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Old 12-17-07, 08:19 AM   #1
outashape
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USPS Bicycle Carrier's - fewer injuries

Here's an article posted on USPS Newslink, an internal electronic newsletter issued daily. Posted in Safety to show that cycling can be safer than driving.


WHEELING IN ENERGY CONSUMPTION
USPS continues its support of eco-friendly initiatives

Sun City, AZ, Letter Carrier Terry Hesselrode.
The Sun City, AZ, Main Post Office is using pedal power to lower its fuel costs.

Its letter carriers ride bicycles on 37 delivery routes — saving USPS $24,000 in annual gasoline costs at current prices. Bicycle delivery conserves 7,800 gallons of gasoline annually when compared to Long Life Vehicle delivery and eliminates 25,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

All Sun City carriers with bike routes received new wheels in November. “We’re thankful to have our fleet replaced,” Sun City Postmaster Mark Strong said. “Now our red, white and blue fleet of bicycles can maintain green delivery.”

In more than 25 years of bike deliveries, none of the town’s postal cyclists have ever experienced a runaway bike, and they have suffered fewer injuries than letter carriers delivering mail on motorized routes. Only one other location in the country — St. Petersburg, FL — uses bicycle delivery.
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Old 12-17-07, 11:24 AM   #2
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In my neighborhood the carrier appears to have a personal choice.
One drives to a nearby parking lot and load up bicycle (carried on truck) with mail and delivers to several streets.
A different driver on same route parks truck at end of every street and walks down and up it delivering mail, then hops in truck and goes to next.
Another driver will stop at nearly every house.
Mostly I see the carriers walking house to house, even on rainy days.

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Old 12-17-07, 11:57 AM   #3
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It would be difficult to deliver mail on a bicycle. I work at the USPS at a regional center. Back in the early
80's I was a secretary (clerk craft) and when they had a budget crisis I was sent to a station to carry mail. It is not so easy to carry flats on one arm, letters in the hand, Mail bag on opposing shoulder and then bend down to put mail in door slots. Let me tell you. People had their mailboxes all over the place. One time I couldn't find the mailbox and left the house and there it was mounted to a tree. So...I don't see how you can carry all different types of mail unless it is a rural route and you have a basket. Thanks for the info.

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Old 12-17-07, 12:18 PM   #4
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doesn't that concur with what Robert Hurst has always claimed? That couriers, despite what some would say practice "unsafe" techniques, have fewer collisions than other cyclists?

When I was in the UK, I saw there were many posties delivering mail on bikes. Here was a pic of one I took outside a pub. (I'm guessing the odd pint isn't too bad either?)

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Old 12-17-07, 12:33 PM   #5
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Per kilometer traveled Hurst is correct, I've gone as long as almost 4 years without contact with another vehicle despite riding daily for hours in high density traffic.
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Old 12-17-07, 12:36 PM   #6
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doesn't that concur with what Robert Hurst has always claimed? That couriers, despite what some would say practice "unsafe" techniques, have fewer collisions than other cyclists?
I would say not. These mail couriers in Sun City are certainly not riding in the urban courier style, environment nor route selection mode that Hurst is comparing to 'other' cyclists.

Here is a photo of a Sun City mail carrier:
http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...1&d=1197904771

Al
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Old 12-17-07, 12:37 PM   #7
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Do these bike carriers have any sort of special training?

Flying is also a lot safer than driving... a big factor is that the person driving is very well trained and not some punk 16 year old.
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Old 12-17-07, 12:52 PM   #8
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I posted the same article in Utility cycling.

I don't know if there is training, but knowing the Postal Service, I would suspect that there is at least some informal training.

I also just noticed that the mail handler isn't wearing a bicycle helmet, but only the usual pith helmet to protect from the sun.

I am not in the area, but I think it is pretty logical to assume, based on the picture and the usual patterns for walking deliveries, that they probably ride on the sidewalk, in a more pedestrian than vehicular fashion.
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Old 12-17-07, 12:57 PM   #9
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I am not in the area, but I think it is pretty logical to assume, based on the picture and the usual patterns for walking deliveries, that they probably ride on the sidewalk, in a more pedestrian than vehicular fashion.
That is likely very correct. I've only twice been to Sun City and it is like in the pictures - driveways leading to quiet residential streets. The mail carriers who cycle in my neighborhood use the side walk and ride up to the mail boxes that face sidewalk or ride up each driveway to put mail on house mount mailbox. Riding on the street would not make sense as they would have to hop up on sidewalk every house. Cycling is at very casual pace, after all they are not being paid per delivery and there is no sense in going much over walking speed with a stop every 50-100'

Of course there will be longer distance sections to/from neighborhood that may be cycled differently.

