WARNER ROBINS — Eighty-six-year-old Ada Lee once picketed for civil rights in the 1960s. She found herself picketing once more Wednesday in front of the post office at 200 North Davis Drove to protest its Feb. 12 closure.
“I’ll walk ’til my shoes wear out to keep it open,” said Lee, who used a cane as she picketed.
Lee was among the many faces of those who have joined Concerned Citizens for Warner Robins to fight to keep the full-service post office open.
The closure will place an unnecessary hardship on many people forced to drive the three miles to the full-service post office at 904 Russell Parkway through heavy traffic, Lee said. Many are not able to drive, she added.
Mattie Howard, 77, who has no transportation, joined those protesting. She routinely walks from her home at the intersection at Astor and Booker streets to the North Davis post office.
“I’m up here to keep this post office open,” Howard said.
Dorothy Cumby, who was manning a table alongside the post office for folks to sign a petition to keep it open, noted that Warner Robins does not have any public transportation. The women said it costs $7.50 to take a taxi one-way to the Russell Parkway location — a $15 round-trip.
Protesters had no problems encouraging North Davis Drive postal customers to sign the petition.
Among those signing was Mary Frances Linder, who co-owns a moving and janitorial business at 712 North Davis Drive.
She said she purposely came down to the post office Wednesday to sign the petition she heard about by word of mouth.
Linder said she is able to drive down to the North Davis Drive post office and return to her business in about 15 minutes. But Linder said having to travel across town to the Russell Parkway location could keep her away from her business for 30 minutes to an hour.
She noted that the North Davis Drive location was the main post office before the Russell Parkway facility was built.
“Maybe they should move the one on Russell Parkway over here,” she said.
Willie J. Tennyson Sr., 64, said he is too old to trek the additional three miles across town to the Russell Parkway location. He now often walks to the North Davis Drive post office. He used to ride his bicycle.
“It’s convenient to a lot of elderly people who live in this area,” Tennyson said of the North Davis Drive location.
JoAn Davis, who helped organize the group, previously said she’s hopeful that the postal service may consider an alternate location on Commercial Circle.
Gary Lee, executive director for the Warner Robins Redevelopment Agency, said Wednesday the city owns an old bank building on Commercial Circle that officials would be willing to lease to the U.S. Postal Service for a reasonable amount. Lee is the grandson of Ada Lee.
Michael Miles, a Postal Service spokesman based in Atlanta, said Wednesday that the postal service is aware of the Commercial Circle site but is not considering it at this time, with plans to close the North Davis Drive facility on track.
A lease dispute placed the North Davis Drive post office on a collision course with a federal postal mandate to close and streamline facilities nationwide, according to Miles.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.