Most Read: Local

Post Now
Posted at 06:34 PM ET, 07/26/2011

Customers voice dismay at prospect of post office closings

The annoucement that thousands of post offices, including dozens in the Distrct, Maryland and Virginia, are expected to be closed was not welcome news in Chevy Chase and Suitland, home to two of the areas post offices on the chooping block.

Beverly Spellman, a Chevy Chase resident who lives across the street from the office on Conneccticut Avenue, checks her husband’s Post Office box nearly every day.

Spellman said the workers at the Chevy Chase office are friendly, and she knows them by first name. She said the post office, which is in the same building as the local police station and community center, has a “community feel” that she never felt at other offices in the area.

Nestled in Chevy Chase Village in an olive stucco community center with a landscaped yard and red brick walkways, the office is surrounded by looming shady trees and quaint homes with perfectly pruned lawns. A small hallway inside leads to rows of Post Office boxes, which many residents said are used frequently by elderly community members and those who work at home.

With the office, which is at 5910 Connecticut Ave. NW, slated to close, Spellman said she is not looking forward to using what she she said is her next nearest location, at 7001 Arlington Road in Bethesda.

“Every time I’ve gone to [the one on] Arlington Road, the lines are always so long,” she said. “I just dread it, it’s awful.”

Stephanie Grill, a Chevy Chase resident who lives about half a mile from the post office, said nearly all of the Chevy Chase residents she knows keeps a Post Office box at the Chevy Chase Post Office. She has her own box which she checks two to three times a week.

Closing the office, she said, “is going to be really upsetting” for her and another community members.

She enjoys the relaxed feel, friendly staff and short lines at the Chevy Chase office.

“It’s part of the culture of the town,” she said of the office, nestled in a quaint stucco community center and surrounded by shady trees and suburban houses. “It has a small-town kind of feel.”

“It’s an easy in and out,” she said, comparing the post office to other local offices that she said have less favorable lines and staff.

She groaned when she thought about having to use another office further away in Bethesda, which she called a “great big pain in the neck.”

“You’re fighting the mail trucks getting in and out of there.” she said “The interior is way tinier, but there’s tons more people there,” she said.

The Suitland Post Office is housed in a brick building on busy Suitland Road near a gas station and a laundry and not far from several small shopping centers. Inside it has old-fashioned silver and brass mailboxes and glass-covered bulletin boards. Several standing fans help fight the heat.

On Tuesday, the station has a steady stream of customers, although the line moves fast and never seems to linger.

A postal worker who spoke on the condition that she not be identified said the branch manager had called Tuesday morning and told the staff that the branch was chosen for closure.

The worker said the employees were “shocked.” and that they haven’t received any information about what it means for their jobs.

With no bulletins or announcements posted about the impending closure, many customers expressed disbelief and anger about losing their neighborhood post office.

Suitland resident Norman Thorpe, 69, said he’s upset and disappointed. He runs a home-based business and says he comes to this post office almost daily. “It’s unacceptable. I been coming her about three times a week for 30 years. It’s busy all the time so I don’t know why their closing.”

A former mail carrier himself, he said he doesn’t think it will save money but will worsen customer service.

Bernice Eubanks, 62, Ft Washington resident said she works nearby and uses this post office often. “It shouldn’t be closing because there’s not another in this area.” She plans on calling her congressman to appeal the closing.

Anwan Glover, 33, the go-go star known as “Big G”, says although he lives in Clinton he comes here because they have the best customer service. “ This my favorite post office, Ill probably have to take a ride all the way out to Waldorf now.”

Not everyone was upset about the closing.

Clara Wheaton, 68, a Suitland resident of 50 years said “It’s time they closed it because of the parking lot. It’s dangerous. I’m glad its closing.”

By Sarah Khan and Jillian Sowah  |  06:34 PM ET, 07/26/2011

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company