The federal government is closing the only post office in the Columbia Street Waterfront District — but neighbors in the geographically isolated hood say the branch shouldn’t be stamped out.
The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service must shut down its Columbia Street location by March 31 to scrape up enough money to pay employee salaries, according to an agency spokeswoman.
But package-shlepping residents are now circulating a petition demanding the post office near President Street remain open, saying the neighborhood — which is cut off from subways and shopping by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway — is in special need of a walkable spot to buy stamps and send brown boxes.
“It’s a big inconvenience,” said Norman Cox of the Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association.
The closest post office — on Clinton and Bush streets in Red Hook — is a 15-block walk away, 12 blocks from the nearest open subway station since the Smith-Ninth Street station is closed for repairs.
The petition to save the post office garnered 200 signatures in just 24 hours — and Columbia Street post office employees say they understand the community’s frustration.
“I feel bad for people in the neighborhood,” said Rita Farone, who ran the post office branch for 17 years. “And now I gotta find another job.”Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cn