Postal patrons need parking posthaste

WATCHDOG

January 30, 2007|By Nicole Fuller

THE PROBLEM -- Patrons of the Brooklyn Curtis Bay branch of the U.S. Postal Service, which sits off busy Governor Ritchie Highway in Anne Arundel County, have complained for years about a lack of parking, says Charles Schoenhaar, who alerted Watchdog to the situation. Back in 2005, then-Del. John R. Leopold, who is now the county executive, wrote post office officials on behalf of his disgruntled constituents.

THE BACKSTORY -- Watchdog visited the post office on a recent afternoon and witnessed parking mayhem. Cars idled on the street near the entrance to the lot, clamoring for the one soon-to-be vacated spot and causing a traffic jam.

Watchdog parked on the street.

There are six parking spaces, including one for handicapped parking. A large, fenced-in parking lot is virtually empty at the rear of the building, prompting customers to ask why the space isn't open to them.

Freda Sauter, a Postal Service spokeswoman, said officials are aware of the parking problems and are working on plans to provide more spaces. But she said those plans won't include allowing customers to park in the rear lot. She cited safety as the primary factor. "That area is strictly for our trucks and our drivers," she said.

Sauter said that five mail trucks make stops at the branch to retrieve and drop off mail daily and that it would be too dangerous for customers to maneuver their vehicles around the two-ton trucks. She said cars could cause congestion in the lot, possibly delaying the trucks.

WHO CAN FIX THIS -- William L. Ridenour, Baltimore postmaster, 410-347-4239.

UPDATE

A sign that misspelled "Charles St." on a platform at the Charles Center Metro station has been replaced, two weeks after Watchdog first reported the problem on Jan. 16.

The sign read "Stairs to Charlers St." for more than 10 years. Cheron Wicker, spokeswoman for the Maryland Transit Administration, said she had no idea why it took so long for the problem to be fixed. She did say that the company that installed the sign "is no longer in business, so we took matters into our hands."

The error, she said, was "before my time."

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