Casper local frustrated with USPS over safety concerns

Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 6:05 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - A seven-month battle over mail delivery safety has left a Casper man driving to the next town to pick up his mail.

“This has really been an issue that I’ve noticed since February, and it’s been ongoing, and you see LLVs and postal vehicles driving up and down the sidewalks servicing the mailboxes here, and it’s just a huge safety issue,” said Tim Starks.

Starks says he’s worried about his children and others in the Paradise Valley neighborhood that may run onto the sidewalk in front of postal vehicles that he has seen driving on the sidewalk.

He says he raised his concerns to local Casper supervisors, then went to the post office in person when nothing had changed.

“I then went to the post office, and I sat for over an hour, on April 13, waiting to speak to the postmaster to talk to him about this issue, and he wouldn’t meet with me,” said Starks.

On Aug 16, Starks received a letter from the post office stating that due to continued harassment, Postmaster Shawn Stotts had cut off mail delivery to his address.

In May 2011, the National Association of Letter Carriers spoke out against the practice of mail delivery people driving on sidewalks and encouraged local unions to insist that carriers be instructed not to drive on sidewalks.

Driving on sidewalks is against Casper City Code. In a statement, the United States Postal Service said, “Our safety handbook clearly states that ‘you must obey all state and local traffic laws when driving any postal service vehicle.’”

Monday, Aug 29, a USPS representative told Wyoming News Now that they had provided Starks with a free PO Box in Mills, WY. They also said that local postal drivers were instructed to stay off sidewalks.

Starks says this isn’t a real solution to having mail delivery to his house cut off. He also says discussions haven’t stopped postal employees from returning to bad habits in the past.

“I would just like my mail reinstated. I support the post office, I support our carriers, I support what they do and I stand behind them, but when you have something like this going on it needs to be resolved,” said Starks.

The USPS said customers can go into their local post office if they want to report postal vehicles on the sidewalk in the future. Customers can also call their toll-free number 800-275-8777 or visit usps.com to describe concerns.