Brooklyn Park residents are about to see an end to their years of fighting for one of six parking spots and a place in line at their post office.
The U.S. Postal Service is planning to build a new post office in the community by 2000. Postal officials have said they expect the new office to be built in Brooklyn Park and not in neighboring Curtis Bay, though both areas will share the facility, as they have the old one.
"It's been on the list for quite a while, but Brooklyn Park has finally moved its way up," said Postal Service spokeswoman Deborah Yackley. "Our intention is to keep a new facility as close as possible to the old one."
The post office at 16th Avenue and Ritchie Highway has been the source of friction for years as customers complained -- sometimes even physically fought each other -- over parking.
Nearby businesses also were fed up with post office customers using their parking spaces.
"One business across the street used to have tow trucks waiting to see if our customers would park there," said David Holmes, who has worked at the post office for 11 years.
"We've seen accidents in the parking lot, too," he said. "It will be nice to have parking for the customers and even the employees. Maybe we could even get a drive-through window."
Yackley said specific plans have not been made, but the money to build the new post office is earmarked for Brooklyn Park, baring any major problems at another post office that would divert the funding.
The post office recently changed to the "postal store" concept, offering boxes, bubble wrap and other items to better compete with private shippers. But the improvements, while welcome, did little to address the cramped quarters.
"Right now, it's a postage stamp of a post office that is not adequately addressing the needs of the community," said Del. John R. Leopold, who has written letters to the Baltimore postmaster on behalf of annoyed residents. "It has been a long-standing complaint."
Last week, longtime customers expressed relief.
"If I have to pick up stamps, I go to the store because the [post office] parking lot is too small," said resident Don Webster.
"It's just been too crowded here and it's too difficult to get in and out," said Brooklyn Park resident Amanda Llovet. "I just hope the new one is not in an inconvenient place."
Pub Date: 6/07/98