A new downtown Bethesda post office has opened up on Wisconsin Avenue, but there’s just one problem – there’s no parking.
The United States Postal Service is at 7001 Arlington Road and 7400 Wisconsin Avenue and consolidating 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 to help face declining revenues.
USPS first announced their consolidation plan at a community meeting last July, saying they were on the hunt for a central, downtown location with parking.
Residents also drove home the importance of keeping the new post office in a location accessible to Metro and bus transit.
While the new location, across the street from Trader Joe’s, is in walking distance to the Bethesda Metro station, there’s no dedicated parking at the site right now, said Dennis Perry, a real estate specialist for the USPS eastern facilities service office.
“We do not have parking at the present time,” Perry told Patch. “We’re working on trying to secure something. It’s an issue.”
USPS had hoped to sublease parking from a commercial tenant next door, but that plan hasn’t materialized, Perry said. The new location has been open for about a week, Perry said.
Patrons who park in the commercial lot next door to the new post office are subject to being towed, according to the Officials are advising postal patrons to park in the lot beneath the Staples, PetSmart and CVS as an alternative.
“I like the other location better because of the parking,” said Jim McElroy, who stopped by the new location Monday.
McElroy said he’s maintained a P.O. box at the Bethesda post office for years, which he said would be difficult in the future without convenient parking at the new location.
U.S. Rep. Christopher Van Hollen (D) is working with USPS on a solution, according to the Regional Services Center.