Why Are Drive-Up Mailboxes Disappearing All Over the Hudson Valley?
Those convenient mailboxes that let you drop off envelopes from your car are quickly disappearing in the Hudson Valley.
It's been happening over the past few months. With no warning, mailboxes that have been standing for decades are mysteriously gone. It started when I went to mail a letter in the Village of Wappingers. In a rush, I drove through the parking lot to the usual spot where the drive up mailbox has always stood at the entrance to East Main Street. As I reached for my mail I was shocked when I realized that the mailbox was gone.
A coworker said the same thing happened to her in Hyde Park. Another was late for work when they discovered the drive-up mailbox was suddenly missing in the City of Poughkeepsie at the intersection of Mansion and Market in front of the post office.
What is going on?
Drive-up mailboxes seem to be mysteriously missing in several Hudson Valley towns without warning or explanation. We reached out to the US Postal Service to try to get to the bottom of this, but they have yet to respond. However, we have found one reason why the boxes might have been taken down.
You may have noticed that all of the mailboxes in the Hudson Valley are slowly being changed from the old-fashioned drawer boxes to ones with just a skinny slot along the top to drop mail in. Incidents of "mail fishing" have been reported over the past few years that have resulted in the Postal Service designing new mailboxes. A recent article by the New York Times details how thieves have been known to tie sticky objects to the end of a string and "fish" out letters that have been dropped in old-fashioned mailboxes. The design of those drive-up mailboxes, with their extra wide openings, may be a reason why they're being phased out.
While it's great that the post office is cracking down of thieves, one has to wonder why the drive-up boxes couldn't also be retrofit with a thinner slot to prevent mail theft? Perhaps there's some other reason why the US Postal Service has decided to remove them from the Hudson Valley.
If we get any answers we'll be sure to update this story.
In the meantime, we want to know if you've been impacted by a drive-up mailbox being taken away by your local post office. Have you been inconvenienced by not being able to drop mail off from your car? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.