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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Atwater and Echo Park post offices deliver bad news to motorists

Parking lot at Atwater Village's Griffith Post Office.

Former Echo Park post office parking lot

The large parking lot that surrounds the post office serving Atwater Village might soon start to feel a bit more crowded.  The U.S. Postal Service has decided to stop leasing an adjacent parking lot that provides the majority of the spaces at the Atwater facility, known as the Griffith Post Office,  in a budget cutting move. It’s the same reason that prompted the agency to give up an auxiliary parking lot at Echo Park’s Edendale post office last year.

“We must constantly look for ways to reduce our operating expenses while still maintaining service to our customers,” said spokeswoman Meiko S. Patton in an email. “This includes regularly reviewing all contracts and leases. In the case of these two postal facilities, we chose not to renew the leases to auxiliary parking lots.”

In the case of the Echo Park post office, the closure of a satellite parking with about two dozen spaces on Alvarado Street has left the station with about 10 public parking spaces.

The post office in Atwater on Glendale Boulevard will also be left with about 10 parking spaces directly in front of the building after the lease runs out on the lot immediately north of the post office. That property, which contains about 20 parking spaces, at the corner of Glendale Boulevard and LaClede Avenue is now for lease or sale at $860,000, according to LoopNet.com

When will those Atwater post office parking spaces disappear? Looks like pretty soon, according to Patton at the Postal Service. “The change will go into effect at the Griffith Post Office later this month.”

21 comments

  1. On a vaguely related note, the Edendale station might be the worst post office branch I’ve ever dealt with. You better believe, if you get a notice they have a package for you, they won’t have it; if you request that they hold your mail while you’re out of town, they won’t do it. I’ve largely stopped having any packages delivered to my home address, because if it goes through Edendale, I’ll probably never get it.

    If they really want to save money, they could close Edendale as far as I’m concerned. Maybe I’m a little angry, but that’s just my two unsolicited cents.

    • We had identity theft a few years back and it turned out that someone was walking around the neighborhood stealing mail and then opening accounts. Edendale was our PO.
      Days after speaking directly with supervisors (or people who would pretend to be supervisors – it was unclear since one day they’d say they were the supervisor and next day pretend they weren’t) and our mail carrier and asking them to be alert and not to hand anyone the mail but rather put it in the box, the mail carrier literally handed this identity thief our mail several more times. Worst post office ever.

  2. @adidas28 You are so right! I’ve had so many mail holds simply disregarded. I stopped trying completely when once, after stuffing my mailbox beyond capacity, they simply started throwing loose mail into my yard!

  3. Edendale PO is pretty notorious — lots of people go to Atwater, when they have the choice.

  4. I’d be happy to have the Edendale office shutdown and use another further away. My main mailman is a great guy, but if another postman comes by they won’t even bother attempting to deliver my packages to my apartment, they simply put the pickup slip in my box and never knock.

    We made the mistake of dropping off our wedding invites from Edendale. The clerk told us the wrong postage, luckily on the way home we doubted him and googled it and we were able to come back and get them before they shipped. He acted like it was our fault for not knowing.

    • Same thing happened to me. They gave me the wrong postage for a bulk mailing, and when I showed up at a meeting to send out all the pieces, it was a huge problem. When I mentioned it to the clerk he flew off the handle and blamed me for it as well.
      There was always an intricate psychological ritual to observe to get your packages out so as not to prompt the clerk to get mad or leave on a break – though often if they did leave the counter to fetch something for you, another clerk would show up at the window 15 minutes later to announce the first clerk had gone to lunch and you had to get out of the line. I always held my breath watching the clerk put my packages on the shelf to go out – half the time they would get mixed up with the international mail or sent to the incoming hold shelf.
      I’ve never seen a post office where they took so many breaks – about one every three minutes. The whole time you’re standing there you can hear the windows slamming.
      I too had the experience of them claiming a certain city or even country didn’t exist – because they couldn’t spell it, and/or the name didn’t turn up in their weighing system, then they’d get angry about it.
      But don’t get me started on the Griffith Park station, with their red-faced screaming tantrums, bizarre insults and ridiculing one customer to another… the nicest guy there told me he deliberately didn’t cut his hair for seven years, in order to antagonize one his co-workers. And this was the sane guy.

  5. I had a clerk at Edendale refuse to believe that the Czech Republic existed. I was unable to send anything to CZ from that post office because they just didn’t want to believe me. I’ve actually wept with frustration for other things in that post office.

    • Wow. Just wow.

      • I agree. Wow. And I thought our Franklin Hills mail was bad. The carrier returned to sender a parcel sent to us from the UK, marked it ” moved – unknown” and when I questioned the carrier (nicely), he claimed he must have been on vacation – wasn’t him. I had asked at Los Feliz p.o. how this happened. They asked my address. Now I never get mail. Ever.

  6. The lines can be horrendous at Edendale Post Office, and I’ve personally had one mix-up in about a dozen years through that office — a piece of correctly addressed mail that was sent back to sender stamped “Addressee Unknown.”

    That said, the people that staff the windows at Edendale are great, and it’s nice to see them in the same way that it was to see the same cashiers who worked the check-out line at the old Pioneer Market. And my regular carrier who works out of that office is the friendliest I’ve ever known.

