Mail delivery may not return, but Neal still wants sidewalk on West Valley Road

Gary
Gary Kean
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Ford Neal is shown in Corner Brook on Friday.

CORNER BROOK  Any hope sidewalk construction might help Canada Post reinstate home mail delivery on West Valley Road is likely a moot point these days.

Ford Neal, 90, lives roughly a kilometre away from the mailboxes where his mail is now delivered. He was vocal about maintaining the home delivery service, but figures it may be a lost cause for sure now.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” he said. “This is something we have had for years and years and now it’s gone.”

One year ago Canada Post announced it would no longer be delivering mail to the doors of homes from 74 to 106 West Valley Road in Corner Brook because it was a safety hazard for its carriers.

The western side of the road in that area of the city has no sidewalk. In winter, snowbanks forced mail carriers and other pedestrians out into the busy street.

The solution was for the people living in the affected area to go to the Canada Post outlet in Maple Valley Road to get their mail until community boxes could be set up.

Those boxes are now set up in the parking lot of the First United Church on Park Street.

Chris Neal, Ford’s son, had taken up his father’s cause. He had written the City of Corner Brook to ask if sidewalk construction in the affected area could be considered.

Building a sidewalk, he figured, might help convince Canada Post to bring back home mail delivery to his dad and his neighbours.

Neal had correspondence from the previous city council late last summer. The city said it would look into it, but could not promise a new sidewalk would be a priority.

Neal had intended to bring the issue up with the new city council elected in September. He was waiting for the new council to get its feet wet and settled in before approaching them.

Before he could do so, Canada Post announced it will be phasing out all home delivery across Canada in the coming year or so in favour of the community boxes his father already has to use.

The younger Neal still wants to see a sidewalk in the neighbourhood for safety reasons, but doesn’t think it will help getting the mail service back.

“I think we all know the answer on that one,” he said. “Remember that — and many more things — when it comes time to vote on what (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper and his ship of fools have done for the average Canadian citizen.”

Organizations: Canada Post, First United Church

Geographic location: West Valley Road, Corner Brook, Maple Valley Road Canada

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  • tonyturnip
    January 19, 2014 - 12:14

    There is a petition at the address below. http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/don-t-let-canada-post-end-door-to-door-delivery

  • David Noseworthy
    January 19, 2014 - 10:57

    For over 50 years I've watched Canada Post deliver mail on this street, having lived many years across from Mr. Neal. The conditions have always been the same, if not worse. The sidewalks were not even usable most winters. So why now is letter carrier service suddenly ending? A scarcely believe it's any more unsafe than it's ever been. As for establishing the mail pickup near the United Church, that's just rediculous. They could place the mailboxes right where the letter carrier's box has been for years already, at the inspection of West Valley Road and O'Connell Drive. If this is the direction Canada Post is going, it would seem letter carriers really are becoming unnecessary.

    • Gordon Noseworthy
      January 20, 2014 - 21:22

      Great street, great neighbours, I miss them and hope they're well! I agree with their issue, West Valley Road and adjoining streets were clear candidates for twined sidewalks for years considering the pedestrian traffic needed this to safely access local hospital, church, armories, ball park, hotel, Margaret Bowater Park, University (I can go on) and of course the postal delivery. Now Canada Post says this is a safety issue for their carriers, well what about everyone else that still have to trek these routes. Have we also touched on a liability problem for Mr Pender and council? St John's is taking the full brunt from their taxpayers for not clearing their sidewalks in a timely fashion. Are the letter carriers being silent or have they accepted the obvious as I haven't heard any comments from here in GFW where many streets still have this appreciated service.

  • Tony
    January 18, 2014 - 09:25

    I agree a side walk on West Valley should be completed because of safety reasons alone. That area of the city is extremely busy now days. As for postal service I believe all areas of city should be serviced. We can only hope this foolish decision will be reversed as it causes more harm then good. PC times are hard times both Federal and Provincial. Hopefully we can correct this in the next election.

  • InCB
    January 18, 2014 - 09:21

    I agree a sidewalk should be there however be prepared to give up 4' of your yard as that section was already widened with the full road right of way filled, from what I can tell. Also just a point, the average Canadian does not have home mail delivery and haven't for years

  • rusty
    January 18, 2014 - 07:47

    I find it strang that letter carriers carried mail there for years, even seen mailmen criss crossing the road so they could finish early. How times have changed