The U.S. Postal Service on Monday asked homeowners to help out mail carriers by clearing a path to mailboxes.
The USPS put out a press release asking customers to clear enough snow from curbside boxes so that mail trucks can approach the box, deliver the mail and drive away “without danger or the need for backing.”
The release also asked that all walkways and stairs be cleared of snow and ice to allow enough traction so that mail carriers don’t fall. From the release:
Whether mail arrives on foot or by postal vehicle, the letter carrier needs access to the mailbox to deposit mail. Please make sure the mailbox itself is visible and free of snow and ice, and make sure it is safely accessible for your letter carrier. Letter carriers are instructed to hold mail to addresses where ice and snow are not cleared.
A very snowy winter has caused delivery issues for USPS in Bethesda, where some homeowners say they have gone a week at a time without mail. In January, local USPS officials said mail delivery may have been suspended for two days in parts of Bethesda because of snow and ice.
More complaints popped up in February after last month’s 12-inch snow storm. Some said they didn’t get mail for as long as eight days.
USPS officials put part of the blame on the winter weather and Presidents’ Day Holiday. But mail carriers said they were told to end their deliveries by 6 p.m. regardless of weather.
That prompted an inquiry from a number of local members of Congress.
On Monday, the USPS made it clear: It can’t deliver the mail if a mail box is inaccessible.