The Presence of PODS Storing Holiday Gifts in St. Paul Poses Problems

Updated: 12/11/2013 7:55 PM By: Beth McDonough

A new plan for faster package delivery over the holidays is causing problems with some Twin Cities residents. They believe the storage facilities are unsightly and unsafe.

UPS set up six of them in St. Paul and four of them in Minneapolis.  One of them is right outside of Paul Roitenberg's home in Highland Park, "there's the pod, nothing more than a box, an ugly box at that"

Smack dab in the street and in the way, "there's gonna be an accident," he said.

Roitenberg says the big steel box suddenly showed up around Thanksgiving. That's when somebody plunked down the POD, a portable on demand storage shed. 

Neighbors don't know who did it, why, what's in it, or when it will go away.  They were concerned enough to call St. Paul City Hall. 

Turns out UPS put the POD in Highland Park and five other spots in town. A UPS spokesperson told KSTP it's part of a pilot project to offer a short-term solution.

The mini-warehouses are stuffed with holiday packages and Christmas gifts. They're in padlocked containers, but they're also in public view which worries Tatiana Bedell. "I don't know why you leave them in the middle of the street first of all and I feel like they should be safer especially if those were for kids," she said.

UPS did get permits from city officials to set up the PODS back on Nov. 26. The point was to save delivery time with the temporary distribution centers. But the permits were revoked when city leaders learned UPS didn't do something it was required to; ask property owners permission to put a POD in front of their homes.

As we pulled up to a POD on Beechwood Avenue at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, we spotted a UPS worker in action, we asked when the POD would be removed, "they're coming to pick them up today."