The infamous Chevron gas station near the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Malcolm X Avenue SE, which has inspired enough hate-laced prose to fill the Library of Congress, has undergone a makeover. Is it just a fresh coat of paint, or has the station cleaned up its act? According to commentators on the blog Southeast Socialite, problems in the past have included attendants not updating the price of gas, pumps routinely giving free showers to customers, and broken credit card machines. The community recently mobilized through old-fashioned means—writing letters—and more modern methods, such as hounding the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) through Twitter.
As a result, DCRA began an investigation and Chevron de-branded the station—ultimately removing all of its signage Oct. 26. The station now belongs to Crown Central, which painted the gas pumps white and added new lighting. But the Advoc8te, from the blog Congress Heights on the Rise, is doubtful that changing the brand is going to make much of a difference.
“The problems with safety, customer service, and operations are directly related to the poor management…some business owners have taken advantage of the situation [in Ward 8] and become complacent, if not downright negligent,” she said in an email to City Desk. Although she has yet to speak to anyone who has visited the gas station, she says, the gas station is “going to have to do what every other responsible business is going to have to do. Earn our business.”
Photo by Martin Deutsch, Creative Commons Attribution License