Well there we were, a few days before Christmas and lo and behold, in our mailbox was the following letter from Canada Post detailing the solution they had arrived at after looking at Gatensbury Road’s safety issues.
There is more information about this in previous posts on this blog to get up to speed on this issue.
At first glance, it looks like our mail problems have been satisfactorily solved. What you don’t see in this letter, is that they never once consulted with any of us street residents. They just came up with a solution independent of the people it actually affects.
Is that the way we do things in Canada?! I’d like to think not.
How does this affect us? For starters, we keep referring to one of our home owners who is in her 90’s. Now she has to figure out how to get down to the bottom of the hill to get her mail and then get back up again. Of course, many of us will volunteer to help her out but that’s not a real solution for her or the other residents on the hill.
Let’s be realistic here; am I going to drive my car a few hundred metres down the hill to get my mail? Of course not! When I do happen to drive down on another errand I can pick it up on my return but that’s kind of inconvenient. Mostly I’ll walk down and get it and walk back up again.
But wait a minute…..Our street isn’t safe to walk up and down! And so the conundrum continues.
We could accept some kind of solution like this as a stop gap measure but what we really need is to sit down and work with all the parties involved to make our street safer so mail can be delivered safely. But it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen in the immediate future.
And can you remember anytime Canada Post actually met with the people it serves to ask them how to best accommodate their needs? No time that I know of, anyway.
Oh, and what about the security of these so called “super mailboxes”? The CBC gave a report from 2 years ago that outlined just how secure they really aren’t. There’s a great interactive map detailing thefts from all over British Columbia in that report. Another one from Abbotsford about repeated break-ins at a cluster of mailboxes. It seems break-ins and thefts are particularly common at tax time. Identity theft and all that.
So what should we do about this? Not just sit back and say “OK, looks like you’ve solved our mail problem” because they haven’t. I’m going to be very upset if a parcel or amil was delivered to my box and then stolen because I was at the office working when it was delivered and couldn’t get to it before the thieves.
On the positive side, they do seem to have solved their employee safety issue and for that, I DO commend them. Employee safety is an ongoing and important concern that always needs to be revisited. The last thing we want is a mail carrier to be hit by a moving vehicle while performing their job in our’s or any other neighborhood.
Now they just need to take a few more steps and consult with not only their employees and their experts, but with the residents, too.
Is that too much to ask?