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Residents cry foul after U.S. Postal Service stops delivering mail

July 24, 2018 03:04 PM

Mailboxes on Ferry Road in Stuyvesant sit empty. The U.S. Postal Service in Kinderhook is slamming the door on service, saying the road isn't safe for their carriers to drive on.

"I bought a house 20 years ago that has a mailbox 10 feet away. I want to live in that house until I die. When I'm 85, I don't want to be driving in snow and the rain downtown to pick up my mail when my box is right there.

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John Hutchinson and his neighbors say the decision to stop delivery is unjustified. The New York State Department of Transportation recently spent a lot of money on improvements to a railroad crossing at the end of the street. It wasn't until after that that residents say the postmaster declared the road unsafe.

"He's not an engineer. He's not a railroad safety specialist. Who is he to determine if it's safe or not?" said Hutchinson.

The Postal Service questions the timing of the lights, saying the time from green to red isn't enough to allow their carrier to get through safely. They also say road conditions cause her minivan to bottom out and are causing damage.

"Previous postal person delivering mail here her entire career until she retired. No problem. And it was even before the improvement to the crossing," said property owner Lee Jamison.

Neighbors say they've asked the postmaster to talk to DOT to see if they can extend the signal time. They say Postmaster Kevin McDonnell told them he wouldn't. 

Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook) sent a letter to the Postal Service in Washington, D.C. last week asking them to intervene. On Monday, NewsChannel 13 reached out to the Postal Service to ask them if they had any plans on speaking with DOT.

The Postal Service released a statement late Monday afternoon saying they will engage in a conversation with NYS DOT, but say they remain concerned about the grading of the tracks. They say their priority is for the safety of their carriers, equipment and mail. 

"Give her a truck. Give her an SUV. Tell her to drive a little more slowly," said Hutchinson.

Credits

Jacquie Slater

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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