Possible Capital Region post office closures

usps logo on mailboxSeven Capital Region post offices could be closed as part of a system-wide consolidation.

They're among the 700+ locations nationwide that are on the slate for closing and consolidation. (The full list is posted on the Postal Regulatory Commission's web site -- it appears to be getting hammered by traffic right now.) The USPS is facing a $7 billion loss this year.

After the jump, a list of the local post offices on the list. We also put together a map.

Albany


Academy
563 NEW SCOTLAND AVE
ALBANY, NY 12208

Delaware Ave
332 DELAWARE AVE STE 1
ALBANY, NY 12209

Fort Orange
450 CENTRAL AVE
ALBANY, NY 12206

Patroon
1226 BROADWAY
MENANDS, NY 12204

Pine Hills
5 S ALLEN ST STE 1
ALBANY, NY 12208


Schenectady


Rotterdam Square
93 W CAMPBELL RD
SCHENECTADY, NY 12306

Scotia
224 MOHAWK AVE
SCHENECTADY, NY 12302


photo: Flickr user TheTruthAbout...

Comments

I can see eliminating the "secret" Pine Hills post office that nobody seems to know about, but the always-crowded Academy Branch? Not sure what the closure criteria are, but this one doesn't seem to make a lot of sense...

Ditto on the Academy. Not to mention the personal inconvenience to yours truly.

The workers at the Delaware Ave branch always seem like they hate their lives. However, my mother always takes her second-graders there for a field trip each year and it's a little sad to think they won't be able to do so.

Were there no proposed closures in Rensselaer County?

The Town of Sand Lake has three branches all within four miles of each other...two are less than a mile apart! Perhaps I don't understand the logistics of mail volume per area but I always thought it was a tad excessive.

@polyscigrl: As far as we could tell, the list only included locations in Albany and Schenectady.

The Fort Orange office is always terribly busy! That's the only location for a lot of residents with little transport. Does this mean lay-offs are ahead?

I think the Albany Post Offices are being targeted because they don't really provide delivery services out of those offices. IIRC, the postmen in Albany mostly operate out of the Broadway Carrier Annex and the Terminal St facility.

What bureaucrat IDIOT decided to close the Pine Hills, New Scotland, and Delaware branches? Where are those households within those neighborhoods supposed to go? There are a number of elderly and family households in these neighborhoods. USPS is doing a great disservice by closing these branches. At LEAST consolidate the offices to a more centrally located smaller storefront.

This leaves St. Rose's post office 432 WESTERN, as the last office within walking distance of 12208 (I figured that to be a central zip). This office is open 10-2 M-F. But it does not have weekend hours. Bad news. The usps site is S-L-O-W!!!!

Not only is my neighborhood PO closing...I'm 12208 but the Station near my office (Broadway in North Albany) is also closing! FYI the PO at the Rensselaer Train Station - formerly open at 8 am now opens at 9. I agree - closing all three in densely populated neighborhoods where people WALK for services makes no sense.

As Fred mentioned, closing the S. Allen post office makes sense. It's tiny. Most people don't seem to know about it. And it closes for lunch.

But the choice of the Academy location on New Scotland is baffling. If they close that one, along with Delaware and Fort Orange, pretty much the entire south side of Albany will be without a post office. The closest locations will be Stuyvesant Plaza, Slingerlands and Bethlehem. (daleyplanit rightfully mentions the St. Rose location, but 10-2 is not a real location -- it's a postal lunch cart)

I'm not sure how to "fight the feds" on this one (i can't even pen the website. My suggesstion on this is to contact the following few folks

State Assembly Representative John McEneny
LOB 648
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-4178

State Senator Neil Breslin
Capitol Building, Room 414
Albany, NY 12247

US Senator Charles Schumer
757 Third Avenue, Suite 17-02
New York, NY 10017

US Senator Kirsten Gillebrand
(too lazy to look up her address)

and in the "why not category"

NYS Consumer Protection Board
Albany Office
New York State Consumer Protection Board
5 Empire State Plaza, Suite 2101
Albany, New York 12223

Seems like an issue worth a letter by you NA prez, and CC person, as well as the mayor.

Maybe when foreign hackers bring down the internet and modern society as we know it, the post office will again become a meaningful thing.

Or am I conflating two different Kevin Costner movies.

The Menands location is pain to get to and closed for good chunks of the day, but there really there aren't many other close post offices for Menands.

I don't quite understand what the big deal is with the closings...

You can order stamps, printable postage and flat-rate boxes online and just put the letters / packages by your mailbox and they will pick them up when they deliver your mail.

Honestly the only time I ever go to the post office is when I need proof of mailing, money orders or other special services. Maybe the average person uses those services more than I ever have but if I had to travel a little farther the 5 times a year I need those things it wouldn't bother me!

