News Aug 29, 2018 at 4:00 am

Gas stations in Seattle are disappearing.

A gas station on First Hill—a less common sight in the city these days. The Stranger



It's likely that the gas station you lament tore down a perfectly serviceable pre-war building, turning the corner into a "missing tooth" from an urban design standpoint. The fewer we have, the more we'll look like a place for people first, not cars.

And, of course, they're an environmental disaster.

Note: none of this applies to Salmon Service Centers. I need propane!


But I can drive my car to gas stations, they don't need to be on my block. Besides, the ones nearest to me are sketchy as ballz because city.


@1 - Of course, Seattle needs to be a safe space that doesn't offend the delicate sensibilities of urbanists.


A good reason to get an electric car, provided you have a place to charge it. No gas station needed.


@3: you let me know when you move next to one, or next to a used car dealership on aurora, man of the people.

we're not in danger of losing all the gas stations. they just won't be next to light rail stops. whoop de fucking do.


Come to Beacon Hill. We have three in our “business district”. Two are right across the street from each other.


On Rainier Ave, Safeway tore down the Silver Fork restaurant and put IN a gas station.


Next: home delivery of gas to your car by underpaid scooter riders carrying gas pods made of cheap plastic because capitalism.


@6: That's convenient for the Cadillac Eldorado Vel-DuRay.


This price disparity between dedicated gas stations (Chevron, 76, BP) and grocery gas stations (Fred Meyer, Safeway, Costco) is so significant, it's worth it to drive out of your way to get gas at one of the latter.


Good points. My car's out the apartment window. Just sitting there. Costing money.


We need tiny gas stations to solve this crisis.


I’ll keep my car, thanks. Some of us don’t live our lives entirely within walking distance of home. (And to all of you virtuous moochers who don’t have cars but then constantly ask for rides — offer gas money!)


@8, I thought she lived on Capitol Hill?


Maybe we need to re-think what a gas station looks like. Larger service stations and highway pitstops will always exist to provide drivers what they need in terms of snacks, toilets, and a new tire, but what if we look at the ways to modernize an in-city station?

There isn't much of a need to be a gas station & bodega if bodegas exist in the small area. I understand the danger of gas stations and the requirements for underground tanks, but this may be a time to look into alternative gas-only micro stations. Maybe they're even part of the developments themselves.

(if this truly is a problem, and one that needs solving)


There's a Chevron station at 45th and Roosevelt, three blocks away from the closed Chevron Nathalie laments. And there's a Shell station two blocks from the still-open Chevron station. Both of those are within four blocks of the light rail station scheduled to open in three years. I hope both those gas stations are gone by then.


@12: did someone say you had to get rid of your car? do as you like.


On the one hand, if we lived in a city where you didn't need a car because the urban infrastructure was designed to move people efficiently, this wouldn't be an issue. But because this is America, the city was designed around everyone owning a car. So now retrofitting the city towards a human-centered design is going to be tortuously slow AND expensive.

As the world moves from cheap fossil fuels to more expensive energies America will be dragging it's feet through the mud, resisting change at every turn, falling behind. Oh well, it was fun to be on top once!


Raindrop dear, At the risk of showing what a cliche I am, I drive a Nissan Leaf. But Mr. Vel-DuRay has a Ford F-150 (for manly things) and an antique Range Rover (for city butchiness). We also have a boat and a vintage trailer, both of which we never, ever, use.


@17: Sanctimonious pouting at its best.


Yes, a pvt property sold to developers for a sum I wish I had, and yet it reads like part of the city’s ongoing war on cars. In line with reducing streets to one lane, speed bumps every two blocks and 4 way stops every five, further narrowing the roads with hardly used bike lanes that do absolutely nothing to ease traffic for the vast majority of us.


@19 - POUT! But mostly just facing reality. Just like the fact that Seattle had multiple opportunities to prepare it's peninsulas for light rail, but didn't (bcz cars). And now has to pay extra to retrofit the city for inadequate train service.

oh forget it.


