May 23, 2006

Wait In Line For Gas: Get A Traffic Ticket

The increasing price of fuel in recent weeks has made Troutdale's Flying J truck stop a very popular place. There have been regular periods of traffic jams and gridlock, also known as the I-84 exit 17 Vortex of Pain.

Frontage Road, where Flying J and other businesses are located, is the responsibility of ODOT. When discussions with ODOT have been held regarding gridlock on Frontage Road, their suggestion has been that Troutdale Police should write traffic citations for those motorists waiting in the long line from Flying J that spills out to Frontage Road. ODOT's logic: Hey, they're parking on a state road. That's illegal, so write 'em up!

Troutdale Police Chief Nelson has wisely not taken ODOT's advice. After all, it doesn't make sense to penalize folks for the crime of looking for the cheapest fuel.

Other outrageous suggestions I have heard, not from ODOT but from other government officials, include:

-Increasing the city gas tax to make Flying J's prices more expensive.
-Placing signs on I-84 warning motorists not to take exit 17 for fuel.
-Condemning the Flying J property, essentially putting them out of business.

I still can't believe someone actually came up with those suggestions. It boggles the mind, and puts me at a loss for words.

The only thought that comes to mind is, "We're from the government, and we're here to help".


Chris Snethen said...

Freaking amazing. I, for one, will make the trip out to the Flying J every now and then when I find myself east of 181st and low on fuel. It's a nice drive and I feel like I'm sticking it to the man in some small way. I generally gas up at the 76 on Interstate which can get backed up onto city streets as well. Portland Police haven't made too much of an issue of it as of yet. Hey, when you sell the cheapest gas around, you're bound to draw a crowd. Thank you and your police chief for not whacking us for trying to save a couple of pennies. I'll try and spread a few extra bucks around next time I'm out there.

Anonymous said...

Funny Chris mentions the 76 station on Interstate. Between that 76 station and Flying J they both have consistently low prices for fuel.

Both also are supplied by ConocoPhillips. So you got to ask. How is it that these two locations can supply fuel so much cheaper than other locations? Flying J in particular. If you look online as well you will notice that Flying J in Troutdale is consistently lower in price than other Flying J locations. This as well makes you wonder how they do it all costs being equal.

My guess turns out that ConocoPhillips sells diesel and gasoline cheaper to certain station owners and therefore in essence are unfairly gouging customers at all other locations where there is a higher price.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to ask the people who wait in line to gas up:

*How much did you save filling up your tank there as oppossed to a station with no lines?

*How much fuel did you use to get there and wait in line, idling? (And how much did that cost?)

*Wouldn't you rather be doing something other than waiting in line for gas?

My point is: some people will burn a few dollars of fuel and spend their free time to get gas a few pennies per gallon less. Doesn't make sense to me.