Please Clear Snow and Ice from Sidewalks, Stairs and Mailboxes

Help Letter Carriers stay safe when they make mail deliveries to your address

January 11, 2011 

Release No. 11-25  

CAROL STREAM, IL — It’s back. After a short reprieve and some unseasonably warm temperatures, snow is falling again throughout Northern Illinois.

To help carriers deliver mail in the aftermath of today’s snowstorm, the Postal Service asks customers to
clear snow and ice from sidewalks, stairs and mailboxes.

“Snow and ice in front of mailboxes make delivery dangerous,” says Sean Hargadon, Postal Service spokesperson for Northern Illinois District. “Maintaining a clear path to the mail box – including steps, porches, walkways and street approach – will help letter carriers maintain consistent delivery service.”

Customers receiving door delivery should make sure their sidewalks, steps and porches are clear. Customers receiving curbside delivery should remove snow piles left by snow plows to keep access to their mailboxes clear for letter carriers.

Delivery service may be delayed or curtailed whenever streets or walkways present hazardous conditions for letter carriers or when snow is plowed against mailboxes. “The Postal Service curtails delivery only after careful consideration, and only as a last resort,” says Hargadon. “Any curtailed mail is attempted the next delivery day.”

Blue collection boxes also need to be kept clear for our customers to deposit their mail and for the Postal Service to collect the mail for delivery. Residents and businesses with collection boxes near their property are asked to keep them clear of snow and ice.

“We want our letter carriers to be safe,” says Hargadon. “We can only do this with the help of our customers.”

The Northern Illinois District of the U.S. Postal Service serves communities with the following ZIP Code prefixes: 600 – 602 (Chicago area north suburbs); 601-603 (Chicago area west suburbs) 610 ( Freeport, Dixon, Sterling, Galena area) and 611 (Rockford area).

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A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 150 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government,, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $67 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 29th in the 2010 Fortune 500. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency six consecutive years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.

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