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Parking authority 1, Postal Service 0

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds, goes the unofficial motto of the United States Postal Service.

But the person who penned the inscription on the James Farley Post Office in New York City never had to worry about delivering the mail in Charm City, where nearly everything that doesn’t move is subject to potential ticketing and the dreaded boot.

And that’s exactly what happened to one unlucky mail carrier Friday along North Charles Street near Baltimore Street.

First, city workers booted the vehicle. A few moments later, the carrier was allowed to remove some items from the back of the truck before it was hoisted onto a flatbed and towed away.

Freda Sauter, a spokeswoman for the Postal Service, expressed surprise at hearing the news of the booting and towing of a postal vehicle.

Upon deeper examination, Sauter said, the service is not exempt from local traffic and parking laws.

“Postal Service employees are subject to obeying local traffic laws and ordinances just like any other citizen,” Sauter wrote in an email response. “If they receive a citation in a postal vehicle that employee assigned to that vehicle is responsible for paying the fine.”

Sauter said the Postal Service pays to retrieve the vehicle from a city impound yard “because we need that vehicle but we will get reimbursed from the employee.”

That differed from one reaction from a mail carrier who said the city frequently immobilizes and tows postal vehicles. The carrier told The Daily Record that the city typically tickets the vehicles and when the Postal Service doesn’t pay the tickets, the vehicles are towed.

Sauter could not immediately say how many vehicles have been immobilized or towed.

A spokeswoman for the city Department of Transportation referred a reporter to the Baltimore City Parking Authority, who in turn referred the reporter to the Department of Transportation.

Adam Bednar contributed to this report. 


  1. Probably given by some disgruntled meter maid who didn’t pass the Postal exam! That is the kind of stupidity that gives a city a bad name… Only as a last resort should something this drastic be done!

  2. She is wrong, there are two supreme court decisions exempting the Postal Service from state and local citations.

  3. If the USPS had any guts they would tell the city of Baltimore that they will guarantee the USPS parking on every street in the city or the mail doesn’t get delivered.

  4. As a postal worker I know we are not exempt from following traffic rules. Unfortunately some carriers believe that it is quicker to just park wherever they can in order to make the delivery because it is faster and therefore less hassle from a manager when they want to know why it took so long. I understand why its done but do my best to park properly especially when in an area thats busy and I can be seen. Its not like they pulled in front of a business with no cars in the parking lot.

  5. It’s a felony for ANYONE to interfere with the delivery of the U.S. mail. Arrest and charge the meter jerk.