City mail carriers struggle to adjust to new routes

August 11, 1997


Staff Writer

Hagerstown Post Office officials are asking city residents to be patient while mail carriers learn their way around the revamped postal routes that took effect Saturday.

About 90 percent of the post office's routes were altered when officials eliminated four overlapping routes and streamlined delivery.

On Saturday, mail was delivered to about half of approximately 27,500 Hagerstown residents anywhere from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, said Postmaster Robert Gingell.

He said the office had received some complaints about late deliveries by Monday morning, the second day the redrawn routes were in operation.


"All I can say is that the mail carriers are trying very, very hard and are doing their best to learn these routes and be as efficient as possible," Gingell said.

Once carriers have adjusted to the changes, the new system should result in better service, and mail delivery in the city should be completed by 4:30 p.m. each day, Gingell said.

The UPS strike is further swamping carriers who now have more time-consuming parcels to deliver, he said.

"This is going to have to be something that we just get through," he said.

Although some area residents interviewed said they weren't receiving their mail on time, most did not appear to be disturbed.

"The only time it upsets me is if I was expecting a bill in the mail and I wanted to take care of it right away," said Frank Roderick, a resident of Walnut Towers on Walnut Street.

Since the UPS strike began last week, Roderick said he's been getting his mail about an hour late, with Saturday's delivery held up for about 90 minutes.

"Saturday was a little bit late, but I guess they get tied up," said Lois Eardley, who lives with her husband Russel in Greenberry Hills in Hagerstown.

"My husband said they don't have to show up at the same minute every day, so no complaints here," she said.

"Usually he's here by 11:30. Now, it's already 1:30 (p.m.) and I still haven't seen him," said Junior Lee Cook, who lives on Locust Street.

Gingell said that residents who call in complaining about delivery delays seem to understand after they hear about the post office's high package volume and tight schedules.

"We haven't had anybody totally irate yet," he said.

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