I understand the need for cutback, but complete closure for south and west albany is extreme. Where else do I get stamps, a counter for shipping items sold online, a PO box, send something express? Add that I'm not too happy to have another empty storefront.

Are the post offices downtown that busy that they can't be considered?

@ daleyplanit: Don't forget Congressman Paul Tonko on that contact list. And agreed: it's the empty storefronts that have me worried.

First the Catholic Churches and now the Post Offices. Is it Dump on Albany Year?

Apparently, everyone in power hates cities, at least small cities. Cities are evidently filled with people that don't count, so why not shut the doors? And the politicians don't care or are too ineffective.

I live in the city. And I count. Come election time (at all levels of government) the first issue I'm looking at is not the environment, taxes, abortion or war. It's do you believe in cities and what are you going to do to support them? The person that answers that Question the best gets my vote.

And to our local city politicians, if you're too busy courting the money donors from outside the city borders and not busy enough doing something to actually support your city and your neighborhoods, watch out on Election Day. What, exactly, is the current mayor's plan for his neighborhoods? What about those soon-to-be abandoned churches, and now Post Offices? Where is the city planning? You want to rely on a Convention Center at the very base of downtown in the shadow of raised highways to save us?

The religious buildings may be church properties, but when they're empty and falling apart, the problems they create will become the city's problem. Double that for these soon-to-be empty post offices, because at least the church buildings are in relatively good shape right now. Not sure I can say that about the P.O.s on that list.

The Post Office says there will be something called Community Input Opportunity. What, to hold meetings before they reach their pre-determined conclusion? Look how well that worked with the Called to Be Church farce. Just some more empty buildings for a population that apparently doesn't count.

From the AP story:

The list was compiled using "factors such as customer access, service standards, cost savings, impact on employees, environmental impact, real estate values and long-term Postal Service needs."

hmmmm

I can't fathom this list. I can see closing one of the four - Delaware, Allen, Academy, Fort Orange, but all of them? I'm supposed to go to Stuyvesant Plaza or Latham?

And for the person that asked what the big deal is - a recent study showed that approximately 50% of households in Albany have Internet access, so half the people in the city must go to the library or elsewhere to do things online. For things like registered mail, boxes needing customs forms, and odd-sized packages, it is easier, and sometimes necessary, to go to the post office. If you look at what people in line at the post office are doing, many of them are sending material overseas. Plus, my daughter's pen pals in Africa and Asia much prefer to have pretty stamps than a metered strip printed by the computer. :->

Plus, this just seems like another example of hitting the poor guy when he's down. People in Bethlehem, Guilderland, Latham are much more likely to have both internet access and cars. Why not pick on them? The post office isn't the same as a private business, although it is quasi-private.

This is a question for Larry, the postmaster at the Allen Strett post office. (And it seems like enough people know about that place when I'm there!) He will not hesitate to give you the inside scoop on the P.O., as well as a dose of his politics. He is also quick to tell you about a "service fee" that George W. Bush imposed on the P.O., which required them to raise their rates. I haven't investigated the accuracy of what he says, but he's great fun to listen to as well as speedy and extremely competent.

Where exactly is the "St Rose Post Office" several comments have mentioned? I did not know there was one on campus!

It is definitely a travesty to close FOUR post offices in the city. I have been to three of them and all three seem bustling and well-used. If even a fraction of the total traffic for the four were redirected to the one at St Rose, wouldn't that overwhelm that facility?

What are "they" thinking?

Stuyvesant Plaza (the P.O. closest to me) always has long lines. And now that more people are going to be forced to shop there, I'm sure it will become a case study in wanting to "go postal".

What's the big deal? Well lets see - if you need to send a postal money order - and you need to walk to the post office - it's a big deal. If you dont have access to a printer and need to go to the post office to mail a package over 13 ounces - it's a big deal (obviously you dont sell books on Amazon!); if you live in a neighborhood and you tout how wonderful it is because the post office is three blocks away (and so WAS the Catholic church) it's a big deal. If you have a PO box for a business and you're going to have to move it - it's a big deal! and if you have a lot of time to wait in long lines now that the customers from the 4 closed post offices will be traveling the 5 miles you suggest it's a big deal!

and if you think the wait time will be long - you wont be able to time it from the clocks in the PO. According to a postal employee who helped me recently - the clocks were removed so that people couldnt complain about "HOW LONG THEY WAITED" for service!!!

Closing ALL four doesnt make sense!

@ Beaver & susan - I absolutely agree with you, 100%.

