23rd and Union Post Office could close without Congressional action

The US Postal Service is in serious financial trouble, and those woes could hit the CD as the future of the 23rd and Union post office hangs from a string. Without action for the US Congress, the carriers based out of the 23rd and Union office will likely be consolidated to a USPS facility at 4th and Lander.

“We’ve pretty much agree to wait and see what the House of Representatives does” before making the decision, said Seattle USPS spokesperson Ernie Swanson. The Senate has already passed a bill that would prevent consolidations like the one facing 23rd and Union, but the bill the House is currently considering is very different from the Senate version. It’s not clear what the legislative outcome will be.

If the consolidation does happen, USPS is interested in keeping a retail presence in the area. Though the letter carriers and the vehicle fleet would move, residents should still be able to do their mail needs either in the current space or a nearby spot, said Swanson.

The same goes for nearby post offices on Broadway on Capitol Hill and 6th Ave in the International District. USPS intends to keep retail presences at each of these locations, as well.

“If that hapens, we would make every effort to find a suitable alternate location or just keep the retail where they are if that looks like the better option,” said Swanson.

Our sister site CHS reported in March that USPS is working out a new lease to stay on Broadway. However, it’s not clear how things will change if the letter carriers currently based at the location are relocated.

USPS has significantly reduced its workforce in recent years, hiring very rarely and letting people retire or leave voluntarily. Swanson said they hope to avoid further layoffs if the consolidation occurs, but nothing is certain.

News of the potential loss of such a large employer comes as 23rd and Union has seen a burst of new economic activity. Med Mix opened in late April, and The Neighbor Lady opened earlier this week. It’s not clear what effect such a move would have on the corner.

30 thoughts on “23rd and Union Post Office could close without Congressional action

  1. the guy who delivers to our street is really not what I would call motivated by his job. Often delivering us the wrong mail and verging on belligerent when others are on the sidewalk with him. I’d report it if I weren’t afraid it would worsen the situation.

  2. It’s a crime, what the Republicans are doing to the Post Office. Forcing them to fund their pension plan for seventy-five years, in a ten year timeframe shows just how little the “pro-business” party knows about business.

    They are the only delivery business that can be depended on to find our house (which is up on a bank and accessible from an alley) UPS is 50/50, FedEx is horrible – so much so that I won’t buy anything from a company that uses them. I ordered a $1500 ring from a company that shipped FedEx, and the driver actually threw the box over the fence. I only found it – a week later – because my dog was playing with the box.

    I love our post lady and our CD Post office. I hope they can get this congressionally-induced crisis straightened out before it does permanent damage.

  3. “Reading is FUNdamental”
    Before anybody gets more worked up about this, note this from the article:

    “Though the letter carriers and the vehicle fleet would move, residents should still be able to do their mail needs either in the current space or a nearby spot”

    So they would move the carriers’ work location, and where the mail trucks park. Why would this impact who carrys your mail? It wouldn’t. They still need just as many people to deliver. It would only mean those carriers drive farther from their work location to their routes. You’d still be able to send mail from the CD location, but you might have to drive farther to pick up will-call mail.

  4. I know, right? Do we even know if mail delivery robots will need pension funds in 2087?

  5. Very good news that USPS is finally forced to change. Rather than having leadership that is tetooling the service to meet the century we have managers – ‘waiting to see what congress does’. Jeez. Start by firing that guy.

    There is no sane reason for 6 day per week mail service. If you need it faster there is telephone, internet, FedUPS, Red Dog, your car, the bus, etc.

    It is also silly to think the post office should go to every single door every single day. That is madness. We can do with half the USPS or not at all.

    I think I have mailed ten items in ten years. Internet payment has been available for everything for the past 10 years. I say cancel USPS. They just deliver “urgent messages” about my car warranty about to expire or other “time sensitive” offers from bogus companies.

    And yes. Our mail carrier is a tool. My mail goes to other streets, my next door neigbor, and the guy is as friendly as a nail in the street.

  6. In Leschi Ridge, we have been lucky enough to have the same carrier for many years. He knows everyone and is always there with an upbeat greeting. His base was switched from the ID to SODO, and it rarely affects us.

    And some of us use USPS much more than Curtis.

  7. Yea because for the last 3.5 years we have totally had a republican president who added 6 TRILLION in national debt, the quickest accumulation of debt in the history of the nation.

