‘Confused’ and ‘slightly outraged’: Joel McHale raises concern over Vashon postal delivery for some

VASHON ISLAND, Wash. — The U.S. Post Office has decided to end door-to-door mail delivery for some residents living on Vashon Island, despite the residents having had that type of delivery for more than 60 years.

That change has hit a nerve with Hollywood comedian, actor and Mercer Island native Joel McHale, as the curtailment will occur in areas where homes are on extremely narrow roadways, allow for limited ability for truck drivers to turn around and where postal workers say they have safety concerns.

McHale told KIRO 7 that he is “confused and slightly outraged” over a rash decision that was made by the U.S. Post Office.

Residents on Point Vashon Drive were told that mail deliveries would be stopped for people like McHale’s mother-in-law.

She is sick and elderly, and someone has to collect the mail for her.

McHale told KIRO 7 that the change was allegedly made following a temporary worker’s safety concerns about narrow roads in the area.

KIRO 7 reached out to the post office and it turns out the post office recently received new mail trucks that are slightly larger than the former ones, and a substitute driver not from the island had complained to his union about the unsafe road conditions.

“Mail (has) been delivered to this street for 60 years since the street existed, so for this temporary worker to say, ‘I feel unsafe’ and for it to stop, I thought it was absolutely ridiculous there was no any sort of, ‘Hey, we’ll send a different driver who doesn’t feel unsafe on a road that’s been driven on for 60 years or we’ll train a driver,’ nothing like that,” McHale said.

KIRO 7 learned that no one at USPS has explained what the temporary driver meant by feeling “unsafe” on the narrow roads.

Instead, residents like McHale’s mother-in-law were told they could pick up their mail from the post office in person, which McHale said has taken up to 40 minutes at times. Residents were also told they could purchase mailboxes that USPS would install.

While garbage trucks, Amazon delivery trucks and other delivery services are still driving the roads, McHale said the postal service needs to address the issue.

McHale said there was no consultation and only dictation as no formal records or reports have been given or released to residents who have been impacted. He said, “I will publicly keep talking about it.”

Because USPS is a federal service, any legal action immediately becomes a federal case, making it more difficult and lengthy to pursue.