signed, sealed, and delivered to the office’s annex on Dean Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues in Prospect Heights, which is part of the 11238 postal code.
Locals will still be able to buy stamps and boxes, use parcel lockers, and access post office boxes at the new Atlantic Avenue outpost.
The approximately 12-minute walk from Atlantic Avenue to Dean Street — based on some back-of-the-envelope calculations — is especially onerous because locals complain that postal workers leave slips for missed deliveries even when they’ve been home all day, according to one local leader.
“I think people are going to react poorly to this because the number one complaint we get is that package delivery doesn’t work,” said Community Board 2 district manager Rob Perris. “On a regular basis, we hear from people saying ‘I received a notice saying they tried to make a delivery and I was here.’ ”
Hernandez said only that the services are being split for “operational reasons” but could not elaborate on what those are.
The move has been in the works for three years. Postal officials originally wanted to move the entire operation to the Dean Street space in 2015, but cancelled that plan after realizing it would be in the wrong zip.
They tossed up several other locations, including one on Flatbush Avenue in Park Slope and another on Atlantic Avenue that ended up being rented out by walk-in health clinic City MD, according to Perris.
The current Times Plaza post office is notorious for its long lines and crummy service, according to Harris, so there might actually be a silver lining to splitting up package pick-up and retail services after all.
“People are so disgusted with the services at Times Plaza over many years I think there might only be two responses — one is that perhaps the service will get a little better, and secondly that the new storefront will be so small, it won’t be able to contain the long lines,” he said.
Hernandez noted that one way locals can avoid the expedition to the hinterlands of 11238 is to go online and reschedule any package deliveries they definitely won’t be around for.
The Times Plaza post office management could not be reached for comment.