City seeks to stamp out postal jam
Picking up stamps or posting a parcel in Grass Valley involves encountering loop-de-loops and long lines, creating a jam for post office customers and downtown drivers.
Postmaster Rick Beressa is eager to fix what most acknowledge is a growing problem.
“I’m 100 percent behind any kind of change that will be positive,” he said Wednesday.
Beressa said he would even move the post office if money was made available, but he pointed out that Grass Valley residents rallied to defend their downtown office the last time that was considered.
The city, meanwhile, is trying to develop another plan, albeit temporary, to untangle the traffic.
Within a month, Interim City Engineer Keith Sauers plans to shift the Main Street “island” – a no-driving area between the two lanes – north to make it easier for eastbound vehicles to slip past parked cars and vehicles waiting to turn right into the Post Office’s parking lot.
That plan, which Sauers said he is “massaging,” would provide only temporary relief.
“It’s a difficult problem for which there isn’t a real obvious solution,” he said.
The problems have existed since the Post Office moved in nearly 20 years ago, Councilman Mark Johnson said.
But with the increase in traffic and the city’s intersection work, which removed the opportunity to turn left from East Main Street, the delays have been exacerbated, Johnson said.
The city’s most recent approach – deleting two large parking spaces from the south side of East Main Street – was dropped Tuesday evening at a city council meeting after business owners defended their parking spots.
“Of course, I’m opposed to losing what little parking we do have,” said Carl George, who owns an East Main Street building. He called the traffic situation “a real nightmare.”
George said drivers make U-turns in the middle of East Main Street, then back up into traffic when they can’t spin all the way around.
The trouble is caused by postal customers waiting to snag a prime parking space and delaying traffic behind them, several observers at the meeting agreed.
“I think our greatest problem is the ignorance and impatience of the public,” Councilwoman Patti Ingram said at the meeting. “I’m frustrated.”
Mayor Gerard Tassone said he plans to meet with Post Office officials in coming weeks to discuss ways to alleviate the jam.
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