Council to watch traffic with Costco opening gas bar

Daniel MacEachern
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Costco opened its new gas bar Wednesday afternoon with the price of regular four cents cheaper than other St. John's pumps. Photo by Daniel MacEachern/The Telegram

A St. John's councillor says the city will keep an eye on any traffic problems which may arise on Stavanger Drive from Costco's opening of its new gas bar.

The gas began flowing for Costco members - regular at 124.9 cents per litre, four cents less than most other pumps in town, and 130.9 for premium - on Wednesday afternoon at Costco's Stavanger Drive location.

Coun. Sandy Hickman expressed concern earlier this month that deep discounts would snarl traffic in the area.

"We did approve it because it certainly is an appropriate use for Costco, and they do it nationally, and council has no problem with that; it fits all the regulations," he said Wednesday afternoon.

"I did express a concern that it's located in the back of the lot as opposed to out front where traffic would flow more easily off the internal roadway system."

Hickman said the four-cent difference meant that he's "not so panicked" as he was about long lineups when he thought Costco gas would be discounted by 10 cents. "At this point we'll be keeping an eye on things and we'll give it some time and see how it goes before we do anything drastic or even discuss it at this point," he said.

Local media inquiries were directed to a Costco representative in Ottawa.

Ron Damiani, Costco spokesman, said the store is keeping gas slightly cheaper by not accepting Visa and Mastercard, which means it doesn't have to pay fees to credit-card companies for transactions. They're also offering just two grades of gasoline - no mid-grade - and no diesel.

"The fact that we only carry two ... grades of gasoline means that there's that much less infrastructure and investment," he said.

Damiani said he didn't know what council's concerns were.

"We do extensive amounts of traffic studies, and I'm sure the city does extensive amounts of traffic studies to be able to properly evaluate what the impacts are going to be," he said. Twitter: TelegramDaniel


Organizations: Costco, Visa, Mastercard

Geographic location: St. John's, Ottawa

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Recent comments

  • Don
    July 02, 2011 - 08:26

    Cheap gas ! