- October 18 is Sixth Annual Shake Your Mailbox Day in Michigan
Lansing, Mich. – Michigan’s county road agencies join force this Saturday, as Gov. Snyder proclaims October 18 the 6th Annual Shake Your Mailbox Day in Michigan. Shake Your Mailbox Day is the annual public awareness campaign encouraging residents to prepare their mailboxes for the winter snow removal season.
“Damage to mailboxes is typically caused by the force of snow thrown from a passing snowplow, not being hit by a snowplow,” said Denise Donohue, County Road Association of Michigan director.
Many people don’t realize the force of the snow being cleared from the road as the plow truck passes. Trucks have to maintain a speed of 25 to 35 mph, although it may look faster, to both apply salt and throw snow away from the road. Shake Your Mailbox Day was initiated to allow homeowners to help the county road agency clear snow properly and protect their mail and newspaper boxes.
Seventy five percent of Michigan’s roads – 90,000 miles – are under county road agency jurisdiction. In 63 of Michigan’s 83 counties, some or all of the state highways are also maintained by a county road agency.
“Shake Your Mailbox Day received quite a few laughs when the concept was announced in 2008, but as homeowners learned the importance of checking their mailbox stability in warmer weather, damage to mailboxes decreased,” Donohue said.
Just as homeowners are encouraged to change batteries in smoke detectors and furnace filters at daylight saving time, the third Saturday in October is reserved for tightening screws and securing mailboxes and posts. If residents have questions on what type of mailboxes are allowed, they should contact their county road agency to learn about specific federal guidelines.
The County Road Association of Michigan represents the interests of Michigan’s 83 county road departments that collectively maintain the fourth largest local road network in the country. Shake Your Mailbox Day began in 2008 as the innovative idea of one county road commission frustrated by resident’s complaints of damaged mailboxes and expanded statewide in 2009.
- 6th Annual Shake Your Mailbox Day Facts
Michigan’s state and local road agencies follow the standards published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in “A Guide for Erecting Mailboxes on Highways.”
- What is Shake Your Mailbox Day?
- Governor Rick Snyder has proclaimed Saturday, October 18, 2014, the 6th Annual Shake Your Mailbox Day in Michigan.
- The day is designated to get the public involved in proactive mailbox maintenance.
- Record snow falls in recent winters have led to an increase in the number of mailboxes damaged by heavy snow thrown from passing plows. Most mailboxes damaged by winter snow removal have become loose or in need of repair after years of use, and damage could have been prevented by proper maintenance;
- Road agencies recognize damage to mail receptacles is an inconvenience to residents and hope to minimize frustrations by encouraging preventative maintenance.
- Although the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and many local road agencies have policies for addressing mailboxes clearly damaged during winter maintenance operations, these policies vary by jurisdiction. One thing is consistent. Road agencies have never assumed responsibility for mailbox damage caused by snow thrown when clearing the roadway; and
- Local community organizations are encouraged to become involved in helping those who may be unable to check for mailbox damage and make needed repairs.
- Shake Your Mailbox Day began as a special project of the Roscommon County Road Commission in 2008. More than half of all county road agencies participated in the first statewide Shake Your Mailbox Day on October 24, 2009.
- What Should Residents Do?
- Residents should prepare mailboxes for winter by tightening screws and ensuring the post and receptacle are secure enough to endure large amounts of thrown snow. If the mailbox moves when shaken, it may not withstand standard snow removal operations and should be repaired or replaced before winter.
- What you need to know about mailboxes?
- 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 specific rules and regulations;
- Each year, 70 to 100 people are killed in accidents involving rural mailboxes. Many others are permanently injured when mailboxes and their supports penetrate a vehicles windshield;
- Although steel tractor wheels, milk cans filled with concrete, bricks and other items are artistic, they present a serious roadside hazard to motorists; and
- They also present a liability risk for homeowners. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) warns “private individuals and corporations, as well as governmental entities, may be liable for their roles in creating or maintaining highway hazards.”
