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Slow mail service puts stamp on residents’ anger

Rose holds round table with USPS to search for answers

Postal carriers are routinely putting letters in the wrong mail boxes in Dyker Heights, according to local residents who have a litany of complaints against the U.S. Postal Service, including misplaced mail, late mail delivery and broken mail boxes, and are demanding answers.

Problems with service at the Dyker Heights Post Office at 8320 13th Ave. were a major topic of discussion at a recent roundtable organized by U.S. Rep. Max Rose, a Democrat who represents the area.

Rose invited USPS officials, fellow elected officials and community leaders to the May 30 round table to talk about postal issues plaguing the Dyker Heights Post Office, as well as mail delivery issues in Bath Beach, Gravesend and Homecrest.

“Getting your mail delivered safely and on time is a basic promise that must be upheld. We’re not just talking about junk mail and magazines though. My constituents depend on USPS to deliver checks, packages and important documents and failure to do so, or doing so in a way which allows for theft, has grave consequences,” Rose said in a statement. “We have to do better, and I’m going to keep working with these community leaders and the USPS to ensure progress is made and these issues get resolved.”

The problems include inconsistent delivery, late-night deliveries, mail deliveries to wrong addresses, drop-off issues leading to theft of mail and packages, and broken or insecure mailboxes.

“It’s a serious problem,” Dyker Heights Civic Association President Fran Vella-Marrone told the Home Reporter. “People come up to me all the time on the street complaining about the mail. Someone always gets someone else’s mail. What happens if you’re expecting a bill or an important letter and it’s sitting in somebody else’s mailbox? And the post office has done nothing to resolve the situation.”

Vella-Marrone said it has happened to her neighbors. “I’m always bringing my neighbors their mail,” she said.

Residents in Bath Beach, Gravesend and Homecrest have voiced similar complaints about their mail service.

“No one should have to deal with inconsistent mail delivery, stolen packages and unscrupulous actions by USPS employees, and I look forward to learning how USPS will commit to permanent solutions,” said Councilmember Mark Treyger, a Democrat who represents Coney Island, Gravesend and parts of Bensonhurst.

Josephine Beckmann, district manager of Community Board 10, which covers Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge, said it’s not just late mail delivery that is causing headaches for residents.

Beckmann, who attended the round table, said that because the Dyker Heights Post Office has no garage, postal workers park USPS delivery trucks on the street. That doesn’t sit well with homeowners, who wonder why the trucks are hogging parking spaces on their residential blocks.

Adding to the problem is that the USPS expanded its truck fleet to accommodate increasing activity stemming from e-commerce, according to Beckmann.

“CB10 regularly receives neighborhood complaints about noise and parking of large Post Office delivery trucks on residential streets as well as late and missed deliveries,” said Beckmann, who added that she looks forward to working together “to resolve these matters.”

Marnee Elias-Pavia, district manager of Community Board 11 (Bath Beach-Bensonhurst), said the problem of postal trucks being parked on residential streets is also an issue in Bath Beach.

The Bath Beach Post office, located at 1865 Benson Ave., has a garage, but it isn’t large enough to accommodate all of the USPS trucks, Elias-Pavia said. “They have space for four to five vehicles. But the post office has increased the number,” she said, also due to the dramatic rise of e-commerce in recent years. “Everyone loves to order from Amazon,” she said.

Postal officials made a commitment to work with elected officials and community leaders to resolve the parking issues around the Dyker Heights Post Office and pledged to investigate service problems Dyker Heights, Gravesend and Homecrest, according to Rose.

Elias-Pavia said USPS officials at the round table “were very receptive to our concerns.”

The postal officials also promised to increase package delivery safety, provide updates on the installation of phishing-proof mailboxes and provide mail scam warnings in languages other than English, Rose said.

USPS representatives did not return messages from this newspaper.

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