State Sen. Tony Avella joined local leaders and community residents outside Bayside’s Friday to protest .
The United States Postal Service is considering a plan to shutter the facility, which is located at 212-35 42nd Ave., and at 41-29 216th St. in Bayside that local leaders say is inconvenient to the community.
Avella, D-Bayside, joined state Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, D-Bayside, Community Board 11 members and civic leaders Friday morning to call on USPS to reconsider its plan.
“The post office at this location has been a popular fixture in the Bayside neighborhood and has provided easy and convenient postal services to Bayside residents for years,” Avella said. “Any plans to move the post office to a location that will not be able to provide the same expediency that residents have come to rely on, such as easy access, a centralized location and parking availability, is shortsighted.”
Braunstein said the Bell Boulevard post office’s location is busy, in part, due to its proximity to .
“Bell Boulevard is the commercial hub of Bayside,” he said. “We have thousands of people who take the LIRR every day. Bayside still has an old town quality and part of that is having a post office on the main strip. Closing it would take away the character of the community and pave the way for commercialized strip malls. We need to be on the frontline to stop that.”
USPS has not returned calls for comment.
Bayside residents said the Bell Boulevard post office is convenient because there are numerous shopping and dining options in close proximity.
They said the annex is located in an isolated area with no parking.
“The annex is a warehouse in a swamp filled with dog crud,” said Frank Skala, president of the East Bayside Homeowners Association.
U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-Bayside, recently , calling on the agency to meet with local leaders and residents about the potential closure of the post office.
“What bothers me the most is that there has been no community input,” said Jack Oshier, a Bayside resident who first heard of the plan to close the facility. “It amazes me. This post office is not on the official list of closings.”
Bayside leaders said they have not been able to get answers from USPS on how seriously the plan is being considered.
“When this was brought to my attention, it baffled my mind,” Chairman Jerry Iannece said. “I don’t understand the logic of closing a heavily trafficked post office in a vibrant area. It’s idiotic.”
Andy Rothman, a CB 11 member, said mail carriers have complained to him that they are frequently ticketed for parking near the annex.
“This is a real disaster,” he said. “It’s in the middle of nowhere and there is no parking there.”
Community leaders said they originally heard that USPS could close the post office in October, but now the agency would likely attempt to shut it in February.
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