    Also a government funded organization is not a business, if the government were a business, it would have went under a long time ago.

    The retail location is remaining open, it is the carriers who are consolidation operations for added efficiency. The post office is a good service, The post office, the national parks, and the DOD are the only parts of the government I could keep.

    Before you get into calling me a xenophobic, christian, republican, baby killing, war machine, I will let you know that for the record I like neither party, they both care little about me beyond emptying my pocket book.

  8. So do you need him every day? Or, like the garbage (just like it) would a once a week garbage mail delivery be OK? You can drop urgent stuff at the drop boxes and should anyway for security. I would like to have a maid come to my house everyday and perhaps give me a pedicure now and then. Will uncle Sam kick in a few billion to wash my undys? If the mail man did the mail once a week he could probably actually do some laundry or mow my lawn on the other days.

  9. After sveral years of similar delivery troubles, I called the Post Office on 23rd and requested that I be allowed to discuss the delivery issues. I was told I was speaking to his Supervisor, and that they would address the complaint. All next week I received no mail ( I am a landloard and rents were to be arriving during thi period ). I verified my Tenants had mailed their rents, so called to complain again. I reached a different “Supervisor”, and was re-assured it must be a mistake, but they would check into it. Next day a stranger walked up and handed me a pack of mail. Seemed he had been receiving my mail two blocks away, and said the mail carrier had ignored the notes this poor guy had placed on them for this postal carrier. I finally called the State Attorny General’s Office, and was provided a phone number for a Washington DC postal complaint officer. I called and was assured that there were no records of my previous local complaints, but that they would “check into it”. A week later my mail problems seemed to vanish, with only sporatic and more acceptable issues from then on.
    ——Wishing you well, but I found complaining only resulted in more problems, until I had no choise but to raise the stakes

  10. Karl,

    Wow, are we allowed to be honest here? Lovin it, and two thumbs up.

    —–I worked for Uncle Sam for a few years, after 22 years in private business, and could not believe what I believe was dramatic waste and abuse.

  11. Karl, turn down your Limbaugh and learn something about the world around you. People might think you’re not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

    The post office is self-supporting. It has been since the Nixon administration. Congress just gave it some money, but only to tide it over while they figure out what to do about the stupid pension policy that the “party of business” (other people’s business) they imposed on them.

    Thanks for the silly diatribe, however. Linda, you need to work on your blanket assertions if you want to be in Karl’s class of crank.

  12. just keeping the dod and usps? stellar plan there, jack. must be reassuring to know you’ll never be in a posistion to actually make that call and deal with the consequences but you still get to spout off on the innernetz.

    usps is self funded, it only looks like its in trouble due to the ridiculous stipulation that they front load their pension plan for 75 years. its pure sabotage by the shameful republicans and their corporate lobyist controllers pushed through in the 06 lame duck congress

    try mailing a letter for 50 cents at fedex/ups, see how far you get.

    all that said, if they actually needed to consolidate I wouldn’t be against it but that aint the case.

  13. We all know that USPS gets most of its revenue from the junk mail it drops off at our door every day causing a large carbon footprint via printing, delivering, hauling off for recycle and the recycling process. Unwanted by perhaps 88% of people other than the lonely soles pining away for interaction with the various service people. For them I suggest using milk and grocery delivery. Or perhaps walking to a local coffee shop.

    Is the post office ‘self funded’. Partially. Let’s not bother with the argument over what rates are neccessary for what level of service and how that is dependent on congressional approval we all know the arguments, not just you good spellers. I’ll even allow that several billion dollars to help bridge the gaps created by USPS mismanagement. Let’s talk about the fact that we are on the hook for the gross underfunding of retirement programs. USPS 6day a week government mandated and controlled monopoly requires 6 times more personnel than needed. Leading to a gigantic retirement debt that USPS will not be able to pay.

    We are just asking for less of what we don’t need. Hardly a right wing fringe concept.

    Try mailing a letter for $0.50? Why? Letters are a notion from centuries past. If you want to be romantic or practice your penmanship, do it without sending goverment employees to my door every day. Note – it did not cost me $0.50 to submit my comment here, though I’m sure you would advocate that.

  14. Would this mean the chain link fence would come down surrounding mail vehicle fleet? I love the chain link fence look on 23rd and Union. Seems the police like to treat the area as if dogs live there.