There's probably half as many gas stations in San Francisco as there was 15 years ago*. There's almost no markup on gas so, from a business standpoint, they're just glorified snack shops. Soon as the land is worth enough (cleaning the dirt around those leaky tanks is expensive and time-consuming), I can totally see why an owner would cash out.

*That was a hyperbolic guess, but low and behold the number is actually ~40%. Manhattan has only 50 gas stations left for 1.7M residents.


@me — LO and behold derp


That construction on 15th and Market isn't going to be apartments. I think it even says so on the construction sign. It's going to be an office building and on the ground floor a mini-Target.

I wonder why more gas stations are being torn down, but then think the ground must be badly contaminated.

There's that weird station on 24th and Market that advertises it's unleaded for $4.61/gallon.


@21: Maybe you'll feel better after reminding yourself that hindsight is 20/20.


@19 - What's your read on @20?


@26 - Pouting I agree with.


This has got to be the most Just Arrived From California thing that's ever been published in The Stranger.

Maybe next Nathalie can do a post explaining what Mexican food is SUPPOSED to be like, and how can a whole city just not understand this.


Eff the OP. She can fuck off in her own car. I'm keeping mine as I want to help global warming to continue.


@7 You joke but sadly app-based delivery of gasoline is a thing and there are multiple startups involved. is one example


Some of us fossils remember the gas crisis of the '70's and gas lines [in Seattle!] that stretched for blocks.
Modern people take a lot for granted. I think you would be shocked at how quickly things begin to unravel once you have to queue up for gas- folks get testy!


The shell station on 15 was stupid as was always 10 cents or more than the safeway across the street...

Also whats with the weird gas station on market that charges like a buck more...


I am not worried about the convenience if gas. How am I going to get my cheap 40 of 8 Ball without gas stations. I also need to buy pepperoni sticks so I can get the runs and shit by the court house. Thank you, Natalie for pointing out my tragedy.


So gas stations can’t make enough to stay. They make crap money compared to big, dense buildings.

What’s that tell you about fossil fuels at this point in our history?


Gas? So 20th century. Thought all you good progressives had EVs.


"I should get rid of my car eventually. And so should you." And of course the obligatory Stranger ending, where a PC-compliant "reporter" winds up by drifting from reporting into hectoring and virtuous advocacy. No cred for the Stranger.


Okay.....deep breath (meaning myself) ....I know we're all talking about Seattle and King County, here, and I live in Bellingham......but.....Nathalie, one thing I will never do is give up my blessedly thrifty, beloved little VW--originally my mother's car back in the day. He runs like a champ and I'm lucky to still have him.
@36 warrentrout: My Volkswagen SuperBeetle is not electric, but air-cooled with excellent gas mileage.


I read the I, Anonymous post about the bus. I'm never giving up my car.


@38 - I was devastated when Kinsey Millhone gave up her VW Bug.


@38: Really? I pegged you as a Cadillac Escalade owner. Wow.


@39 & @40 My Bumhole is Tiffany Blue: I know, right? You just can't part with a classic!
Rest in peace, little '73, Kinsey, and Sue Grafton. The alphabet ends in Y.
@41: Nope. I am a certified Volkswagen Bug nut and have been ever since the oil embargoes, sugarlips. The closest thing our family ever got to having a gas guzzler was my dad's 1971 Ford LTD convertible.


Has anyone who comments here ever had a child or an elderly parent they needed to take care of? Ever had to run a business that involves actual things requiring delivery and meetings that require multiple destinations and load zones? Or maybe run a business while you also care for a child and an elderly parent? Try that entirely on bus and bike and then get back to me. Also think about how many uber and Lyft rides you have taken and all your friends have taken in the past month and where the gas to run those cars comes from. Gas stations are essential infrastructure and this trend will create serious problems (including MORE use of fossil fuels as drivers are forced to go to the edge of the city for gas) if it continues.

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