The Norman Transcript

Opinion

July 26, 2013

Curbside vs. door-to-door

NORMAN — Public sentiment over moving mailboxes from front doors to curbside is strong. The local postmaster — and the newspaper — got an earful of comments when folks in southwest Norman were encouraged to move their boxes.

That may not be an option in the next decade. A House of Representatives panel this week looked at ways to save the cash-strapped postal service some money. The changes proposed would give the carriers fewer stops and fewer steps walking.

For decades, new developments have required curbside and cluster box deliveries. Officials said about 30 million residential addresses still receive door-to-door delivery and another 87 million receive their mail at curbside or in a locked cluster box.

The Associated Press reports a door-to-door delivery costs an average $350 per year, curbside costs $224 and cluster boxes cost $160. Postal officials think they can save $4.5 billion a year by moving deliveries from the front door boxes to curbside and cluster boxes.

The savings are substantial and would make a dent in the USPS’ $16 billion loss last year. But door-to-door delivery is a tradition that won’t go down easily. Members of Congress will likely hear more about this proposal than the idea to drop Saturday delivery or close some rural post offices.

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