- Only one support should be used per box or group of boxes;
- Wood posts should be no more than 4 ½ inches diameter if round, 4x4 inches if rectangular;
- Metal pipes should be standard steel or aluminum with no more than a 2 inch inside diameter;
- Supports should yield or collapse if struck. They should bend or fall away from a vehicle and not create a severe deceleration;
- Supports cannot be fitted with an anchor plate (metal post), embedded over 24 inches into the ground, or set in concrete;
- Mailboxes must be constructed of sheet metal, plastic or similar weight materials, with weight not to exceed 11 pounds;
- The United States Postal Service asks that roadside mailboxes be 36 to 42 inches off the ground, and 8 to 12 inches behind the shoulder or the curb;
- A mailbox and its support will be considered hazardous to motorists when the support exceeds the described structural limitations; and
- Any mailbox and its support considered to be a hazard should be removed from the road right-of-way and replaced.
WEEKLY ROAD WATCH REPORT
The 2014 Construction season is underway, projects are being scheduled throughout the County and many are being done in phases. Please use the link below to see what is going on in your area.
A brief description of the current week’s work that the Monroe County Road Commission oversees can be found in The Weekly Road Watch Report, You may also be interested to see what is planned throughout the summer construction season by visiting our Construction Projects page.
- THE COUNTY ROAD ASSOCIATION OF MICHIGAN-PRESS RELEASE, AUGUST 26, 2014
Salt Prices Soar – Another Hit to Cash-Strapped Road Agencies
Lansing, Mich. – While Michigan residents are enjoying the dog days of summer, road agencies are quietly preparing for winter. The County Road Association said that state and local road agencies are bracing for a massive increase in salt prices expected this year – yet another hit for cash-strapped road maintenance budgets.
“The harsh winter last year caused many road agencies, and other public entities that cooperatively purchase salt from them – such as school districts and other governmental agencies – to deplete their salt reserves,” said Denise Donohue, director of the County Road Association. “As the demand for early salt delivery increased this year, so did the price.”, read the full Press Release HERE
- MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION'S REALITY CHECK
There are many common myths and misconceptions about transportation in Michigan, from why MDOT replaces "perfectly good" signs to why current funding levels aren't enough to keep roads and bridges in good condition. Please click Transportation Reality Check for all of MDOT's myths and realities.
- MICHIGAN LOCAL ROADS MATTER
Michigan Local Roads Matter is a diverse coalition of groups from across Michigan joined in recognition that local road and bridge network is critical to business and economic development, to schools, to emergency response times and public safety, to seniors, to healthcare, to families, to agriculture, to tourism, to revitalization, to the economy, to every Michigan resident.
Summary: Deficient roadways cost Detroit area drivers $1,600 annually, Lansing area drivers $1,032 annually, and Grand Rapids area drivers $1,027 annually for a total of $7.7 billion statewide. Costs will rise and transportation woes will worsen without a significant funding boost.
This presentation explains some of the Road Commissions duties, funding sources, breakdown of funding allocations, telling statistics and challenges the Road Commissions face in their day to day operations. Click this link to view the presentation: Michigan County Road Commissions.
A citizens' guide to transportation funding - 30 critical questions that you need to know the answers to. For information see SEMscope.
To better serve the development community the Monroe County Economic Development Corporation has facilitated the creation of a guide that will “streamline the development processes” within Monroe County thus saving precious time, money and effort in getting projects up and running in the shortest possible time in our communities.
This Streamlining Guide is a partnership between all the county agencies (including the Monroe County Road Commission), authorities, municipalities and others that may become involved with the planning, permitting, construction and assistance in project developments here in Monroe County.
A recent development which was an outgrowth of the original publication of this document is the adoption of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Monroe County Road Commission and the Monroe County Drain Commission. This agreement was specifically designed to streamline and speed up the review of development proposals by these agencies.