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Parked cars doing what rain, snow, sleet, hail cannot

Lynn Burton
Staff Writer

As Carbondale’s residential streets become more crowded with vehicles, town folks say a once minor problem is getting worse.

The problem comes from motorists who park in front of street-side mailboxes, which can delay mail delivery if postal vehicles aren’t able pull up to them.

“It’s gotten worse this summer,” said Cindy Lindsay, who lives in the 200 block of Garfield Avenue.

Lindsay said part of the problem comes because she is just outside the downtown area’s two-hour parking zone, so her street attracts the first wave of all-day parkers.

The tree-lined street also attracts motorists who want to keep their vehicles cool in the shade.

Like some other Roaring Fork Valley towns, Carbondale’s residential neighborhoods include pockets where postal carriers only deliver from their vehicles to street-side mailboxes. Delivery to the door is not available in those areas, and residents who don’t want a street-side mailbox must pick up their mail at the post office.

Carbondale police chief Gene Schilling said it’s not illegal for motorists to park in front of mailboxes. “As long as it’s public parking, people can part there,” Schilling said.

Schilling confirmed that police are receiving more complaints about blocked mailboxes this summer. He said part of the problem comes from residences that were made to accommodate three cars, but now have to handle many more because more people are living in the units.

Lindsay said she’s heard postal carriers aren’t supposed to get out of their vehicles to deliver to blocked mailboxes, but Shelley Rullestad, acting postmaster in Carbondale, said that’s not always the case.

Rullestad said a carrier can refuse to deliver if the blocking vehicle belongs to the resident with the street-side mailbox.

Lindsay said she is fortunate because she is often at home when the postal carrier comes by, and she can go outside to get her mail. Even so, Lindsay is still going to put up a “No Parking” sign in front of her mail box.

“People need to learn to be courteous,” she said.


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