Sound Off

Sound Off: Is it legal to park in front of mailboxes? If there is a car parked in front of a mailbox, does the carrier have to stop and get out of the truck to access the mailbox, or can they skip it?

Parking in front of a mailbox is perfectly legal within Lawrence and Douglas County as long as cars are allowed to park along the street in the area. However, park there at your own risk. The U.S. Postal Service does not require employees to exit their vehicles to put mail into obstructed mailboxes. So unless you want to miss out on your mail, or anger the owner of the mailbox you are blocking, find a different parking spot.


Joe Berns 5 years, 10 months ago

Agreed. Just because you can't reach the mailbox from the comfort of your mail vehicle doesn't mean that you don't have to deliver the mail. It is still your responsibility as the mail carrier to ensure the mail gets to the homeowner. If you don't feel that this is your job, then you shouldn't be employed as a mail carrier.

Had this discussion with our old mail carrier once. Due to circumstances outside our control, our neighbor would sometimes park in front of our mailbox. Surely not our fault, but she commented that she didn't have to get out to put the mail in our mailbox, but was doing so from the kindness of her heart. Never wanted to smack someone so much before in my life.

It would be like me driving to work and not being able to park in the closest spot so I go home because its inconvenient of me to walk half a block to get to my building because the closer spots were already taken.

question4u 5 years, 10 months ago

"It would be like me driving to work and not being able to park in the closest spot so I go home because its inconvenient of me to walk half a block to get to my building because the closer spots were already taken."

Analogies need to refer to something comparable. In what way is skipping one mailbox equivalent to you not showing up for work for the day? What if your employer specifically told you that you did not have to come into work if the parking lot was full? Would you come in anyway? If you did, would you say that it was not out of the "goodness of your heart"?

Do you think that your mailbox is the only one that has ever been blocked by parked cars? What happens if you multiply the time that it takes for the carrier to find a place to park and walk back to a mailbox by 20 or 30? If that adds an extra half hour to the carrier's day, do you think that the cost of delivery should be increased or that the carrier should just accept that without complaint? But, of course that still wouldn't be out of "the goodness of her heart" and she'd better watch out so that you don't "smack" her.

pace 5 years, 10 months ago

So you think how you feel is the truth, and the regulations should be different. I appreciate how you feel. but the truth is the postperson isn't required to get out of their vehicle. Get over your anger at the postperson, thank her if she did this service. You are entitled to your anger at the regulation, the regulation does not accommodate the reality that someone's car that is legally parked can block another person getting their mail put in their mail box. Your anger and rancor at the post person is just shallow self serving, and the abuse you fantasize about giving her is disgusting.

staceymn 5 years, 10 months ago

You do not know what you are talking about. We are doing our job, by not stopping if the box does not have a safe area to drive up and then drive away from. It would be like you going to work and having a car parked in front of your desk. Or a pile of snow in front of it to leap over to get to your chair. It is all about safety. I feel sorry for you people who are so quick to judge, and really you wanted to hit some one that was doing something nice for you? There is NO pleasing such a negative person. You would not last a Week being a USPS employee.

May Soo 5 years, 10 months ago

Agree, our mailman will not even ring the door bell when he delivers package, he just put a note on the door that says," Sorry we missed you today." If he has time to put the note on the door why can't he just ring the door bell?

Tomato 5 years, 10 months ago

We actually complained to the Post Master about this, because we'd end up with the slips even when we were home.

Now, our carrier stands at the door, fills out the slip and THEN rings the doorbell, driving off before we can get to the door.

I've actually caught her doing it. I saw her pull up, so I got up and opened the door, only to find her actively filling out the slip without having rung the doorbell.

I don't at all understand why it's so hard to ring the doorbell, then fill the slip out and leave if we're too slow. It has to be an intentional effort to not give us the package.

