Time to address Post Office issue | TheUnion.com

Time to address Post Office issue

As evidenced by the Other Voices on today’s Page A5 by Grass Valley Mayor Gerard Tassone, the city continues to look for a better way to move traffic in and out of the Post Office at East Main and Bennett streets.

If we had a say-so, we’d try to convince the Postal Service officials to move it to another part of town, where customers could access it without tying up traffic on an already-congested East Main Street. Planners didn’t seem to be looking too far ahead when they allowed a Post Office to be built at that location some 30 years ago. They had no way of knowing then how traffic on East Main would grow, or that it would take three decades for Caltrans to help the city solve its problems at a couple of major arteries with Highway 49 (such as East Main and Idaho-Maryland Road).

Mayor Tassone said Postal Service officials like the location and say that, in a competitive market, it’s important for them to have good visibility. But when Postal Service customers start to impact traffic on city streets, which is happening now, compromise is in order. One proposal was to encourage the Postal Service officials to relocate the drive-thru dropbox to another part of town, limiting traffic at the Post Office to those customers with post office boxes, or customers needing assistance.

That proposal was given a chilly reception at the time, and the city said it would need to revisit that when traffic started to back up onto East Main Street, which is where we sit today.

If a good solution is to be found, it will take a cooperative public-private effort. The mayor indicates, for example, that the city is working with the owners of Maria’s restaurant to allow a longer turn lane at the intersection of East Main and Bennett’s streets. The plan also calls for restricted parking on a few spots in the westbound lane of East Main, just before the entrance to the Post Office.

Whatever the solution, it needs to come soon. We hope the city will be able to show it is more than capable of moving quickly to address its growing list of traffic problems and we are encouraged by Mayor Tassone’s words today.

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