That’s ridiculous!


This blog entry from a newspaper in a medium-sized Upstate New York city will be of interest to any postal system or data processor who deals which address system changes. .  (Observant readers will notice the capital letter at the beginning of the word “Upstate”, as is appropriate for the land of the editor’s birth. The city of Troy is also home to one of the great engineering universities of the world, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.)

The uniqueness here is that the reporter captures the major reasons for the change and the public reaction so succinctly. Some of the public hate it and feel neglected, if not violated.  Most acknowledge they will have a long time getting used to the change. And public officials assert that no one complained or expressed a concern.

So here is the next ordinarily common occurrence where one well-intentioned civil function, the emergency services, have enlisted the well-intentioned assistance of civil authority and the postal system to change addresses. In this case it appears only that the name of the street is changed. I have no idea what chaos will follow this change, but without robust change of address systems and delivery point validation systems plugged into the data hygiene industry’s network,these poor folk will not be receiving their bank statements, pension checks, letters from relatives who write but once or twice every two or three years, and, perhaps with some relief, solicitation for donations to charities which their mothers, dead some 20 years, used to support.

In my own case my street name was left unmolested but my address was modified from  4 to 7 and my 4 became my neighbor’s number 1. My neighbor’s former 1 became my number 7. Believe it or not, some 10 years later I still frequently receive my neighbor’s mail.

There are too many players in the address and letter delivery business to leave this to amateurs. And in my view, anyone who has some responsibility for affecting this particular change and has not consulted the data industry is, by definition, an amateur.

It truly must be time to allocate each deliverable address a geophysical location to which may be appended any random number or appellation which the emergency services, government authorities, my alumni Association or my mother in law might wish to give it. But, so long as the  emergency services,other relevant government agencies and my bank know where I am, the postal system’s electronic database ought, in this day and age, be able to get anything with my name on it and any of a series of randomly changed titles to that place, to me.   Thoughts and comments welcome.

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