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USPS sticks with mail delivery warning

The U.S. Postal Service stands by its announcement Monday that delivery may be affected in downtown Baltimore neighborhoods and areas this weekend because of the Baltimore Grand Prix.

The USPS had said that mail pickup and delivery for businesses and residents might be curtailed because of numerous street closings for the race. But City Councilman William H. Cole IV said he was stunned by the announcement because the post office never verified traffic information with the city.

Grand Prix racing begins Friday on a 2.1-mile loop through downtown Baltimore. On Monday, the postal service removed several of its blue mail boxes because it said construction and road closures would hinder access to them.

Freda Sauter, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore post office, said that delivery will still be attempted, but letter carriers will be walking in the affected areas instead of driving. If carriers are unable to deliver and pick up mail, customers can go to local post offices to pick up mail, she said.

Cole said Monday that the mail box removals were unnecessary because city officials and race organizers had planned to allow mail carriers to continue service.

Spokesmen from private mail carriers UPS and FedEx have said contingency plans will be used to deliver and pick up deliveries with businesses and regular customers.