The U.S. Postal Service is considering shutting two branches in Medford.
The post offices at 470 Boston Ave. and 485 High St. are among 43 in Massachusetts the postal service plans to study to determine the "customer needs," according to a press release Tuesday.
The closures would leave Medford with one fully operational post office, located on Forest Street in Medford Square.
The potential loss of the offices has some residents concerned over where they'll have to go for postal needs while others think there's a potential for long lines and the remaining post office.
"(I) would hate to lose our postal branch," long-time West Medford resident Gwen Blackburn . "I use it all the time and not the other places that may be available."
"The Medford Square branch is actually really crowded at times," said Medford native Sharon McCarthy in a Facebook comment. "I think the lines would be too big if we cut two post offices."
Mark Arena, a city councilor who grew up in West Medford and now lives near Tufts and works there at its mail services department, said the post office in West Medford is an important piece of the community.
"I would hope that one doesn’t close,” Arena said. "I think it would be a shame for that neighborhood if it was lost - It’s part of the fabric of that community.”
But Arena said he wasn't surprised to learn of the possible closures, considering the postal service's business struggles.
"The bigger issue is they never got a piece of the internet," he said. "The internet is really driving the post office out of business.”
A total of 3,700 post offices around the country will be studied, the release said.
Areas that lose an office could look to the postal service's new "Village Post Office" program as a possible alternative, postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a written statement. The village program will allow local businesses like pharmacies and grocery stores to offer popular postal products and services such as stamps and flat-rate packaging, Donahoe said.
Losing the two post offices would put an over-burden on the one remaining post office in town, said city councilor Paul Camuso.
“It’s always very busy there (the office in Medford Square)," Camuso said. "It would certainly put an over-burden on the workers at the Forest Street location.”
The West Medford office was particularly important because of the large senior citizen population there, he said.
“The West Medford Post Office brings a lot of value to the neighborhood," he said, "especially with a big senior population in the area."
The Post Office on Boston Ave., on the edge of the Tufts campus, can get busy during the school year, but, in part because of a lack of parking, really serves the university more than the surrounding community, Arena said.
"It’s been a great amenity to Tufts, but it’s not really an amenity to me or the people living in the Hillside," Arena said.
The area might be better served by a retail postal center rather than a full-blown post office, he said.
"You don’t need the kind of shop they have now," he said. "It isn’t functional."
The postal service currently operates 32,000 offices around the country, and the need to keep them all open has diminished as more people use places like pharmacies, grocery stores and the internet to make postal purchases, the postal service press release said.
“Our customer’s habits have made it clear that they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business,” Donahoe said.
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