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‘Dangerous’ postal box change sparks anger in Boardman

By Ashley Luthern

Friday, December 24, 2010


Photo by: William D. Lewis


Boardman Post Office.

By Ashley Luthern


Some residents and township officials have not given their stamp of approval to a change in mailboxes at a local post office.

The office at 407 Boardman-Canfield Road in the Boardman Plaza had two freestanding mailboxes located behind the building. Last month, those boxes were replaced with one large box.

The box is located in the former drive-through lane of the post office, where people used to be able to purchase stamps and packaging materials, similar to a bank teller lane.

The new set-up is “dangerous,” particularly to seniors, said John Farina, a longtime Boardman resident.

“You can get three cars in there at most and you have to wait on Sugartree Drive,” he said, listing more problems. “Now you’ll have traffic stopped on Sugartree, which is a feeder for people driving behind the plaza. This turn is 180 degrees. If one car gets stalled, you’re up against a curb and a building.”

Farina contacted Boardman Trustee Thomas Costello about the matter. “When I drove it, I thought ‘Boy, this is awkward at best,’” Costello said.

He said that when he called Youngstown Postmaster Tom Kerns, he was told the post office did not have to do a traffic study before making a change, and that it did not have to provide advance notice about the changes.

“Basically, the decision’s been made, and they feel this is better for the post office,” Costello said.

Kerns said the change was made with consumers in mind.

“This is an operational change that allows us to empty that box more often and get it on earlier dispatch trucks,” he said.

Kerns also noted the box holds more mail than the previous two mail boxes combined.

“It’s not something we put in brand new, and we’re not at all concerned about the safety of the approach because there was a place to buy stamps and packages, and it was set for that,” Kerns said. “...We don’t make changes just because we feel like making changes.”

Still, Farina said that’s what it seemed like to him.

“Everybody knows they’ve congested that area but it’s more productive for them. That’s exactly my point,” he said. “There’s the total frustration that we seniors have with moronic decisions. Those boxes were perfectly safe where they were, and I’ve had enough.”