FORT BRAGG — We’ve all seen them. They have sprouted in a few neighborhoods and down Main Street. Some, yet to be unpacked, were spotted at the Mendocino Post Office. Some are monolithic and black. Others are chunkier and a friendlier beige. The compartments don’t seem to be large enough for those unwieldy packages we bring home from the post office. So what is our U.S. Postal Service up to?
The post boxes, silent sentinels of the streets, reveal nothing.
The first complaint has already made its way to the Fort Bragg City Council. The homeowner said the service wasn’t asked for, and they didn’t want it in front of their house.
According to Augustine Ruiz, Jr., Corporate Communications Officer for the United Postal Service, the purpose of the lockers is twofold and driven by customer service.
To improve service in the areas where the lockers have been installed, packages will be placed within a locker box for the first delivery attempt. This system is intended to reduce thefts of packages left at the front door. Also, customers will no longer be required to go to the post office to retrieve parcels. A spot check in the Glass Beach subdivision in Fort Bragg revealed black metal storage containers, next to individual home mailboxes, neatly planted about every three houses.
The plan was developed at the highest levels of postal administration. Data analysis of package delivery volume determined which areas in our community would be first to receive access to these neighborhood lockers.