Going postal: USPS depot on residential block drives neighbors crazy

Going postal: USPS depot on residential block drives neighbors crazy
Photo by David Richman

And you thought your post office was bad!

A United States Postal Service shipping depot that opened earlier this year on Dean Street in Prospect Heights is driving neighbors crazy with all-night deliveries and employees who illegally use parking placards to turn the residential block into their own personal lot, according to the head of a neighborhood group.

“They don’t want to take mass transit so they park out front illegally. It’s dangerous,” said Anu Heda, president of the Dean Street Block Association. “I call it renegade employee parking.”

The carrier annex, formerly a part of the Trinity Place Post Office on Atlantic Avenue, opened between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues in January after the landlord refused to renew the facility’s lease, forcing the post office and shipping depot to occupy separate spaces, said postal service spokeswoman Maureen Marion.

And while the former location — which was in a commercial area and had a parking lot for workers — was perfect for the depot, the site on Dean Street could not be worse, according to its next-door neighbor.

“It’s not an ideal place for what they’re doing,” said David Richman. “I don’t know why they moved in there.”

To navigate the narrow street — which is even more clogged now thanks to temporary fencing for the Pacific Park project — the postal service traded 18-wheeler shipping trucks for smaller vehicles that still barely fit and require more trips to deliver the same amount of freight, Heda said.

The result is trucks driving onto the sidewalk, destroying property, and, worst of all, arriving at all hours of the night — forcing neighbors to plug their ears just to catch a wink, according to Richman.

“I’ve started wearing ear plugs to bed,” the Dean Street resident said. “I can be awakened by a truck coming in at one, two, three, four in the morning — it’s literally around the clock.”

The new annex doesn’t have space for all its vehicles, Heda said, so employees often park them sticking halfway onto the street’s only usable sidewalk, forcing pedestrians into traffic.

“You have no choice but to walk in the street,” he said.

And postal workers who grew accustomed to parking their personal cars in the former location’s parking lot are now improperly using postal-service-issued parking placards to park them in illegal spots on Dean Street — a big no-no according to the city’s Department of Transportation.

“The placard… is not an officially issued placard, and is not valid for use on city streets,” said spokeswoman Alana Morales.

Marion said the placards are only for use on official business, such as visiting customers, and that the postal service would crack down on its employees’ nasty habit.

“Be assured the Brooklyn Post Office will redouble its efforts to monitor the distribution and use of these placards,” she said.

Heda filed complaints with local and federal officials, the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs, and, of course, the postal service, but has yet to receive any good news.

“No promising results yet,” he said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.