Even IF closures were based on level of service, the PO's wipe out of Albany offices leaves the pine hills, delaware, and new scotland offices UNSERVED. Yes, there are downtown offices, but these are not within a short walk, often have terrible hours (the capital office is not open on weekends), and like the office next to the carpet warehouse - difficult to find.

re: the churches, I agree it's a shame these are closing (a seperate issue, so I won't go far), but churches are private organizations seeing record losses in "customers." The PO may be seeing losses, but it's a basic need. When our federal gov't was first proposed the two highest priorities were national defense and delivery of the mail. Oh yeah, and after it was established in the Presidential cabinet by "I like big butts!" Benji Franklin, the Postmaster General was the last person in the Cabinet's presidential line of succession. We still have a post master general, but he can't be prez (sorry). My advice to him, think about the markets you'll leave underserved by this closure plan.

From my casual observation, the closure of the New Scotland branch doesn't make sense. Besides it being my 'hood post office, it is always PACKED when I or my wife have gone - lines out the door.

Where is the Mayor on all of this? It's 'His City' -- so is he advocated for us? How about going to bat for the neighborhoods Mr. Mayor? How about rolling up your sleeves and actually doing something that will make a difference?

What about those P.O. boxes there?
They'll just be shut down?

Also, I don't personally feel comfortable leaving a package by my door for the postal carrier to pick up. I also do not have a mail scale at home and would prefer not purchase one.

I agree with Daniel B. Call in Kevin Costner to save the day.

A few of these comments (almost) remind me of an old SNL 90210 parody where the USPS was going to eliminate the 90210 post office and combine Beverly Hills into a zip code with a less desirable neighborhood. The students at Beverly High were having a tough time coping with this.

One of the main reasons I live where I live is that I enjoy & think it's much healthier, (both physically & mentally) to do my chores by walking & having regular contact with the people who work at PC, CVS, Brueggers, the Post Office & my neighbors I see on these excursions... This is just wrong wrong wrong. Why not close one of the 3 in Clifton Park where everyone drives everywhere anyway?

@Mrs. M - You're right about Stuyvesant Plaza. I sometimes go there, and a minimum 10-15 minute wait is typical when I'm there, even with all three the service stations open. If they do close the four Albany POs, I hope they reconfigure Stuy Plaz to 6 registers! It will probably become my default PO, even though it is many miles from my home.

use email, don;t mail as much, and call your pals. end of story. the post office reeks, and i never use it.

Residents should be working with the postal union to turn this situation around. If we let it happen, it's partly our fault.

First: http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=828721&category=OPINION

Second @ ralphie - Seriously? Don't mail so much? That's your advice? "Hey, Mobil, stop selling gasoline, and try and stay in business."

How do you suggest I send legal documents? Should my PO Box be in Clifton Park, my business is in Albany.

Get a grip.

@Chrisck - what do you mean work with our postal unions? If you got some ideas, let's have them. It may be partially our fault that the internet, Ralphie's answer, is responsible, but we still need local services. The post office isn't closing offices in the middle of nowhere, where people drive to, they are closing neighborhood offices that will force customers to drive. Kind of flies in the face of this admistration's efforts to be more environmentally sustainable.

What I mean is that the postal union doesn't want those post offices closed either. When my union was threatened with lay-offs, we sought out our "clients" to help us prove the necessity of the service we provide. And there's that guy doing a grassroots petition at the Pine Hills post office. Also, given that this is a primary year, the candidates for alderman in those neighborhoods ought to jump in on this. There seems to be a range of people to oppose these closings. As for the post office on New Scotland, where does the hospital stand on the closing? Does it affect them at all?

3 of those Albany Stations are one person stations. They all are closed for at least one hour for lunch. All of those Albany offices slated for closure are leased buildings. Now factor in rent, utilities, cleaning people, snow plowing, security, maintenance, salaries, supplies VS revenue

Stamps are available at grocery stores and bank ATMs. Money Orders are available at Grocery Stores. What about the Price Chopper 1/2 block away on Madison Ave for stamps and Money orders. Stuyvesant Plaza, Colonie Center and the General Mail Facility all have Saturday hours & Colonie Center is open on Sundays. They all have 24/7 access for PO Boxes, and they all have a machine called the APC (Automated Postal Center) that you can mail packages, (Priorty mail and express mail, certify and insure) buy stamps, get zip codes 24 hours a day.......!!

This really hurts my neighborhood,and other urban areas . Now, we might have to take a bus, cab, or rely on a good friend to get to a suburan elitist area! That goes against the very grain of trying to relocate people to the old neighborhoods. The mayors should fight this tooth , and nai! I live in the pine hills ,i was born, and raised on Madison Ave. This is where my heart is! The Pine Hills Library represents the brains of my neighborhood,Price Chopper is the stomach, The Madison is the imagination, but The Pine Hills Post Office is where my heart is.! I am disabled,can not cross a street, and a senior who is trying to save money.I can not be asking friends for rides every time i want to buy stamps , or mail a package!

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