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Getting the mail? Get ready to take a walk

Posted July 31, 2015

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— New housing developments are popping all over the place. But there is something missing: Mailboxes in the front yards. Across the country, in new housing developments, the United States Postal Service is changing from door-to-door delivery to centralized delivery.

"It's exactly what it sounds like," said USPS spokeswoman Monica Coachman. "It means that our carriers will be able to go to a centralized point, deliver the mail for that particular subdivision and then move on to the next destination."

The Postal Service says it's a more efficient and cost-effective way to deliver the mail.

"Instead of going to the end of your driveway and checking your mailbox, you will go to a centralized location within a subdivision, meet your neighbors and check your mail," Coachman said.

Homebuilder Greg West knows it's a big change for home buyers, and he foresees a problem in high-turnover communities like those in the Fayetteville area that are home to large numbers of military families.

"We just forsee a nightmare in keeping up with these keys when people move," West said.

The Postal Service made the change to centralized delivery in 2012, but many developers didn't get the word. There are subdivisions The Village at Rockfish in Cumberland County where some houses have mailboxes in their yards and newer homes have central mailboxes located near the community swimming pool.


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  • Jackson Smith Aug 2, 2015
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    And what about the houses where mail is delivered to the door still. Will they change.

  • Miranda McCraw Aug 2, 2015
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    I've had both situations and honestly I think I get the wrong mail MORE in my personal streetside mailbox. Then I have to walk farther to give it to the right box.

    I think neighborhoods look much nicer without all the mailboxes. Plus having a centralized mailbox area allows for a place to put up notices and other important info. Not to mention the larger package box in a centralized setup keeps the packages dry and more secure than a box on the front porch.

  • Bruce Cup Choy Aug 1, 2015
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    Packages up to a cartain size are left in a larger box, with the key to that box placed in your mailbox. One delivery attempt is made on oversize items, if no one is home to take delivery they are taken back to the PO and a pickup note left in your box.

  • Doug Smallen Aug 1, 2015
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    What about packages too large for mail box, nothing said about that. If they have to travel neighborhood to deliver larger packages, nothing saved!

  • Marcy Lyn Aug 1, 2015
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    Ha, my neighboorhood has 11 houses and we already have community mail, but we each have our own mail box !! We are all constantly getting each others mail, we pass it back to the correct mailbox or hand it to our neighbor. How hard could 11 houses be to get the mail correct ?

    So what would be different, they still won't get it right !

  • Vance Elliott Aug 1, 2015
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    Yep, I can attest to that. Last two apartment complexes I have lived in have had this issue a LOT.

  • Paul Jones Aug 1, 2015
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    The reason the postal service is going to central delivery is that costs are too high. They had two options: increasing postage prices or going to central delivery. They can't lower prices, as they're already bleeding money.

    What they should do is increase prices. We don't need all the junk mail, anyway. Carriers would have very few letters to deliver, which is and will be the trend, anyway.

  • Wayne Boyd Jul 31, 2015
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    The only thing I mail are my state and federal tax returns each year, And I don't even own a cellphone.

  • Mark Farmer Jul 31, 2015
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    Yep, I lived here for 20 years, I don't know anyone, and like it that way.

  • Dati Pemby Jul 31, 2015
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    I don't want to meet my neighbors. At all. Much less to make small talk as we hand each other back the mail that was put in the wrong box.