  15. No, Curtis: we – including you – don’t all “know” that. You pulled that out of a nether region, or just repeated something that was told to you. Nice of you to try to mask it in concern for the climate though. I bet that makes you feel all hip and relevant.

  16. I like our USPS carriers- no problems to speak of. On our route we’ve got 2 regular carriers who cover a day a piece and then a mix of carriers for the rest of the week.

    Have to echo JimS’s point above- it shouldn’t really effect our service to have the dispatch moved should it? I don’t know how I’d feel about that change. I don’t love the chain-link vibe, but I like knowing we’ve got a “working” neighborhood. By comparison, If all the cabs in the CD took up and left, I’d miss them and I think the businesses those drivers frequent would really miss them.

  17. I’ve wondered the same thing about the fence. I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic about being happy about it though. I (realistically long term) wouldn’t mind something better than the current giant chain link fence that runs from 24th and Union all the way to 24th and Spring. If the fleet of separated mail trucks is no longer parked there, maybe the lot can open up or be turned into something better?
    I think there’s an episode of Parks and Recreation about this… ;-)

  18. Great contribution to the conversation. A little name calling and sarcasm is fine, but, did you have anything to say at all? Basic operational efficiency concepts are hip? I guess I am a hipster then.

    Look ten years down the road. Who will be need USPS? It is time for USPS to prepare for its lesser future. They will have far lower revenue.

  19. Hey Linda is the carrier that is causing grief a youngish white guy who has a small pined badge on that ssys SMILE? If so he was a substitute for my route one day and he is a certifiable mean psycho, worse that “Neuman” fron Seinfeld. I tried to complain and got even worse treatment. Luckly our regular guy returned a few days later.

  20. I have read several times, but not recently, that the mail is sorted by a person different from the carriers and that the carriers have no control over the already-sorted packets of mail given to them to deliver. Does anyone know whether this is correct?

  21. I’m told by our wonderful retail folk at the PO that the location is set to close due to balking at the $30,000/mo rent they pay Tom. IF the PO does pull out or significantly down size what is the Landlord going to do with all that space? Food trucks? Finally rebuild an otherwise crappy old dud of a building?….So now the booze and PO could be out? That’s quite a bit of Government money not coming in anymore..What now Tom?

  22. Eyes – No this male, mail carrier was not white, and not older, but then I would hope neither of those factors would have anything to do with his abilty to carry and deliver the mail.
    ——I had only met him in passing a couple of times, before my deliveries suddenly changed dramatically. In all cases I had been friendly, said hello, and no other interaction that I can recall. As noted earlier, suddenly my mail started to be mis-routed, but I was for no reason I could identify. I found that my other tenants (same building ) were not having any unusual deliveries (or absense of deliveries).
    ——Since this long ago problem was resolved, I have had no unusual delivery issues, and the mail carrier that had had the noted problems, has moved on. He actually stop by one Saturday afternoon, found me working in the side yard, and complained that he had not appreciated my having taken my complaint all the way to the DC office.

  23. What now? The return of Collins we buy gold, cash checks and sell anything that is gang relayted like Parnells? NO, if it comes to pass we need to work with the landlord.

  24. It was as good as the comment it was replying to, Curtis. Sorry if challenging you to back up you talking points offends you. Maybe you should try acting like an adult and not some backwater teen who wants a daddy figure to do the thinking for you.

    I’ll agree that the Post Office needs some modernizing. But I’m not naive enough to think that UPS or FedEx – let alone Comcast or Broadstripe – should be allowed to run the show when it comes to communications or shipping.

    Put on your big boy pants and think. Your forebearers didn’t fight and die for you to be this complacent and stupid..

  25. Wow. The anonymous stupid man sure is angry. Looks like quite a bit of projection going on in that statement. Complaining about complacency while advocating the status quo and again missing the opportunity to make an actual point. Strange. Glad he isn’t armed.

  26. this peavish non-speaking is from mr. stupidis. stating that the points are not as spoken but offering no plausable alternate. what is stupid does it suggesting. does office of postal people not recieve revenue from advertisers? Where does mr stupid propose that money comes from?

  27. So you are saying that an organization that is not part of the government gets government funding and all of it’s problems are the fault of the republican party, who isn’t even in power?

    You miss the part about retail operations are not closing, and missed me saying that I did not identify as a republican much less listen to some fat pill addled idiot.

    So someone who apparently reads at a 3rd grade level is calling me a “crank.” No wonder you still believe in your chosen half of the 2 party system.