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Downtown post office closes, new location creates parking issues

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It's the last day of business as usual at the downtown Austin post office.

"As we announced earlier this year, we have sold this building. We were able to find a new location that met with most of the requirements," says USPS spokesperson Sam Bolen.

Soon, 2,400 mail boxes will be packed up, moved, and installed in the new downtown location at 823 Congress.

"No one's going to have to change their zip codes. No one's going to have to change their address."

That's the good news.

"Only thing I'm concerned about is where's the parking?" asked customer Guy Roberts.

At the closing location at 5th Street and Guadalupe, customers have been able to take advantage of ample free parking. But, at the new location, there are only metered spots and possibly the use of a nearby parking garage.

"I hope my company starts paying for the meter then," said Skyler Madsen, who visits the downtown location to pick up his company's mail each day.

"I'm not gonna pay a meter to check my mail, shouldn't have to anyway," added Roberts.

Bolen says limited parking was the trade off in order to keep a downtown location.

"Very few downtown urban post offices or businesses for that matter offer free parking like we've enjoyed at the downtown Austin post office," Bolen said.

The U.S. Postal Services has been faced with significant financial woes leading to the closing of hundreds of post office locations across the country. Some say this option was better than none.

"What people spend is what pays for our operation, not tax dollars," said Bolen.

Those who have P.O. boxes at the downtown post office will not be able to access them for several days until the new location opens January 2.

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