The Rochester Department of Public Works (DPW) asks residents who have mailboxes at the road edge to prepare for winter by shaking their mailbox.
The initiative is intended to prevent mailboxes from being damaged by snow pushed off the road by snowplows. When snowplows go by, most times, they don’t actually touch the mailboxes. However, the force of snow thrown from the roadway is enough to knock down a loose mailbox. Damage can often be prevented by proper routine maintenance.
Taking time to tighten screws and secure mailboxes to posts early in the year can reduce winter headaches in the future. If the mailbox moves when shaken, it probably won’t withstand standard snow-removal operations and should be repaired or replaced before winter.
Although Rochester has a policy in place regarding replacement of mailboxes that have clearly been hit by a snowplow, DPW has never assumed responsibility for mailbox damage caused by standard snow-removal operations.
Mailboxes are one of the only objects allowed by law to be placed in the road right of way. The location and construction of mailboxes must conform to the rules and regulations of the U.S. Postal Service and standards established by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
If you have questions on what is permitted, please contact the Rochester DPW at (248) 651-5165.