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Postal decision feels right; Handy: Drive-up access to Columbia's Town Center post office promotes community.


SURELY, Columbians would adjust to having their post office in The Mall and not at the lakefront -- but why should they have to?

Thanks to a recent decision to put the move on hold, those who like the small-town post office atmosphere won't have to adapt.

Opponents of the move were unhappy to learn that a lease had been prepared for the new space even as public hearings were held to see how people felt.

Out of order, they thought, even though the postal service had signed nothing.

Surely the critics will continue to monitor developments because the delay is said to be motivated by a looming budget squeeze -- not preserving the ambience they cherish.

For a time, Columbians may continue to park curb-side on Wincopin Circle, dash in, do a bit of business and get away in a trice. If they're not in such a hurry, maybe they can linger a bit with a friend. We find too few opportunities for such exchanges.

Not everyone shares that view.

At a public hearing recently, Columbia Postmaster Y. Pat Moore said she gets complaints almost daily from people who have trouble parking near the branch. And she thinks many in Columbia don't even know the 2,100-square-foot office is there. She thought moving it to the mall -- and doubling available space -- would bring more visibility and more foot traffic.

More hassle and less community, too. More mall-ing of America in Columbia which may have enough mall-ing as it is.

Sometimes the right thing happens for the wrong reason. If this is not the right thing, moreover, the postal service now has time to demonstrate that -- by holding hearings, making sure they're well-publicized and delaying a decision until after the testimony is heard.

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