via Oakland Local
This week, the United States Post Office (USPS) announced a list of 3,700 post office branches across the country under consideration for closure. Though most of the branches are in rural areas, selected for their low traffic, two of these branches are in Oakland.
The two branches are the Bryon Mumford office at 13th and Clay and the Eastmont office near 82nd and MacArthur. No closures are proposed for Alameda or Contra Costa County. Five locations are proposed for closure in San Francisco.
What are the chances these branches will close, and what can concerned Oaklanders do about it?
“At this point, there is no decision. We haven’t even posted the calendar for the notification.” According to Augustine Ruiz, Jr., regional spokesperson for the USPS, it is unlikely that any Oakland office would be closed before December.
“No decisions have been made, however, once a decision is made, what we will do is notify the public through a posted announcement, in their PO boxes, using the media. We’re very public, very transparent, about that. We have to post that 60 days prior to the closing. The first 30 days are to allow community input concerns regarding that decision. Even after those 60 days have passed, there’s another 30 day appeal period.”
Oakland is the USPS’s Bay View district. Of the 226 in this district, only four are proposed for closing. For comparison, the Sacramento region has over 500 post offices, but because many of those offices serve smaller populations, over 40 are on the proposed closure list.
If Oakland were to lose the Bryan Mumford office at 13th and Clay, people in City Center and West Oakland would have to travel five or six blocks further to reach one of the other two downtown offices: Franklin at 15th and in the Pacific Renaissance Building in Chinatown. The impact on neighbors of the Eastmont station would be much greater, as the nearest station is 1.5 miles away on International Boulevard at 92nd.
It may be small consolation, but as post office customers are forced to go farther afield for their mail, they will encounter slightly different, and sometimes improved, hours of operation. The Bryan Mumford office is closed on weekends, unlike the branch in Renaissance Plaza. The Eastmont branch is only open from 9 am – 1:30 pm on Saturdays, unlike the nearby International Boulevard location which is open from 8 am – 2 pm on Saturdays.
Some may remember that the USPS created a similar, but smaller, list of potential closings in 2009. That time, five Oakland post offices were suggested. Of those, three closed: the Dimond, Mills College and Kaiser branches. The others — in Montclair and Franklin at 15th — are still open.
If your post office is closed, how far would you have to go to send and receive mail?