Thanks to U.S. Rep. John Dingell, residents near Central Campus will still have a short walk to the post office.
The South University Avenue post office was initially considered one of 410 post office locations facing the chopping block this year, but it’s now remaining open, much to the relief of many Ann Arbor residents who live in the area.
Dingell was at the forefront of the effort to save the post office, located at 1214 S. University Ave.
The post office served as a key resource for members of the University community, a demographic, Dingell wrote in an e-mail interview, that he is determined to serve.
“It was clear to me from the location of this postal station that it did not make sense to close it,” Dingell wrote. “It’s in the middle of the U of M campus. Having a half dozen of U of M grads on (my) staff helped put this in perspective. Not only did they use this station, it was the only one they had used in their time at school there.”
Dingell said if the South University location was to close, many Ann Arbor residents would switch to different mail carriers, something he wanted to prevent.
“I also looked at the profile of the permanent residents who live close to the station,” Dingell wrote. “If it closed, many people in the neighborhood would probably have opted to switch carriers rather than drive to another post office. I didn’t want that.”
Though Dingell said it would remain open, the South University post office is technically still on the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission’s list of locations being discussed for consolidation, according to Ed Moore, manager of communications for the Detroit district of the U.S. Postal Service.
The South University location will remain on the list until the commission reviews it in the next few weeks, Moore said. He added that the location was one of 11 in the Detroit district originally put on the list due to a reduction in mail volume.
This decrease in mail volume has been a nationwide trend, with the U.S. Postal Service processing only 170 billion pieces of mail this year, a decrease of about 40 billion pieces from 2007, according to Moore.
“We’re looking to trim costs, be more efficient and maximize our floor space,” he said. “So that’s why those locations are looking to be consolidated.”
Students like LSA senior Qian Wang, who regularly sends letters and packages using the South University post office, are excited to know the location will remain open due to its comparatively low costs.
“At FedEx and UPS, the price is much higher than the postal office,” Wang said. “If this place closed, I don’t know — I have no idea if there’s another place on the campus that can provide this service.”
Other students like Nursing senior Irene Casillas, said she is happy to hear the South University post office will remain open due to its ideal location.
“I’m glad because it’s so much more convenient than driving to Stadium (Boulevard) and some people don’t even have a car on campus,” Casillas said. “It’s very convenient.”