One by one U.S. Postal Service mail collection boxes have been quietly disappearing from some Los Altos streets.
Just this month boxes were removed on Main Street in downtown Los Altos, angering some postal customers who now have to travel farther to mail correspondence. A group of boxes also was removed from a concrete island on First Street across from the old post office.
USPS spokesman James T. Wigdel said street collection boxes are removed when the volume of mail dropped into them slips.
“Generally speaking, if a collection box looks like it is getting low usage, we do a density study,” Wigdel said. “If the collection box receives an average of 25 or fewer letters a day the box becomes a candidate for removal. We then follow a collection box removal process in which the public is given notice.”
Wigdel added that since 2006, the Postal Service has lost about 25 percent of its First Class letter mail volume (the type of mail dropped in the collection boxes) nationally so, in an effort to be as efficient as possible, low usage collection boxes are being removed.
That, apparently, was the fate of the downtown collection boxes.
However, there may by hope for the mailboxes that were removed from First Street.
Wigdel said those boxes were removed because of a potential safety due to their proximity to a large construction project nearby. A 48-unit condominium project is being built on the site of the old post office with a completion date for late 2013.
“We are looking for a nearby spot in which to relocate the boxes as soon as possible,” Wigdel said.
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