Van Hollen Blasts Parking 'Crisis' At Bethesda Post Office
Congressman is calling for new Bethesda post office location.
U.S. Rep. Christopher Van Hollen (D) is calling for a new Bethesda post office location after the United States Postal Service opened a new Wisconsin Avenue office with no parking, according to a June 19 letter from the Congressman to USPS.
The United States Postal Service recently closed the two downtown Bethesda post offices at 7001 Arlington Road and 7400 Wisconsin Avenue and consolidated them at the new location at 6900 Wisconsin Avenue. The consolidation is part of a nationwide effort by USPS to consolidate or close post offices in the face of declining revenues.
But attempts to sublease parking from the commercial tenants next door to the new office were unsuccessful, Patch reported this month. Those who park next door in the lot for Mattress Discounters and Verizon are subject to being towed, and the lack of convenient parking has drawn fire from the community.
“It defies credulity that the USPS opened a facility in a developed commercial area without first ensuring that parking would be available for its customers, even for those who are disabled or elderly," Van Hollen wrote in the June 19 letter to Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, obtained by Patch.
“In spite of assurances that the USPS is addressing the dire parking issue, it seems unlikely that a permanent solution will be found. In my view, the only way to resolve this crisis is for USPS to relocate to a facility that addresses the priorities of parking and accessibility that were promised at the USPS-hosted community meeting on July 27, 2011.”
At that meeting, USPS officials told concerned residents they were in search of a downtown Bethesda location close to public transportation and with convenient parking.
The USPS is on the hunt for a Bethesda location in the 20816 zip code to house an additional post office, The Gazette reported.
Read the full correspondence between Van Hollen and USPS attached to this article.