Safety issue; No more door-to-door mail delivery for section of West Valley Road

Gary Kean
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Canada Post will no longer deliver mail directly to the mailboxes of 17 customers along a stretch of West Valley Road in Corner Brook.

CORNER BROOK — After nearly 61 years of living in Corner Brook, Ford Neal can no longer have the mail delivered to his house.

As of last week, Ford is one of 17 customers along a stretch of West Valley Road where Canada Post has decided to no longer make mail deliveries directly to the mailbox.

John Caines, a spokesperson for the Crown corporation, said the decision was made for safety reasons after a letter carrier reported nearly being struck by a passing vehicle on two occasions in late 2012. Those complaints triggered an investigation into letter carrier safety on the stretch of road heavily used to access Western Memorial Regional Hospital and the downtown area.

“It was determined that, with the amount of traffic on that section of road and the speed limit, it was unsafe to deliver mail on foot,” said Caines.

The decision had nothing to do with winter conditions, according to Caines, and will be in effect year round. The homes affected are the even-numbered residences from 74 to 106 West Valley Rd.

The corporation said it will be installing a community mailbox around 300 metres up the street from the last affected household so residents can continue to receive their daily mail. Homeowners have also been given an option to get a free post office box at the Canada Post depot if they would like one.

Neal, who will soon turn 90 years old, said he will not be accepting the free box because that will essentially amount to agreeing with the decision.

“I know it’s a heavy traffic area, there’s no doubt about that,” said Neal. “When (the City of Corner Brook) did the road years ago, they should have put in sidewalks, but they didn’t.”

Until the community boxes are installed, Neal and his neighbours will have to go to the Canada Post depot on Maple Valley Road during business hours to get their mail.

Neal doesn’t foresee walking up the busy street to the community box once it’s set up.

“If (the carriers) can’t do it, then why should I have to in all sorts of weather?” he asked. “It’s an inconvenience and an expense (to have to go to the depot).”

Neal’s son Chris has set about trying to get the impacted neighbours to collectively voice their concern to the City of Corner Brook. He hopes to present a letter to city council, copied to Canada Post and area MP Gerry Byrne, asking that the city reduce the speed limit on that section of West Valley Road until sidewalks can be installed there.

“The city has to do one thing or the other to make it safe,” said the younger Neal, noting there is also a public transit bus stop along the route in question.

Heather Noseworthy, president of Local 039 of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, has talked to residents all along the stretch and heard their concerns regarding both safety and the discontinuation of the regular postal service.

“There are a lot of older residents in that area,” said Noseworthy. “They want something done about what’s going on in front of their homes. There are people nearly getting hit and they find it difficult accessing their driveways.”

Corner Brook Mayor Neville Greeley said the municipality has not been told installing sidewalks will lead to a reinstatement of the service. He wondered why this section of road is only now being deemed a hazard after having door-to-door mail delivery for as long as the service has been in Corner Brook.

Nonetheless, the city will assess the area and, if sidewalks can be installed, such a project will undergo the same scrutiny as any other item in the budgetary and capital works priority processes.

Greeley figured such a project might cost $200,000 or more.

“You just don’t come up with that amount of money without taking it from somewhere else,” said the mayor. “It would be pointless for us to spend a couple hundred thousand dollars if they had no intention of bringing this service back.

“I think there are other issues at play here, but that’s just me.”

The city was not given any details of the incidents involving the Canada Post employee who was nearly struck by passing vehicles on two occasions.

The mayor also doesn’t think reducing the speed limit along one of the main thoroughfares in the city is the proper response. He said if vehicular traffic and pedestrian traffic follow the basic rules of the road, then there shouldn’t be a problem.

“The solution doesn’t always rest with the city,” said Greeley.

There are other busy streets, such as Brookfield Avenue, that also do not have sidewalks.

Caines said no other areas of Corner Brook have been identified as a hazard because of high traffic volume and lack of sidewalks.

Organizations: Canada Post, Western Memorial Regional Hospital, Canadian Union Postal Workers

Geographic location: Corner Brook, West Valley Road, Maple Valley Road Brookfield Avenue

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Recent comments

  • G Martin
    January 17, 2013 - 08:55

    I am a resident of West Valley Rd, but not in the area affected. In my opinion, taking mail delivery away from residents is ridiculous. How is the street unsafe for a mail carrier, but safe for residents to walk to a mail box up the street?? I've seen mail carriers zigzag across the street delivering mail, of course this is dangerous, why can't they simply walk up one side of the street, then down the other? Then there's the issue of speeding....drivers drive at crazy speeds along West Valley Rd, and don't get me started on the ones that run the red lights at the intersection. There needs to be more enforcement in this area, and maybe even install some speed bumps. If Steady Brook can have speedbumps, why can't we? And sidewalks of course. These are the things that need to be addressed. How much is our so-called Mayor being paid?

    • a business man
      January 18, 2013 - 08:33

      G Martin: door-to-door mail delivery is a thing of the past. Is should be abolished nationwide. The community mailbox system is the norm in may other areas, and should be the norm everywhere. Everyone should be responsbile for picking up their mail from a central depository. Taxpayers do longer have to pay for door-to-door service. This could lead to less employees and tax dollar savings.

