(Florida International University) – The Edison post office at Northwest 62nd Street and Northwest 8th Avenue will close June 3, the U.S. Postal Service announced Monday.
The closure will mean many Liberty City residents without cars will be forced to make a 2.5 mile trip by bus or on foot to the nearest full-service facilities, the Little River and Buena Vista post offices.
The Martin Luther King Jr. post office on Northwest 27th Avenue is even farther away.
The Edison post office and a post office at Miami International Airport are the South Florida postal facilities to be closed as part of a nationwide USPS budget-cutting effort that will see as many as 413 closed in all.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, whose office was not notified of the decision in advance, said she had hoped the post office would be part of the Transit Village redevelopment project at the nearby corner of Northwest 62nd Street and Seventh Avenue.
"This post office is very important to the vitality of the city," Edmonson said. "If the federal government is going to come in and remove the things that mean something to the city, then they will ultimately kill the city. It's a building that the community actually uses it's not just sitting there"
Miami City Commissioner Richard P. Dunn II, whose district includes Liberty City, is hoping residents will fight to keep the Edison facility open and contact U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, who also represents the community.
"This is a federal issue and should be led by Congresswoman Federica Wilson. However, I will help to fight for it,” Dunn said. I would encourage the residents to ask the congresswoman for help.”
Both Edmonson and Dunn said they would contact U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Wilson on the matter.
Residents also are upset at the proposed closure.
“This is ridiculous. I have used this post office my whole life. I have a P.O. box here,” said Emma Ladson, 49, who works in human resources. “And what about those who don't drive? You would have to spend money to take the bus.”
Pinkie Braddy, 80, who’s been an Edison post office customer since the facility opened in 1953, is equally unhappy.
"I don't feel good about this because the next post office is too far away from me. I live on [Northwest] 62nd [Street] and the next one is on 82nd,” said Braddy. “But I guess I'm gonna start paying my bills online or just go to the next post office.”
The growth of online bill-paying, sending e-mail instead of letters and ordering postal services by computer are among the factors contributing to USPS decisions to close postal facilities.
“There was a time when virtually every postal transaction required a visit to the local post office retail counter,” said Debra Fetterly, a USPS representative. “Today, nearly 30 percent of transactions are conducted using alternate retail channels.”
Kevin Baker, secretary-treasurer of the American Postal Workers Union in South Florida, said the union plans to protest the decision but noted that postal employees will be relocated and none will lose jobs.
At least one Edison customer sees the decision to close Edison as an attack on the Liberty City community.
“It’s the same old racism, the same old greed that controls this country and the people lose; and that is for all people, not only black, they are doing that to everybody,” said Ray Fauntroy, who is currently unemployed. “They are killing the business here and they won't stop until it’s done.”
Maria Rodriguez and Megan O. Wright contributed to this report. Ana Perez may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org