Mail delivery may not return, but man still wants sidewalk on West Valley Road

Gary Kean
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Any hope sidewalk construction might help Canada Post reinstate home mail delivery on West Valley Road is likely a moot point these days.

Corner Brook resident Ford Neal says West Valley Road needs a new sidewalk.
— Photo by The Western Star

Ford Neal, 90, lives roughly a kilometre away from the mailboxes where his mail is now delivered. He was vocal about maintaining the home delivery service, but figures it may be a lost cause for sure now.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” he said. “This is something we have had for years and years and now it’s gone.”

One year ago Canada Post announced it would no longer be delivering mail to the doors of homes from 74 to 106 West Valley Road in Corner Brook because it was a safety hazard for its carriers.

The western side of the road in that area of the city has no sidewalk. In winter, snowbanks forced mail carriers and other pedestrians out into the busy street.

The solution was for the people living in the affected area to go to the Canada Post outlet in Maple Valley Road to get their mail until community boxes could be set up.

Those boxes are now set up in the parking lot of the First United Church on Park Street.

Chris Neal, Ford’s son, had taken up his father’s cause. He had written the City of Corner Brook to ask if sidewalk construction in the affected area could be considered.

Building a sidewalk, he figured, might help convince Canada Post to bring back home mail delivery to his dad and his neighbours.

Neal had correspondence from the previous city council late last summer. The city said it would look into it, but could not promise a new sidewalk would be a priority.

Neal had intended to bring the issue up with the new city council elected in September. He was waiting for the new council to get its feet wet and settled in before approaching them.

Before he could do so, Canada Post announced it will be phasing out all home delivery across Canada in the coming year or so in favour of the community boxes his father already has to use.

The younger Neal still wants to see a sidewalk in the neighbourhood for safety reasons, but doesn’t think it will help getting the mail service back.

“I think we all know the answer on that one,” he said. “Remember that — and many more things — when it comes time to vote on what (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper and his ship of fools have done for the average Canadian citizen.”

The Western Star

Organizations: Canada Post, First United Church

Geographic location: West Valley Road, Corner Brook, Maple Valley Road Canada Western Star

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