Need to pick up a UPS package? The car-free are out of luck
Reader Nacim B. sent along his frustrating experience trying to visit UPS' Landover warehouse as a car-free resident.
I came home one day to find a final delivery notice from UPS (I swear I never saw the other two!) and then was instructed by their website that my only option is to pick it up from their Landover warehouse.
I checked Google Maps, and while I saw that it was a ways out from where I live in Columbia Heights, I also noticed that it was pretty close to the New Carrollton Metro (I don't have a car) and I don't mind walking. I didn't find out until I got there that portions of the walk have no sidewalks, and one portion in particular is literally only passable if you run through car lanes.
The entire trip one-way took me about an hour and a half, and Google tells me it takes about 25 minutes by car.
The intersection of Ardwick Ardmore Road and Pennsy Drive is the real problem. There is no sidewalk on the approach from the east, just a desire path. There's also no crosswalk despite the slip lane.
The northern southbound lane of Pennsy Drive. is now widened so the western shoulder is now nowhere near the intersection. The eastern shoulder narrows down into nothingness and faces a very dangerous blind corner behind a tree from motorists turning from Ardwick.
There is literally no way to cross this intersection either legally or safely. I had to run across the northern portion and tried to be as visible as possible to turning traffic.
This is what the intersection looks like coming in from Pennsy Drive:
Photos by the author.
And here's what that blind corner looks like:
Looking more closely on Google Maps afterward, I could've improved my walk a bit by going on the sidewalk on Garden City Drive, but that would've only avoided me the shoulder on Pennsy Drive. The real issue is how impassable the above intersection is to pedestrians.
I'm not sure what UPS expects from people without a vehicle. FedEx's warehouse is at the intersection of Florida and New York Avenues in DC, a destination that's very transit-accessible and easily bikeable and walkable. Given how remote the UPS warehouse is, a reasonable solution would allow package recipients the option of picking up their missed packages from their nearby UPS location. That would've saved me about 3 hours today along with some serious risk from automotive traffic.
The last picture isn't as bad in the scheme of things, but it's illustrative. It's the entrance to the UPS warehouse that has the sidewalk completely fenced off.
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