Go with the new traffic flow

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 31, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Changes designed to reduce the oftentimes snarled stop-and-go traffic outside the U.S. Post Office in downtown Suffolk will go into effect this week.

Beginning Tuesday, the flow of traffic through the post office’s parking lot, located at the corner of North Main Street and Western Avenue, will be reversed, said Dana Woodson, city spokeswoman. Motorists will begin entering post office from an entrance on Western, with departing traffic turning right onto North Main, Woodson said.

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Mailboxes for drive-up customers will be moved to the back of the post office property, where customers can drop off outgoing mail by looping around a mailbox island, she said.

Meanwhile, the city is continuing to aggressively lobby for a much-needed larger post office into the downtown area, said Elizabeth McCoury, downtown development director. The city has proposed the postal service consider two pieces of property along the Washington Street corridor or put a larger building on its current site.

Although a moratorium on constructing new facilities was recently lifted, it’s likely to be at least a year before the federal government begins building any new facilities, a state postal official said.

The state did not include Suffolk on the federal government’s prioritized &uot;to do&uot; list, which plays a key role in determining which projects are funded.

But U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes said he has added it to the list. Because of safety concerns at the downtown facility, Forbes said he is confident the city stands a good chance at acquiring necessary funding move ahead with a new post office.