Protest from Reinhardt neighborhood residents doesn’t appear to have deterred the United States Postal Service from moving forward with plans to replace door-to-door mail delivery in the area with “cluster boxes” as a response to what the service characterizes as threatening behavior from area dogs.
On Friday, the Postal Service installed two new cluster boxes, bringing the total for the Reinhardt neighborhood to four.
Postal Service spokesman Richard Watkins said he visited the visited the neighborhood on Friday to see for himself where the new boxes were to be located, and encountered three homes with unattended dogs in the front yards. He took the photos below:
Watkins said his experience illustrates the problem the service has with keeping its letter carriers safe.
“What responsible employer would allow their employees to encounter these unpredictable dogs six days a week?” he said via email.
But neighborhood residents contend that the cluster boxes were too broad a step to take to deal with a situation posed by only a handful of homes. The service could have required the offending homeowners to get curbside boxes or required them to get their own PO boxes instead of forcing the entire neighborhood to use the cluster boxes.
City and neighborhood advocates continue to try to arrange meetings to discuss the matter with Postmaster Russell Jacobson, who made the decision to install the boxes. Thus far, he has refused.