    The big problem is that there is now tremendous pressure on offices such as Griffith and Edendale — and the system as a whole — to cut costs since Congress mandated in 2006 that the Postal Service pre-fund its retirement plan on a 75-year basis, instead of the 20-30 that other federal agencies are required to do.

    So, as services such as parking and Saturday delivery are cut, and the lines become longer and jobs lost, you might want to learn more about how this “crisis” with the post office was manufactured, and take it up with elected officials, but please “don’t shoot the messenger.”

    (And please, no “going postal” jokes in response to that lame joke.)

  7. I will say that Adora (I believe her name is) is TERRIFIC and has helped me at Edendale a few times. And I can tell she is certainly busy and harried and likely overworked. However, I gotta add that she might be the only seemingly competent or committed worker I’ve seen in the office or working out of a mail truck. I’ve had carriers do the same thing that someone else mentioned–leave a slip at the door without even checking to see if I’m home; I’ve also had carriers tell me I can go right to the station and pick up my package only to go immediately to the station and discover it is clearly closed and has been for a couple hours.

    There may be one or two good, skilled, conscientious workers there, but there is also a whole lot of slipshod apathy. And to that I say “budgets schmudgets.” Lousy workers are lousy workers: Cut ‘em loose.

  8. I have lived in Edendale’s jurisdiction for 30 years, and never have had a problem. My recent mail carrier (who was just put on a different route) even walked up the 40 steps to my front door to deliver packages. I wrote a note to his supervisor complimenting him…..he was just fabulous and such a pleasant man! A little hint for mail holds……..if you arrange it online, print out the info and put it in your mailbox a couple days before the effective date, thus the carrier (even if it’s a sub) has the info. I also always tell my mail carrier that I’ve put a mail hold on. They always appreciate that & I’ve never had a problem.

    • That’s a good tip, however….it didn’t work for me.

      When I returned from my trip I discovered my note at the bottom of my box, crumpled under all the mail that had been stuffed beyond reason into my box. Sadness. :-(

  9. Sorry to hear about the experiences some previous posters have had at the Edendale PO, but I’ve only got tons o’ love for ‘em. In more than 20 years in the 90026, I’ve never had any problems with delivery or holding mail, etc. Sure, sometimes the line in the PO seems to stretch for days, but all in all, Edendale PO rules!

  10. Aside from the long lines, I haven’t had a problem with the people who work the windows at the Edendale Post Office. I certainly hope Edendale stays open, because it’s great having a post office within walking distance. The place does seem understaffed, however, hence the lines.

    I haven’t had as much luck with mail delivery. My regular mail carrier is great, but when he has a day off or is on vacation, mail delivery sometimes has a random quality. People in the apartment complex get mail addressed to other streets, and presumably some of our mail ends up elsewhere. Again, while some carelessness is clearly involved, I think the main problem is budget cuts and understaffing — I’ve heard that some mail carriers end up trying to deliver two shifts worth of mail in one shift.

    I gather that a large part of the problem is that Congress required the Post Office to prefund 75 years worth of future health care benefits within 10 years. I hope this requirement is changed and that the Post Office improves and thrives.

  11. I wont miss the Edendale Parking Annex at all. I used it twice, and both times I noticed that people were sleeping in their cars, while the scent of urine floated in the air.

  12. What a shame. It is too bad that they were not able to purchase that land before the property values went up. I recall that corner area having an old rundown store, overgrown with weeds, for years. Then someone from the Post Office got smart and put in the drop off boxes on Laclede and cleared that house and made the lot bigger. That was great!
    Before they did that, there were problems with people pulling into the lot, and lines of cars for the drop off from Glendale Blvd. …causing traffic issues. Kinda a mess.
    Will we still have that drop box on Laclede, or will that be affected? Seems like the owners of that property are perhaps taking advantage of the Post Office. wonder how much it is to lease that land….seems expensive. I wonder what will go in there? Or will it stand empty and unused again for years?
    Seems like it might be a good idea to charge for parking eves and weekends (metered) in the Post office lot. I see people parking there in the eves since there is metered parking on Glendale Blvd. and Atwater is becoming more popular.
    Too bad.

  13. When I moved in to Silverlake/Rampart/Edendale in 2001 the neighborhood was bleak. The neighbors told me not to try and leave mail in my mailbox for outgoing. The 80 year old ladies that lived up the hill were told by their postman NOT to leave their flag up. That he would not come unless he had mail to deliver. That they should walk the three blocks up the hill to the postbox on the corner. Just lovely. The neighbors also told me not to bother putting out my trash “they don’t come”. So after calling both the post office supervisor at Edendale and the Sanitation Director downtown, the neighborhood started to function much better. We are friends with our mailman now although, he did kinda hate us for years.

  14. Thought I’d use this thread to sing the praises of the Glassell Park post office (90065) on Eagle Rock Blvd. The staff there are incredibly helpful and downright cheerful. They keep the line moving fast. Having waited in endless lines at both the Edendale and the Atwater postoffice I can say there is no comparison.

  15. Workers are only as good as the supervision. Me I happy I have a close PO. I may not like what happens sometimes but happy they are there CLOSE .

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