Community mailboxes coming to the mountain

More anger over the impending changeover from door-to-door mail delivery to community mailboxes.Hamilton mountain residents could know by Christmas where their new community mailboxes will be installed. But as it turns out, many don’t like what they’re finding out and that there is little they can do about the chosen locations.Hamilton passed a motion in September asking staff to look at the impact of mailboxes and it expects the report in January. It won’t talk to Canada Post until that study is done.The city is trying to have some input into where Canada Post puts the mailboxes, but there seems to be a lack of communication.Cathie Weadick was in her central-mountain yard two weeks ago, when two Canada Post representatives approached: “They said we’re just here to let you know that a super mailbox is going over here. And I said, pardon?”She explained her concerns. The potential vandalism, and litter, and traffic: “There’s no stopping or parking. So I said how’s that going to work, and they said, ‘Oh they’ll just stop and pick up mail, it’ll be really fast. The most disconcerting part of it was that it’s already assumed it’s going to go there. The decision has been made.”Canada Post says it looks for the safest, most convenient and unobtrusive places to put community mailboxes. It looks for things like sidewalks and available lighting. But as you can tell from these boxes recently installed in Oakville, those ideals aren’t always met.Sylvia Otten: (You don’t have sidewalks or light here, I see.) “That’s right, and not a lot of traffic? This is like a freeway.”But Sylvia Otten’s biggest problem is the loss of privacy. people getting mail now look right at her pool: “Just natural instinct to look in, say Hi, how’s it going. I’m just picking up my mail. I don’t even know you. 88 homes are here.”A block away, the embankment was built up, so now mail collectors look right into her neighbour’s kitchen.Otten: “The engineers decided this was the perfect location. I said I never saw an engineer come to this street. I said by any chance did they just Google the street? And he said ‘Yes, that’s how they do it’.”Mountain councillor Scott Duvall says Canada Post shouldn’t be telling people where the boxes will go. The city hasn’t agreed yet: “There has to be an agreement. It’s our land. Our appeasements. We have to make sure it’s safe and smart. None of that dialogue has been done. Yet they’re knocking on doors saying this is going to be done by spring.”Duvall is worried about another form of downloading, that the city will have to take on costs like signage, picking up litter and clearing snow. There have been problems like that with current mailboxes. Oakville says it has not had to incur any costs since the mailboxes have been installed there. Canada Post deals with snow, litter, etc.