NY1 For You: Rockaways Resident Endures Difficult Steps To Reach Local Post Office
A trip to the local post office is a struggle for a disabled Queens man who says his rights are being violated. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following NY1 For You report.
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The local post only has five steps, but for Neil Dunker of Far Rockaway Queens, it's five steps too many.
"It's maddening," he says.
It's maddening to be shut out of his local post office on Mott Avenue in the Rockaways, because there is no wheelchair ramp at the front entrance.
"They told me to come around to the back door and ring the bell and I could get my mail that way," says Dunker.
That's easier said than done for Dunker, who has a pacemaker and has to go all the way around the building backwards so he does not over-exert himself. After that, he has to cross the parking lot where mail trucks pull in and out and he then has go up a steep and narrow ramp.
All to ring a bell Dunker says they do not answer.
"I complained about it and they say,'Well, we can't leave the window to answer the bell,'" says Dunker.
As if Dunker doesn't have enough obstacles to deal with, when a NY1 crew visited the post office it found mail carts and a mail truck partially blocking the ramp. According to The Americans with Disabilities Act, public buildings must provide reasonable access for people with disabilities.
After Dunker contacted NY1 For You, the station called the U.S. Postal Service and a spokeswoman said the agency regrets any inconvenience that Dunker experienced.
In response to our call, the spokeswoman said the Post Office has taken immediate steps to correct the situation. Including putting up a new sign that includes a phone number for call-ahead service or to notify a supervisor upon arrival at the back door.
The spokeswoman went on to say additionally, they intend to make a clear, marked path on the dock at the back of the post office identifying it as a no-loading area. Measures Dunker hopes will make his future trips to the post office easier.
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