Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Downtown Burbank Post Office at 135 East Olive Avenue
Businesses and city governments are finding all kinds of new ways to stick-up consumers with fees and extra charges these days. They blame it on the weak economy, but it just might be plan old greed. As of last Monday, June 21, the U.S. Post Office at 135 East Olive Avenue in Downtown Burbank is charging three bucks for after hours parking. That’s Monday-Friday after 6 p.m., Saturdays after 4 p.m., and all day on Sundays.
All the parking spaces, except the two for handicapped motorists, are now marked with bright yellow and white numbers. If you want to park and catch a flick or go to dinner it might be an okay deal. Still, I’m opposed, because I believe free public parking is one of the perks that draws visitors to Downtown Burbank.
Also, if you need to go inside this post office to send-off a letter, package, or pick up mail from a P.O. Box, or something like that after business hours, you’re getting screw-ah ripped off, cause it’s still three bucks to park. No grace period. No “in and out” — according to the posted signs. Those that ignore the parking rules risk a $40 penalty or being towed.
Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — New paid parking signs are up at the Burbank post office on Olive Avenue
I posted a report in a City Buzz column back in March about the frequent parking violations in the eight spaces along the east side of this post office. Those spaces were clearly MARKED for postal customers. It used to be that during after hours, the large postal parking lot would be locked up tight. Many times, I’ve found all the east side building spaces occupied, only to go inside the post office and discover it empty. The reason: the parking spaces were being used by employees working nearby and folks watching a movie at the AMC or some other kind of activity in the area.
Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Three of the 8 parking spaces on the east side of the downtown post office in Burbank
A crackdown on parking violators in those reserved spaces should have been part of a solution. Instead, all of the after hours parking at this post office is now paid. Go figure.
There is still time for postal officials to do right by their customers and help preserve the character of Downtown Burbank. First, the spaces on the east side of the building should be marked for a 15-to-20 minutes parking limit — and reserved for postal customers. And those restrictions have to be enforced!
Also, opening up the Olive Avenue postal parking lot is a good idea, but after hours public parking should be free to anyone who wants to spend money in the downtown area. Bottom line, postal officials need to withdraw this tacky paid parking decision and do it quickly.
I can just imagine what’s going to happen if something isn’t done about providing FREE after hours parking for postal customers at the downtown post office. Business will go down. In a few months, postal officials will be talking about closing this post office, just like they shut down the Burbank Magnolia Park post office back in May. Or they’ll go for their favorite solution, jacking up postal rates. The result, postal customers will be forced to pay the price for yet another poor management decisions by U.S. Postal Service officials.