Mailbox Move Raises Traffic Concerns

San Bruno Post Office relocated four drop-off mailboxes in October for traffic flow and employee safety.

The U.S. Postal Service’s recent decision to move drop-off mailboxes on the other side of the driveway at the  was made with good intentions. But some residents are saying the move has now created another problem: the parking situation is worse. 

Before, people dropping off mail could pull in and exit through the left of the parking lot, said resident Arnis Silarais. Now, customers with business inside the post office and motorists dropping off parcels are in the same traffic queue.

“It’s some government official’s idea of efficiency, which is completely contrary to common sense,” Silarais said.

The postal service relocated the mailboxes in October to create better traffic circulation and for safety reasons, said James Wigdel, spokesman for the San Francisco Postal District, which includes the San Bruno office, the only one in the city.

“They moved the mailboxes for traffic flow and safety of employees,” Wigdel said.

The parking lot has about 20 spaces, and Wigdel said traffic generally flows well at the post office.

“When it comes to holiday time or tax time it does tend to back up a little bit,” he added.

Still, it didn’t take long for cars to get clogged in the driveway trying to pull into the post office on a recent afternoon.

The parking lot was full, and as one driver waited for a car to back out, a string of cars formed on Huntington Avenue. 

Silarais said he has lived in San Bruno for 30 years and the location seems busier than ever and at all hours.

Other residents said they have noticed the same thing. One resident even said she refuses to go there now, and chooses to go to the Millbrae office instead.

Wigdel, however, said there is no indication that the post office has any problems with wait times. 

He pointed to the fact that the post office received positive reviews from mystery shoppers, which the postal service uses to measure customer satisfaction.

“Oftentimes it’s the luck of the draw,” Wigdel said. “If you get in line and somebody has a lot of international parcels, then, of course, the line is going to back up.”

Jim Prescott April 01, 2011 at 04:36 PM
The change make no sense. I have seen several accidents and near misses as some try to drop mail off and others try to pass on the left. The congestion is much worse. I will avoid going to SB. I also notice that the traffic flow is designed to force traffic away from SB towards SSF. Was that the intent? The police have been ticketing those making illegal left turns to return to SB. This is not a good plan.
Jennifer V April 01, 2011 at 05:40 PM
This was the worst decision ever. It is more congested and more dangerous than ever. It makes NO SENSE! I have seen a car pull up to the drop off box and another car zoom past on the right to exit the parking lot and when the car at the drop off box decided to exit...they crashed. There is now a line of cars on huntington at all times of the day. Some are waiting for parking spots and others are just trying to get to the drop off box. Change it back!!!
Heidi Beck April 01, 2011 at 08:01 PM
The post office spokesperson needs to get out of the office and into the field. It's not the wait inside that's the problem -- it's the gridlock in the parking lot and the backup on Huntington Avenue.
Zach Stahl April 01, 2011 at 08:48 PM
These are great comments. The spokesman didn't offer much detail on the specific safety issues or the traffic remedies that were sought by this move. Perhaps the postmaster could offer a better explanation. Hopefully the story and comments will bring attention to the issue.
phdog April 01, 2011 at 10:05 PM
There is absolutely no reason for the change. I used to be able to pull in, avoid the parking lot traffic, drop off my mail, and turn left out of the lot. I could tolerate the change if they had put in a left turn out of the lot. No one wants to turn right - everything is to the left, so you're forced to sneek a peak and look for traffic and cops, and turn left illegally. Change it back!


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