Public postal parking possible (again)

       Three years ago, when the U.S. Postal Service opened its Carrier Annex at 25th and Robinson streets, off-street public parking at the West End Station seemed a good bet.
       After all, when the 20-some carriers moved to the annex, only the 5 clerks were left at the 25th-and-Cucharras-Street station - leaving most of its 25-space, paved parking lot empty.
       Then-West End manager Sue Luck even went on record anticipating public parking would be available in the lot as early as summer 2005.
       Unfortunately for West End's numerous driving customers - who otherwise must take their chances with metered parking spaces - the off-street plan never got past the talking stages, according to Ron Perry of post office customer relations. As a result, the lot has stayed mostly empty ever since, except about 10 weeks a year when the extra space inside the building is used to train new carriers, and occasionally other times for meetings, he said this week.
       The good news is the parking plan is making a comeback. Nothing is certain, but “we're going to take a new look at that in November,” Perry predicted this week. The timing is based on the post office fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1.
       “Everyone feels it's a good concept; there's just the funding part,” he cautioned. “There's been discussion, but no decision. At the latest, by Thanksgiving we'll figure out what we're going to do about it.”
       One element to be considered is the old trailer at the back of the West End building. It was once used for mail-sorting and other carrier work. Now it's not even used for carrier training, and its removal would clear up several parking spaces. However, it's not as easy as just dragging it off. In an interview in 2004, Luck pointed out that if the trailer is removed, the wall where it connects would have to be filled back in.
       Perry noted that the November study might take in more than just the parking lot. The carrier training area, which consists of not much more than a DVD player, tables and chairs and carrier cases, could be relocated - which would free up even more parking.
       But the Postal Service also has questions about the cost-effectiveness of the building itself, which could render the other issues moot. Built in 1962, it takes up 4,789 square feet on an 18,000 square-foot lot, County Assessor records state. According to Perry, “that facility is so run down, there's a possibility of moving everything over there [to the Carrier Annex].”

Westside Pioneer article