I've learned that our mail carrier is always back at the Post Office by 4pm. Every time, the counter people look at the slip and say "You're supposed to come tomorrow, they won't be back yet." And I have to laugh and say, "Trust me. They're back."

staceymn 5 years, 10 months ago

If You know she is there open the door. She was filing out the slip because that is her job, and then she was going to ring the bell.....but you just happened to open the door first. Why would she go to the door and Not ring it.....Maybe you should get a Post Office Box and go in every day. If you have that many packages that need to be signed for and you are not home when the carrier gets to your home. Trust me you would still complain. Because I have a feeling you are pretty Good at it.

Tomato 5 years, 10 months ago

Why wouldn't she ring the doorbell first, then fill out the slip while she gives me time to open it? The only reason I caught her, and didn't just find the slip (like usual), was that I happened to see her.

I don't see her every time. I don't sit by my window waiting for the mailman.

And the fact is, if I didn't get that many packages, this person wouldn't have a job. Generally, the package mail person is not the same as the regular mail person.

If I need to get a post office box in order to get my packages - then I'm doing this mailperson's job for her.

That said - it sounds like you might be her.

Maybe I'll complain some more. The truth is, it helps. The first time I complained because she never bothered to even leave the slip - I would get a final notice and that was all, and would find out that my packages had been sitting at the post office for three weeks. The second time, I complained because she didn't ever ring the doorbell, just left a slip. Now she rings the doorbell and runs - not much of an improvement.

But hey, one more complaint, and maybe she'd do her actual job, instead of heading to the post office two hours early.

staceymn 5 years, 10 months ago

Because you must of had to have to sign for it Or the Carrier would leave it. What you wrote does not make sense. We do not leave notes on the doors. We leave notes in your mailbox if we go to the door and you do not answer to sign for a package that we can not leave without you signing for. Otherwise the package would be just left by your door. Sounds like you just want to complain....

Take_a_letter_Maria 5 years, 10 months ago

From the USPS web page. It would appear from this that a mail carrier does not have to get out of their vehicle if your box is blocked.

3.2.6 Location Subject to state laws and regulations, a curbside mailbox must be placed to allow safe and convenient delivery by carriers without leaving their vehicles. The box must be on the right-hand side of the road in the direction of travel of the carriers on any new rural route or highway contract route, in all cases where traffic conditions are dangerous for the carriers to drive to the left to reach the box, or where their doing so would violate traffic laws and regulations.

staceymn 5 years, 10 months ago

You have no idea what a mail carrier does. Because lazy is not it.

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

Is it legal to park your car for weeks in the same spot?

Adrienne Sanders 5 years, 10 months ago

No. The legal time limit is something ridiculously short like 48 hours. But if there is a broken down car just sitting there for weeks on end you can probably call the city and get it towed.

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

what kind of proof do I need? Got some out of state SUV that's been in the same spot (in front on the neighborhood mailbox no less) for 4 months.

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

might be Al Quida. Posting the tag number in a bit in case the NSA is monitoring

DillonBarnes 5 years, 10 months ago

Neither rain nor snow nor gloom of night can stay these messengers about their duty, but I ain't getting out of this seat!

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 10 months ago

Can you get a letter across the country in a few days for less than the price of a postage stamp?

tomatogrower 5 years, 10 months ago

My thoughts exactly, grammdaddy. Our postage rates are really cheap, especially with the price of gas.

parrothead8 5 years, 10 months ago

No, but I can send an email anywhere in the world almost instantly for next to nothing.

DillonBarnes 5 years, 10 months ago

It's like a Little Ceasar's hot n ready $5 pizza.

Where else can you get a $5 pizza in 5 minutes or less? No where, but you get one of the worst pizza's imaginable (IMO).

