Anyone who’s grown up with mail delivery to the front door knows how convenient those deliveries have been for decades. And it’s an influence that comes straight from Britain where the mail slot was first invented as well as staying there without the use of communal boxes as we do in America. I even wrote an obscure piece here once about front door mail slots and how they’ve been one of the greatest gifts out of Britain that we still use in some homes.
Now the U.S Post Office is exhibiting their continual panic in figuring out how to save money. With that, delivery to the door may be soon on the way out in the neighborhoods that still use them. It’s all part of a proposed Congressional bill that would cut out delivery door-to-door in millions of neighborhoods. The intention is to create either communal or curbside boxes, with the latter likely using a lock for better security purposes.
Would this ruin a significant part of Americana, especially for those who have physical handicaps and need mail delivered to their door? Is there a way to compromise in order to still have the feel of delivery at the door without every street corner using an ugly communal mailbox apartments and condos use so commonly? Delivery to our doors may be rescued anyway through the process of a delivery tax.
Would You Pay a Delivery Tax to Keep Delivery to Your Door?
Within all the arguments by Congress to find alternatives to help those with disabilities who can’t access curbside mailboxes, proposals are being made to give wavers. If also deemed a delivery tax, don’t be surprised if the government allows people to pay an extra fee to continue door-to-door delivery. Populations who’ve had mail slots in their front doors have had it that way their entire life, including their parents, and possibly their grandparents. Those who’ve grown up with them know the excitement of having a package or other mail dropped through that mail slot when waiting for something important.
While most people get packages by UPS today and only get junk mail delivered by USPS, the point was the convenience of not having to walk to a lock box just to take out a stack of ads. To an older generation, the ability to converse with your local mail deliverer was also a major point. Nothing defines a traditional neighborhood than having the community mailperson tipping their cap to you if you happen to be outside when they deliver your mail.
Would you pay extra for all that, or is every American street corner going to evolve toward those communal boxes? As even the individual curbside box starts to become a security threat without locks, we may all have to walk down to the end of a street corner just to receive our mail someday if nobody is willing to pay for door delivery.
What about a compromise of a box in a convenient place near our homes that mail trucks can reach without requiring a physical effort for mail retrieval?
Individual Boxes By Our Driveways
Most urban neighborhoods are set up where driveways are parallel to one another, and having a mail delivery box at the end of each one would provide a worthy compromise. Still along a street corner, it allows a mail truck to pull in and deliver without the mailperson having to exit the vehicle. Using this method, we don’t have to walk very far to reach our mailbox, depending on how long your driveway is.
This obviously won’t be workable in every neighborhood, though it’s something that was done back in an earlier era. In the 1950s, some families that chose not to have mail delivered to their door had small mailboxes at the corner of their driveways to make mail retrieval just as easy. It’s a method you still see used occasionally in neighborhoods without uniformity.
As a simple solution, we have to hope that mail delivery becomes more of a personal and friendlier service than the impersonal nature of the communal boxes. Even as most of us start moving away from snail mail for paying bills, we still want mail delivery for the times when we really want it. The government should help us make it a convenient part of Americana again without necessarily having to pay extra for the sound of our mail hitting the floor by our front doors.