Special Delivery For the Holidays: Rep. Maloney Announces Roosevelt Island Post Office to Remain Open
NEW YORK, NY – Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney today announced that the New York District of the United States Postal Service (USPS) has removed the Roosevelt Island Station post office from the Postal Service’s discontinuance list. She received the notice today from the USPS’ headquarters in Washington, DC, which wrote to her office, “The New York District has removed the Roosevelt Island Station from the Post Office discontinuance list. After careful evaluation of the data, it was determined that it would not be feasible to close the office at this time.”
This summer, the USPS revealed that it was studying the possibility of closing Roosevelt Island Station and moving the services provided to postal customers on the Island to other post offices. Islanders responded to the possible closure with an outpouring of support. All of the local elected officials representing Roosevelt Island – Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, NYS Senator José Serrano, NYS Assembly Member Micah Kellner, and City Council Member Jessica Lappin – issued a letter opposing the closure (see below), and thousands of residents signed petitions which Congresswoman Maloney delivered to the Postmaster.
“Roosevelt Island’s residents, businesses, and community and government leaders knew all along that Roosevelt Island Station provides critical services to the growing community on the Island, but we had to send that message special delivery to the Postal Service. This summer, USPS officials began making a list – but thankfully, they checked it twice, and took Roosevelt Island Station off the chopping block!” said Congresswoman Maloney.
“I thank the Postal Service for hearing our concerns and keeping this important local institution of the federal government open for business. Above all, I’d like to thank the countless residents and business owners of Roosevelt Island who organized effectively and outspokenly in the finest tradition of the Island. This win is a tribute to them and the entire community.”
Including this week’s victory on Roosevelt Island Station, Congresswoman Maloney has now led successful efforts to prevent the closure of four post offices in New York’s 14th Congressional District. Pitt Station and Cherokee Station, both in Manhattan, and Grand Station in Astoria have all been placed on a list of USPS facilities to be considered for closure in recent years, only to be saved by vigorous and effective advocacy led by Representative Maloney. Encouraging local residents to express their support for those local postal facilities and to respond vigorously to USPS surveys of customer needs, Congresswoman Maloney helped avert the closure of all four post offices.
Below is the text of the letter to the USPS from all of Roosevelt Island’s local elected officials that was initiated by Congresswoman Maloney and sent on August 10, 2011.
Mr. Patrick R. Donahoe
US Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza West, SW
Washington, DC 20260
Dear Mr. Donahoe:
We write to you as elected officials representing constituents using the Roosevelt Island Station Post Office located at 694 Main Street, New York, NY 10044. It is our understanding that the United States Postal Service (USPS) will begin a study for potential consolidation (closure) of Roosevelt Island Station. Closing this facility would severely burden residents living in the area who rely on it for their daily needs.
Roosevelt Island Station is the only postal facility located on Roosevelt Island, which is surrounded on all sides by the East River, a swift-moving body of water. It serves residents of a community with many senior citizens and persons with disabilities, for whom the nearest alternative postal facility is located nearly a mile and a half away in Queens. Unlike most parts of the country, a significant number of residents of this community do not own cars, and almost all postal customers using Roosevelt Island Station walk there. Forcing these New Yorkers to travel to the nearest post office off the Island will add at least a half an hour each way. In making your decision, we hope that you will look at the availability of mass transit options (or lack thereof) to bring people to the next closest facility, the method by which most people reach this post office (e.g. on foot, by bus, by car) and the amount of time it would take a senior to walk to the nearest facility. Simply measuring a distance on a map tells you very little about the ease or difficulty of reaching the destination.
We have heard the suggestion that many postal services can be done by computer. The population around Roosevelt Island Station includes large numbers of senior citizens and economically disadvantaged person who do not have computers and therefore do not use email or pay bills online. Neither is there a Federal Express, United Parcel Service, DHL, or similar private mail or package delivery service available on the Island, and there is only one bank, a local branch of Amalgamated, making the Roosevelt Island Station postal facility a vital and irreplaceable necessity for Island residents and businesses.
We hope that you will look at the realities of this neighborhood, the nature of Roosevelt Island Station’s customer base and the long distance people will have to travel by foot to reach a different post office. For all of the foregoing reasons, we urge you to keep Roosevelt Island Station open. We would like to meet with you, or the District Manager of the Triboro District, Frank Calabrese, to discuss these concerns further. Additionally, we hope that you will hold a public hearing to allow our constituents to express their views to you.
CAROLYN B. MALONEY
Member of Congress
Manhattan Borough President
JOSÉ M. SERRANO
Member of Assembly
City Council Member
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