Sure, it's relatively cheap to mail a letter across the country, but the demand for that has fallen drastically, and USPS has drastically cut in quality to try and maintain a cheap price. For me, it's usually not worth it. Sure, if I've got an unimportant letter to mail, USPS usually works, but if I'm shipping anything in a box, it's worth it to me to UPS it. Better service and faster shipping times is well worth the very slight increase in price for shipping.

staceymn 5 years, 10 months ago

What's wrong is you have no idea, or you would not make such a silly comment.

budwhysir 5 years, 10 months ago

if yer in front of the box, and the wind might blow my locks, I have to wait till the next day for there is no other way. So if its for bills you are waitin or a post card from vacation, move yer van, or take yer truck, cause if yer parked in front of the box, yer just out a luck

guppypunkhead 5 years, 10 months ago

We had a neighbor who would park in front of our mailbox, even though we asked him nicely not to. Our mail was rarely being delivered because of this. So, I called the post office and told them what was going on and that we had made an effort to try to get the person not to park there. The post office people were very nice and left a note for our carrier to please try to deliver our mail anyway, and he did.

somedude20 5 years, 10 months ago

Maybe the U.S. Postal Service can charge a $5 convenience fee to put the mail in your box otherwise, you can pick it off the driveway

ozmaster2 5 years, 10 months ago

In Texas, I was told that the mail carrier isn't allowed to get out of the vehicle to deliver mail when a car is blocking the mailbox.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 10 months ago

Mail carriers have to obey the regulations they work under same as everyone else. I do wonder about passing a law stating that it is legal to park in front of a mailbox and then put a regulation is place that says the carrier does not have to deliver the mail in such a case.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 10 months ago

I doubt very much that a law was passed stating that it is legal to park in front of a mailbox. It's much more likely that the subject was simply never addressed.

It would be very simple for the city of Lawrence to mark areas in front of mailboxes as 'No Parking' areas.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 10 months ago

Obviously there are two sides, but methinks, they are paid to deliver the mail, so they should deliver the mail. The selfish neighbor that parks in front of the mailbox should get a blanket party.

staceymn 5 years, 10 months ago

Methinks they would if they could....

verity 5 years, 10 months ago

If people leave their cars parked in front of or close to a mailbox overnight, it's not a problem as mail carriers rarely work at night. I asked the Police Dept once about putting out orange cones in front of my house so a moving van would be able to park there in the morning and it seems they can't do that, I think they said only the city could do that. The moving people brought their truck the evening before and I parked my vehicle behind them overnight so there would be room for them to maneuver.

These rants about lazy mail carriers are passing ridiculous. By the time the carrier finds a place to park and walks back to the box, it could take more than a few minutes and multiply that by even a few episodes and you get a significant amount of time. Apparently they are not paid to deliver around a parked vehicle.

In my neighborhood people are polite and considerate and generally make sure not to park where it inconveniences the mail carrier. When someone does, she still delivers the mail and quite often I see her carrying packages up to a house instead of making the person go to the Post Office to pick it up. She deserves credit and appreciation for this, not a smack.

staceymn 5 years, 10 months ago

Sound like your family has Too much Attitude and Not enough sense.

staceymn 5 years, 10 months ago

Thank you, I really appreciate your kind words. I really enjoy seeing the words, polite and considerate. So many people lack these quilities. Thank you again.

bornon7 5 years, 10 months ago

My mail carrier delivers the wrong mail to us, so my neighbors and I go around deliviering to the correct house. I called about this, and the next time I had mail to go out, and I put my flag up, the carrier left my outgoing mail and put the new mail right on top of them!! I go to a big blue drop off box if I need something sent. I guess I got punished by the carrier.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 5 years, 10 months ago

Mail service is bad enough already. It should be illegal to park in front of a mailbox. Thank you, Lynn

a_flock_of_jayhawks 5 years, 10 months ago

I came home after being gone for about a week to find my mailbox stuffed with wet mail and laying in the driveway

bender 5 years, 10 months ago

Should have asked your neighbor to park their car in front of your box!

deec 5 years, 10 months ago

USPS is 8 billion dollars in the red last year, because the volume of first class mail has dropped over the last several years. It costs usps about 70 cents to process and deliver a 1 oz. first class letter. Congress declined last year to authorize a raise in rates necessary to cover those expenses. Instead, rates were raised 1 cent.