    • silvercharm
      January 19, 2013 - 12:20

      Mr. businessMan, you don't sound like a very successful businessman or decent guy to be around. If you're worried Canada Post is leeching your precious tax dollars, then worry no more - the post office made profits for 16 straight years before it locked out its own workers in 2011 as part of a strategy to reduce working conditions & benefits. I cannot understand why you think customers of any business "should" have to accept less & less service, and "should" be more responsible for getting the products & services they pay for. Why do people like you want everyone else to be driven down as far as you can push them? how does that satisfy you, or better society, when we continually demand people makes less money, get fewer benefits, work longer and longer hours, and meanwhile customers get less and less in return? Canada was not founded in this spirit, and those espousing that sort of view are disturbing more and more people. People want to see their lives, country, & standard of living get better again. They are tired of listening to all the right-wing "greed is good & so is personal responsibility" claptrap.

  • Devil's Advocate
    January 16, 2013 - 17:48

    Will there be no mail delivery in the Curling area now? I think there's 30 feet of sidewalk in the middle somewhere. : /

  • david
    January 16, 2013 - 08:50

    Next step: rezone that area commercial, and start turning the houses into tattoo parlours and physio clinics. ....."But there's not enough parking....arrrrgggghhh"!

  • Mike
    January 15, 2013 - 21:14

    Is anyone going to ask the question about the RNC stepping up traffic enforcement? For Pete's sake, people drive like maniacs all over Corner Brook these days, yet you only really see any kind of traffic enforcement on Ring Rd., which is fundamentally an unpopulated area with an 80km speed limit. Why not stop speeders and reckless drivers in the populated areas where children could be hit?

  • Shawn Elford
    January 15, 2013 - 18:37

    again why is this newsworthy. How come corner brook can up with more important news to publish and report about. It's the mail no one really gets things delivered any more due to internet etc. Be happy that you can get your mail at the post office or community mailbox. This is why Corner brook will never be on the map as a viable place for business or a place to live because they complain about trivial issues. This does not apply to those who feel there are more important issues that need attention. I shocked that they haven't put sidewalks in years ago. It is a dangerous section since I grew up in Corner brook.

  • jerry
    January 15, 2013 - 18:03

    They wasted money on the corner of west valley and o connell! Walkway,trees shrubs.....and benches? what for? so residents an watch the traffic on the corner? They should have installed sidewalks instead! People have to realize that online shipping has become the way to buy these days, so to add to this problem we have door to door deliveries from local courier companies! problem? yes! courier in someones porch collecting a cod! traffic blocked? yes! emergency vechicle trying to move through this mess! hope its not your loved one aboard! NEW HOSPITAL????? hmmmm maybe this should be half build by now and most of this problem can be avoided! dummies

  • InCB
    January 15, 2013 - 15:23

    Not totally sure on this but it may be possible that in order to put in a sidewalk on that side the city might have to expropriate some land or increase their right of way. Might cost more than people realise.

  • William J.
    January 15, 2013 - 15:17

    Here we go again with the brainless notion about CFA's and neighbouring residents next door to Corner Brook. One former mayor even suggested a toll for anyone outside of Corner Brook. Many of those people were born and raised in the city and because the cost of living got so high that it was better to move close by to other communities. We lived in Corner Brook for 20 years. I was born there and some of my family still live there. In the earlier days level-headed officials formed the councils. There was no consideration or objections to anyone coming to Corner Brook. The only people to blame for all of the daily nonsense going on are the residents who voted for the current council. You screwed up. Suck it up and vote smarter in the next election.

  • david
    January 15, 2013 - 15:01

    One issue is Canada Post in point touching that. But Corner Brook has been in population decline for the past 25 yeaers, yet I've never seen so much traffic. Why? Because city leaders, in their infinite wisdom, have increased the footprint, and extended high-traffic routes to cover the most ridiculous distances possible. Seriously, if you didn't know better, you'd swear that the Irving's designed this city to maximize their gasolins sales. POstal delivery is just one of the smaller inconveniences......the reality is that Corner Brook is becoming completely unsustainable and unliveable, and the decisions that led to it cannot be undone. That horse left the barn.

  • Paul
    January 15, 2013 - 14:08

    Ya sure Business Man, Take millions of dollars out of the economy through wage cuts so you can save say what....1,2,3 cents on the cost of mailing a letter? Perfect sense in your small mind I guess.

    • a business man
      January 15, 2013 - 20:26

      Yes, find ways to cut jobs so I can keep more of my money. I don't care how the cuts are made, as long as there are cuts and cost savings. It does make sense to me because regardless of if it 1,2,3 cents, it is my money. I worked for it so that my family can enjoy it, not for the family of some stranger employed as a postal carrier.

  • chris
    January 15, 2013 - 13:40

    Mayor greeley needs to look at the bigger picture himself. If canada post had not taken lettercarriers right to sick leave, this might not have happened like this. carriers have to refuse unsafe work practices to ensure their health and well being.

