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DNC security calls for moving mailboxes, news racks, some trash bins

Changes part of security measures for DNC; nearly 40 postal sites affected

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Mailboxes, newspaper racks and concrete trash bins will soon disappear from many uptown streets – at least temporarily – as the Charlotte Department of Transportation complies with security protocols for the Democratic National Convention.

The U.S. Postal Service sent out a memo this week saying it intends to move or seal shut mailboxes and chutes at nearly 40 locations.

Meanwhile, publications like The Charlotte Observer have been told by the transportation department to remove all stand-alone newspaper boxes within the Interstate 277-Interstate 77 loop by Tuesday.

If the boxes aren’t removed, the city’s Special Services division will remove the racks the following day. Large modular street racks containing multiple magazines and newspapers must be emptied of publications by Aug. 28, and will be locked and secured on Aug. 29.

Besides the Observer, the DOT sent notifications to publications such as USA Today, The New York Times, The Charlotte Post, QNotes and Creative Loafing. All must comply, officials said.

Robyn Ashley, retail sales manager for the Observer, said home delivery in uptown will continue during the DNC. But the security measures will prevent newspapers from being sold at 42 uptown locations, including 16 racks on Tryon Street.

“Some we won’t have access to or the business will be closed during the DNC,” said Ashley.

“We will primarily serve the uptown area through the hotels all week long. Everything outside the loop will be business as usual, but uptown will be locked down.”

Postal officials said 40 sites affected by changes were in the uptown area, with the exception of two spots in the 5500 block of Josh Birmingham Highway north of Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

The postal changes begin Monday with the removal of some blue mail-collection boxes and sealing of mail chutes. All will be restored on Sept. 10, officials said.

Mail service will not be interrupted in uptown, and customers in the restricted zone have been notified of any changes to their delivery methods, officials said.

A spokeswoman for the city said there was no plan for large-scale removal of metal trash bins or benches in uptown, as long as they were bolted down.

However, a little more than 100 removable trash bins (made of pebble stone and concrete) will be hauled away from uptown sidewalks during the DNC, said an official with solid waste services.

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