Residents of Glendale have been experiencing an identity crisis for years. The area’s ZIP code, 11385, is oftentimes referred to as Ridgewood or even Flushing, the larger postal division that both are a part of.
Congressman Bob Turner (D-Queens, Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) hosted a press conference Friday addressing the issue in front of the Glendale Post Office Station. The building is labeled Flushing while marked with the shared Ridgewood-Glendale ZIP code.
Turner said it is an “irksome problem that has existed for a very long time.”
The community’s original request for a unique ZIP code, 11384, was denied, but both men agreed that progress was being made. Glendale will be granted “Preferred Last Line” status
The 11385 ZIP code will still pair Glendale with Ridgewood, but the “Preferred Last Line” identity will require the U.S. Postal Service to update its software to recognize Glendale with the ZIP code as well.
The USPS divided Queens into five districts — Long Island City, Jamaica, Far Rockaway, Flushing and Floral Park — when the five boroughs of New York were consolidated in 1898.
Miller, who has lived in Glendale for 44 years, expressed his personal concerns regarding the issue.
“Every time we order something it comes up Ridgewood or Flushing,” he said, adding their ultimate goal is for the ZIP code to automatically come up as Glendale.
Miller and Turner, who have been working on the issue for several months, have gotten in touch with Frank Calabrese, district manager of the USPS, whom they are waiting for to approve their application. In addition to the application, Turner and Miller presented Calabrese with a petition from more than 1,000 residents requesting the unique ZIP code.
Miller said they will need to get the parameters of Glendale and then confirm them with the community board.
Bob Kozlowski, first vice president of the Glendale Property Owners Association, was also at the conference. He said the issue was initiated by the residents, not politicians.
“We’ve been working on this project for about seven or eight years,” Kozlowski said. “We’ve gotten somewhere, but not much.”
The change would help to alleviate delivery delays and cause fewer issues for people when applying for insurance, Kozlowski said.
Calabrese will have to analyze the area and its population to see if it qualifies for its own ZIP code.
“Based on population, Glendale should have its own ZIP code,” Kozlowski said, “it’s just an issue of being granted permission.”
Another obstacle that stands in the community’s way is the budget issue, he said. The U.S. Postal Service has been facing severe budget cuts for the past few years. The new ZIP code would require a change in documentation and post office labeling, Kozlowski said.
Despite the obstacles, Turner, Miller and Kozlowski intend to keep pushing for what they want.
“You’re supposed to have an identity,” Miller said. “Glendale should have its own identity.”