Sign of the times

Ronda Kaysen, reporting for the New York Times:

While rural communities struggle to fill empty stations, New York City has a different problem. Property values are so high that stations are being converted to more profitable uses, like high-rise buildings, giving drivers fewer places to fill their tanks. The city had 809 gas stations in 2011, down from 872 in 2006, according to the Department of Consumer Affairs. Of the remaining gas stations, only 44 are in Manhattan.

Decreasing profits on gas, rising property values, and lower demand due to fewer and more fuel efficient cars are putting pressure on big city gas stations. No one is pretending that this is the beginning of the end, but it does seem like yet another negative feedback loop for cars in large cities like New York. Fewer cars mean fewer gas stations, which makes gas harder to find, which makes owning a car less convenient. 

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