CHICAGO (CBS) – Missing mail and late packages – the headlines haven’t been favorable to US Post lately.
Now comes another complaint – mail trucks are clogging parking spots on the northwest side.
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As CBS 2’s Lauren Victory reported, many of us have experienced it – the thudding construction associated with the headache of temporarily banned parking.
But in a certain section of Belmont Cragin, locals are complaining about a third thorn in their flanks – US Post trucks.
Our cameras spotted them parked in the middle of the construction zone – in measured spots, despite cones and no-parking signs.
“They are public sector employees,” said Eduardo Casarez, a frustrated resident of Belmont Cragin. “They are supposed to be held at a higher level.”
Casarez took video of USPS vehicles blocking a parking lot before construction began. He said it was actually a problem on Armitage and LeClaire avenues for years.
This checks out – Google Maps shows an image from 2019 with mail trucks blocking places in the same area.
“It’s just unbearable, and they have no respect for where they park, and they argue with other people – almost to the point where there’s going to be a fight,” Casarez said.
He said they occupied places – day and night, and even on Sundays when the post office is closed.
“It’s everyday – even my wife, when she comes shopping she can’t find a parking lot – or whoever visits us,” Casarez said.
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Adding oil to this frustration – the post may not even pay for seats like all of us.
Victory demanded of Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th) why the police cannot start to force postal trucks and perhaps dissuade them from parking there. Villegas said he asked the finance ministry to intervene because he preferred to keep the police focused on crime.
“We met the manager,” Villegas said. “We met with the regional director.”
His office’s conversations with USPS clearly haven’t inspired a change.
“Because they charge their vehicles, I guess they feel exempt from paying the meters,” he said.
Or maybe it’s because the trucks are stuck? A tow truck driver we spotted told CBS 2 that the USPS called him because these vehicles were broken.
A spokesperson for the post office promised that mail trucks would stop parking in public spaces after construction is complete:
“USPS strives to be good citizens in the communities we serve. We remind drivers to be careful and respectful with our vehicles as we work to minimize parking problems. The goal of USPS is to provide efficient service to our customers and to do so as good neighbors. We strive to obey the laws and are not exempt from the parking rules.
“In this case at Cragin station, repairs are currently underway in the alley and the parking lot of the station. USPS parks at the side of the building after hours but not during the day so USPS customers can park there. After hours when USPS parks vehicles, it reverts to street parking for everyone. Once repairs are complete, USPS vehicles will no longer be parked at this location after hours. “
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No one from the parking meter company, the mayor’s office or the police department could tell us whether the post office actually pays for parking.