    January 15, 2013 - 11:14

    So our esteemed Mayor would only consider putting a sidewalk in if it meant the return of mail delivery? He would not put it in for the safety or convenience of local residents? Of folks who don't have cars and have to walk through that area to get to and from work or school? ALL this mayor seems to do is go on the defensive and make excuses. Has anyone every seen an interview where he wasn't making excuses? $200,000 is too much for a public sidewalk but $4,000,000 for a hoitie toitie Curling Club is no problem?

  • George Alteen
    January 15, 2013 - 11:11

    Mayor Greeley seems to think that sidewalks in Cornerbrook are a waste of money.He wonders why the issue is being addressed now before anyone has even been killed.

  • VLS
    January 15, 2013 - 09:44

    I can see where Canada Post is comming from, But if one person was almost hit twice on that stretch of the road, what makes you think the 17 home owners that have to walk to get the mail will not get hit?? So yes they should accept the free postal box to save their lives instead of being spiteful and someone ends up being killed.I would not install the box further up the road. Personally i would not want to play chicken with the traffic there. If someone is in a true emergency to get to the hospital they probably are not as alert to people walking as they should be.

  • Mark
    January 15, 2013 - 09:34

    West Valley Rd has become a commuter highway for hundreds of non-residents of the City. They pay no taxes to Corner Brook, use most of its services, and contribute nothing to the upkeep of its roads. Now they are costing local residents their mail service.

  • Barrelman
    January 15, 2013 - 09:29

    West Valley Road is a main thoroughfare and one of the oldest streets in the city, yet still has no sidewalk along that side between O'Connell Drive and the top of Elswick Road. Unbelievable!! And now Canada Post wants to put a "rural" main service in that little area of downrown Coner Brook. It's 2013 folks! Wake Up!!!

  • a business man
    January 15, 2013 - 09:17

    NO one should have door-to-door mail at this day and age. The community mailbox concept is efficient and allows us to eliminate jobs and become cost effective. Door-to-door delivery should be abolished nationwide so that we can shrink the expenses related to the mail service. Why should we be paying more when there is a way to pay less?

    • T. Burns
      January 15, 2013 - 21:02

      A BUSINESS MAN Your taxes do not pay Canada Post Employees. Canada Post covers the cost of it's employees through it's revenue, and any profits are returned to the Federal gov't, which are then passed back to you through services. Get your information straight.

    • dave
      January 17, 2013 - 16:20

      T Burns, where in his post did business man say anything about taxes? maybe you should improve your reading skills

  • Mr Corner Brook
    January 15, 2013 - 08:04

    For sure Gerry will have to get in on this one!

  • Dave
    January 15, 2013 - 07:40

    So is the letter carrier not familiar with how to cross a street safely. I find most people in Corner Brook Just cross the street whereever they please instead of going to a crosswalk or an intersection. The attitude of pedestrians is " that's OK everyone else will look out for me" . Have some responsibility for your actions.

  • Too Funny
    January 15, 2013 - 07:37

    "You just don’t come up with that amount of money without taking it from somewhere else". Well, the "somewhere else" is the CB taxpayer. You know, the ones that just got hit with a massive tax grab budget.

  • a visitor to corner brook
    January 15, 2013 - 07:23

    upon visiting corner brook several times in the last couple of years, maybe goverment should have taken some of the money they wasted on that big project coming into the city, and put it in sidewalks for west valley road...just saying

  • I'm Just Saying .....
    January 15, 2013 - 07:08

    Perhaps, Mayor Greely, the residents did not complain before because those very "pioneer" residents of our City have quietly been enduring the inconveniences all these years until things have finally become unbearable. It seems to me that it's the CFA's who are now making all the rules - convenient unto themselves - that are making living most uncomfortable for the people of Corner Brook who have faithfully been paying their taxes & serving their city for many, many years. These same long-term citizens gave of themselves in their youth in service & knowledge. They were in better health & circumstances then. They gave a lot more in terms of dollars than the supposedly $200,000.00 you quoted. It says a lot about a person & the community as to how they treat the elderly & vulnerable. A word to Canada Post. You are slowly strangling yourselves out of service. It took one person to make a complaint in that situation & all the rules of service are changed. I hope that young, strong Mail Carrier will help rally for the new sidewalk & I hope you will always be so mobile yourself.

  • Jack
    January 15, 2013 - 06:25

    Once again, Mayor Greeley is starting to show his Mayoral incompetence and ignorance, and one of his quotes, “It would be pointless for us to spend a couple hundred thousand dollars if they had no intention of bringing this service back.", proves it. Even if they don't get delivered mail back, it will make Corner Brook streets more walkable, especially in preparation for the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games.

  • Jack
    January 15, 2013 - 06:23

    Why does it seem that Canada Post are sounding more and more like wimps every year? When you think about it, every job has its risks, and being a Mail Carrier is no exception. Canada Post, since we keep paying more and more for your services without government approval, including recent price increases on stamps, do your job.

    • fred
      January 15, 2013 - 14:58

      Hello Corner Brook if this guy is put back 4 another term you people need a wake up call . Any public offical make statement like that should not be in charge a popsicle stand ,let alone a city .