Little change of late at downtown Glenwood Springs post office, says USPS
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Nighttime mail truck deliveries in and out of the Glenwood Springs Post Office have not increased since spring of 2012, and only went up by one truck after the former mail sorting facility in West Glenwood was closed in 2011, according to a U.S. Postal Service official.
David Rupert, USPS spokesman for the Denver and Wyoming region, said he began looking into the history of mail delivery activity through the downtown Glenwood location following neighborhood complaints suggesting a major increase in volume, especially overnight.
Before the West Glenwood facility was shut down due to budget cutbacks, though, the postal service typically had nine mail truck deliveries at the downtown location between the hours of midnight and 7:30 a.m., “depending on the time of year and day,” Rupert said.
That number increased to 10, on average, after the sorting facility was closed and central mail distribution for the region was moved to Grand Junction, he said.
“Sometimes it will change from day to day,” Rupert said. “But there’s been some assertion that we’ve made this a truck terminal mail exchange, when Glenwood Springs has always been a hub for the Roaring Fork Valley, at least since the 1930s.
In that regard, “We’ve not added or changed anything,” he said.
Recently, residents and property owners on the west side of Pitkin Avenue in the 800 block, directly across the street from the post office loading docks, successfully lobbied Glenwood Springs City Council to change their zoning from residential to commercial.
A primary reason for the request, they said, was because of an increase in mail truck traffic at the post office during the nighttime hours that had begun to negatively impact the neighborhood.
The rezoning was a fallback to give property owners in the area an alternative to convert their properties to commercial uses in the future, if need be.
In the meantime, one new resident of that block, Bob Gish, said he and his neighbors are still hoping to work with the USPS to cut down on the nighttime noise.
But, “We’ve gotten zero response from the post office,” he said. “We asked for them to have someone meet with us and a representative of the city, and no one will talk to us.”
That’s probably because little is likely to change, according to Rupert, who said that, because of Glenwood Springs’ central location at a major crossroads, it will continue to serve as a regional hub.
Historically, before the West Glenwood sorting facility opened in 1996, the downtown Glenwood location was even more of a 24-hour mail processing center, he added.
“We have to get Glenwood Springs their mail, that’s the number one objective,” Rupert said. “And, we have to sort our mail at night to make that happen.
“If we move everything to daylight hours, it will affect mail delivery for everybody in the whole region,” he said. “The hub is Glenwood Springs, and the spokes in that area are Aspen and Vail; it’s always been that way, and there’s no other viable option for us.”
Rupert said the USPS has and will continue to remind its contract truck drivers to be more cognizant when they drive through and make deliveries in residential areas.
“They have a set coming and going time, and are only there for about 15 minutes,” he said. “They’re asked to be good neighbors, and we will continue to try to be good neighbors, but we still have to deliver the mail.”
Gish said he still hopes to press the postal service for changes to the nighttime schedule.
“I have vowed to continue to pursue this, because it does impact our lives,” he said.
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Officer Haley Walker sat beside her stepmother in a windowless interrogation room just before starting the overnight shift on Thursday evening.