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Old 12-17-07, 01:20 PM   #10
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In more than 25 years of bike deliveries, none of the town’s postal cyclists have ever experienced a runaway bike, and they have suffered fewer injuries than letter carriers delivering mail on motorized routes. Only one other location in the country — St. Petersburg, FL — uses bicycle delivery.
This injury rate likely includes soft tissue damage & strains, repetitive motion troubles that would be far more prevalent for a small delivery vehicle. Constantly reaching from vehicle to streetside box, constant sitting or constant entering & exiting of the vehicle are all problems the bicycle fleet would not face as often, combine that with the possibility that the bicycle fleet could enjoy a better standard of overall fitness when compared to a motor vehicle delivery person, this too reduces injury substantially.

The Post Office could probably save themselves a lot of money applying & modding this to other areas
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Old 12-17-07, 01:38 PM   #11
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...I also just noticed that the mail handler isn't wearing a bicycle helmet, but only the usual pith helmet to protect from the sun...
There's probably a greater risk of harm from the sun than harm from a fall.

Last edited by closetbiker; 12-17-07 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 12-17-07, 06:40 PM   #12
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Yea bicycle carriers ,
I seen them also in Scottsdale and Mesa I have some pics I can post when I get home.
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Old 12-17-07, 07:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by outashape View Post
Here's an article posted on USPS Newslink, an internal electronic newsletter issued daily. Posted in Safety to show that cycling can be safer than driving.


WHEELING IN ENERGY CONSUMPTION
USPS continues its support of eco-friendly initiatives

Sun City, AZ, Letter Carrier Terry Hesselrode.
The Sun City, AZ, Main Post Office is using pedal power to lower its fuel costs.

Its letter carriers ride bicycles on 37 delivery routes — saving USPS $24,000 in annual gasoline costs at current prices. Bicycle delivery conserves 7,800 gallons of gasoline annually when compared to Long Life Vehicle delivery and eliminates 25,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

All Sun City carriers with bike routes received new wheels in November. “We’re thankful to have our fleet replaced,” Sun City Postmaster Mark Strong said. “Now our red, white and blue fleet of bicycles can maintain green delivery.”

In more than 25 years of bike deliveries, none of the town’s postal cyclists have ever experienced a runaway bike, and they have suffered fewer injuries than letter carriers delivering mail on motorized routes. Only one other location in the country — St. Petersburg, FL — uses bicycle delivery.
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Old 12-17-07, 08:20 PM   #14
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Those houses must be far enough apart to make delivering by bicycle faster than a walking route. In between houses they can only be riding the bike, and not "fingering" the mail until they get to the box. There's no chance that any of those guys could deliver mail faster than I can on foot on my route. The big thing I notice is they don't have to dismount to deliver up a porch. The biggest change we are making is apartment type boxes on streets in new developments. I can do about 400 stops of single family homes in 8 hours, while some in the Central Valley of California can do 1500-1600 per 8 hours.
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Old 12-17-07, 08:22 PM   #15
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This injury rate likely includes soft tissue damage & strains, repetitive motion troubles that would be far more prevalent for a small delivery vehicle. Constantly reaching from vehicle to streetside box, constant sitting or constant entering & exiting of the vehicle are all problems the bicycle fleet would not face as often, combine that with the possibility that the bicycle fleet could enjoy a better standard of overall fitness when compared to a motor vehicle delivery person, this too reduces injury substantially.

The Post Office could probably save themselves a lot of money applying & modding this to other areas
Motorized routes include "Park and Loop"(walking), which has the biggest potential for injury. The routes where a person doesn't leave the vehicle to deliver the mail are less prone to injury.
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Old 12-17-07, 10:03 PM   #16
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Just out of curiosity, what bikes were they riding? I have never seen this before (very cool though!). Are they hauling trailers? Riding e-bikes?
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Old 12-17-07, 11:23 PM   #17
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They look like they might be made by Worksman.
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