Postal service reinstalls mailboxes on First Street after brief removal

Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Postal service representatives removed and promptly reinstalled the drive-thru mailboxes on First Street. The developer of the nearby construction site had deemed them a safety hazard.

A few days before Christmas, the cluster of drive-thru U.S. Postal Service collection boxes along First Street abruptly disappeared as if snatched away by a holiday Grinch.

According to Los Altos Postmaster Makhan Mahal, that wasn’t quite the case. After being deemed a potential safety hazard by the developer of property near the mailboxes, postal service representatives briefly removed them before temporarily reinstalling them after a flurry of public complaints.

Located across the street from the entrance to the ongoing construction of a new 48-unit condominium development on the old post office site, the set of five collection boxes sits on an island alongside a parallel pull-off drive.

Although not confirmed by the postal service’s corporate communications staff, Mahal said the removal was scheduled after Lamb Partners LLC – the developer of the project at 100 First St. – filed a request for their removal due to safety concerns. The Town Crier attempted to reach the developer last week for comment and received no response by press deadline.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused,” said postal service spokesman James T. Wigdel in a written response to a media inquiry on the removal of the collection boxes. “We are looking for a nearby spot in which to relocate the boxes as soon as possible.”

Mahal noted that he will work with the city of Los Altos to determine an acceptable alternative location but provided no clear timeline.

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