The Postal Service can be very withholding about information. It doesn’t like to give out any more than necessary, and sometimes it gives out less than required by law. The AWPU has filed a suit against the USPS for withholding information about postal facility consolidations. The lack of information is particularly problematic when it comes to lists.
The list for the Retail Access Optimization Initiative on the USPS website, for example, contains all the post offices being studied for closure, but it provides only the office name and the city (usually the same), plus the state and 5 digit zip code. It’s very difficult identifying and locating post offices without a full address and a 9-digit zip — information the Postal Service obviously possesses but chooses not to share.
The Advisory Opinion being conducted by the PRC provides another example. The Postal Service was asked to provide the data on which its Nearest Neighbor graph was based. The Postal Service provided a list that that shows the post office names and “proximity category,” but no street addresses or anything one would need to examine the data (the pdf is here).
You would think a list of all the post offices that have been closed over the past year would be easy to come by, but no such luck. The Postal Service website provides very little information on the subject. With a little work using the Postmaster Finder, one can generate a list of post offices that have closed as of May 2011, but it does not include stations and branches, and it hasn’t been updated since May. (Correction: As of Aug. 28, it was updated, through Aug. 13.)
In an attempt to help keep track of the closings, Save the Post Office has developed a list and a map of post offices that have closed since the beginning of the year (with a few from last fall as well). The map is here, and the list is here.
The list and map contain some 160 post offices that have closed over the past several months. This information represents a compilation of from several sources: Postal Reporter's closing list; the USPS postmaster finder; the USPS Postal Bulletin; the PRC docket list for appeals; and Iowa Backroads.
The list is not complete and it probably has some errors. If you notice a missing post office or a mistake, please let us know. We’ll keep the list and map updated as post offices continue to close. It’s not going to be a pleasant task.