Carriers are not obligated to violate their work rules and policies, just as any other worker is not required to violate their work rules. Auto routes are analyzed for every move they make. The number of starts, stops, u-turns, steps taken, etc are all counted so that routes can be adjusted when necessary. Postal carriers have no right to park in the public right of way to wander up to someone's home and deliver a package or whatnot. I'd guess blocking the road would be a violation of policy and could lead to discipline or firing.

staceymn 5 years, 10 months ago

I know you could not last a week being a Rural Carrier. Besides you would only be a Bad Mix to the situation.

JackMcKee 5 years, 10 months ago

Here's my next Sound Off!

"How do you submit a question to Sound Off!"?

Bill_Slu 5 years, 10 months ago

Next question, How do you throw away a garbage can? I have been leaving it by the curb but they never take it.

Tomato 5 years, 10 months ago

Tape a note to it stating: "Garbage pick up - please remove can. It is garbage."

That's what I did.

riverdrifter 5 years, 10 months ago

A friend had this problem with a local neighborhood jerk parking in front of her mailbox. He could've parked a lot of other places, but this mailbox was in the shade. Anyway, when his windshield got smashed for the second time he figured it out.

Patricia Davis 5 years, 10 months ago

I live in an older neighborhood and our letter carrier has a foot route. I have a rather steep drive and these men and women walk up my drive, usually in good cheer, put the mail in my mailbox and any boxes on the porch. And this is in rain, snow or ice. I think they are terrific.

Steve Stucky 5 years, 10 months ago

Yes, they have the right to skip it! And, when this happens, not only can they skip that box but they can skip the next three boxes, then mix up the mail in the next... Who is the moron that thinks up this crap????

Winnie Gudz 1 year, 9 months ago

Mail carriers have anywhere up to 900 stops to make every day. They also have a time limit per stop. If you choose to park in front of your mail box, not getting your mail that day is your own problem. If you choose to block your neighbors box, I personally would ways get out and deliver your neighbors mail but alas you surely wouldn't get yours. And if you did it more then 3 times a week I'd stop delivery to you and you would have to pick your own mail up at the post office. I don't have time for any of these games and how dare you call me lazy until you've walked in my shoes. Also on those nice sunny days, it's normally about 120° in "the comfort" of my truck.

Rhonda Hale Wright 3 months, 2 weeks ago

POM 632.14 states "where the approach to the mail receptacle located at the curb is temporarily blocked by a parked vehicle during normal delivery hours for the area, or snow or ice hampers the approach to the mailbox, the carrier normally dismounts to make delivery.". It goes on to say that the mail can be withheld if its continual and the person whose box is blocked has CONTROL of on street parking. However the regulation also states the only the approach and the box must be clear and not the departure from the box. In regards to backing up there is NO REGULATION that states they cannot back up. Postal employees guideline to safety handbook, section X motor Vehicles part E 3, Backing up, states: "Avoid Backing up whenever possible. If you can, park where you will not have to back up to pull away from a parking space. If you must back up, first walk around your vehicle to make sure there are no pedestrians, children, obstructions etc. in your way." Most people do not have control of on street parking. It is public. A lot of neighborhoods have small driveways, their yard width is small, 3 big vehicles that don't fit in the drive together without hanging in to the street, and they have 3 or more drivers in the house with cars. Makes for a difficult situation in street parking to make sure boxes, fire hydrants and driveways aren't blocked as well as a clear path for traffic. If a route carrier withholds all mail at each house with this situation, pretty soon they won't have a route as they will have discontinued everyone's mail. I live in a neighborhood with this problem for 50+ years. No mail carrier has ever had a problem with getting out or backing up until this new one. Two retired route drivers live in my neighborhood and they were the carriers for our neighborhood! Now the new one has withheld 10 houses mail. That I know of. I have a complaint with consumer affairs as our neighborhood was built for smaller and less cars per family.

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