Ask the commander, Aug. 29, 2013

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Col. David Carstens, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden           commander

Col. David Carstens, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden commander

Mail operations

Joan A. asked: Why is mail only put into mailboxes one day a week. For the two months since I arrived in Wiesbaden, I have only gotten one big bunch of mail on Wednesday. I have checked my box everyday but only get mail on Wednesday.

Response: Joan, our hard-working postal employees sort mail on a daily basis and mail is put into boxes five days a week — to include Fridays when the Post Office was closed for furlough. Often large quantities of mail are pitched on Wednesdays because that is the day surface mail arrives (magazines and various packages). Please rest assured that the staff is distributing mail as quickly as it arrives.

Outstanding service

A community member commented on ICE: Tamekia Reed at the Passport/SOFA/Ration Card Office is amazing. She was so helpful and so informative. She is so happy, polite and nice — one of the nicest people I have been a customer of in a long time. Amazing.

Response: Thanks for your ICE feedback and thanks to Ms. Reed for always putting the customer first. Keep up the great work.

Furlough closings

Marin N. asked: Is the Commissary still closed on Mondays? I’d heard that all furloughs have been cancelled; is that true?

Response: You may have missed the last issue of the Herald Union which reported that with the Secretary of Defense’s announcement curtailing the number of furlough days from 11 to six, local services would be returning to normal hours of operation. That means that, as of last week, the Wiesbaden Commissary is once again open on Mondays and the Postal Service Center is again open on Fridays.

Hainerberg traffic suggestion

Mandy L. commented: Changing Texas Strasse to one way in front of the Middle School and Hainerberg Elementary is a great idea. However it is unclear whether or not left turns are still permitted when coming up Virginia Strasse to Texas Strasse (in between the middle and high schools). Where exactly does the one-way zone begin? I think it would be best to begin the one-way zone at Mississippi Strasse as the crosswalk across from the chapel creates a significant backup with two-way traffic during school drop-off and pick-up. Additionally, I think it would significantly cut down on traffic congestion and potential danger to pedestrians if Virginia Strasse was also one way southbound toward Florida Strasse going past the high and middle schools. This would force all traffic coming up from the commissary to turn right and divert around the school area and significantly cut down on the traffic at the Virginia and Texas Strasse intersections between the middle and high schools.

Response: Mandy, thank you for your suggestions. Currently the traffic flow is indicated by signs installed in accordance with German traffic ordinances as the streets currently belong to the city of Wiesbaden. But we will look at how we may be able to adjust the signage to make it less confusing to drivers. At this time it is not feasible to change Florida Strasse to one way going toward the commissary as the school buses stage along that road and all the way down Virginia Strasse to pick up children in the afternoon. There is no other area in Hainerberg available for them to do this. This led to the decision to start the one way on Texas Strasse at the intersection of Florida Strasse rather than Mississippi Strasse, so that we would not be pushing all of the traffic entering Texas Strasse past the elementary and middle schools. This is the first time that we have changed the traffic pattern in front of the schools in an effort to ease congestion and make it a little safer for the children walking to school and there may be adjustments made once school starts. Thanks again for taking the time to help us make Hainerberg a safer place for all pedestrians.