Open letter and comment to Alexandria City in regards to the North Henry Liberty Station’s application to extend hours of operations (SUP2016-00064).
Hello Ms. Horowitz,
I am a resident of North Henry Street and live in close proximity to 442 N Henry Street, the subject of SUP2016-00064. I would like to express my support for the proposed amendment to extend North Henry Liberty Service Station’s (MetroMotor’s) hours of operation. I can attest to their quality as neighbors and their care and commitment to the betterment of our community. Below I will provide multiple examples of their commitment, which I have personally witnessed since moving to my home in March of 2015.
Throughout my time as their neighbor, I have seen Hamood and his team make numerous proactive efforts to seek feedback from the surrounding community for actions that they can take to improve the neighborhood. Just this past week, I mentioned to Joseph, a member of the MetroMotor team, that litter dropped by pedestrians along a two-block stretch of sidewalk where there are no curbside trash cans needed to be addressed. The MetroMotor team responded by assigning a staff member to sweep up the litter that was left on the curb and also indicated their support for sponsoring the purchase of corner trash and recycling cans, similar to the ones that are found in other areas of Alexandria where there is high foot traffic. Such is an example of the business community supporting efforts that are desperately needed, but do not fit necessarily fit within the standard processes of the city (e.g. The city denied a request earlier this year for a public trash at the intersection of Oronoco and North Henry Street based on the area’s current foot traffic rating).
As a second example, when I moved into my home, I witnessed the transformation of what had been an overgrown and largely unusable parking lot behind my home. I heard stories of illegal activities common to that lot and I saw numerous evidence of such left on the ground as trash. Soon after Hamood took over the North Henry Liberty Service Station, the lot was cleared, fenced, and is now well-maintained by members of the neighborhood that Hamood and his team hire monthly to pick up trash and pull weeds,
As a third example, let me attest to Hamood‘s efforts to restyle the North Henry Street Service Station to be more consistent with the style and character of Old Town and the Parker-Gray Historic District. Efforts included adding brick pillars to the gas pumps and planting flowers along the fence of their property, areas that are commonly neglected by others in the industry.
These continual efforts exemplify MetroMotor’s value as corporate citizens of the neighborhood. To directly address the extension of operating hours, I feel that such an addition would be welcomed. Currently, the intersection of North Henry Street and Oronoco becomes very dark at night after the North Henry Livery Service Station closes. This raises some security concerns and disjoints the residents and businesses on North Henry Street, north of Oronoco Street, from businesses on King Street. By extending the operating hours of the station, the lights themselves will provide peace of mind to pedestrians and encourage commerce.
Though I will not presume to speak on behalf of all of the neighbors of the 400 block of North Henry Street, I know that we have all reaped benefits from the responsibility and stewardship that the MetroMotor team continually exercises. I look forward to their continued commitment to making our small part of Alexandria the best it can be.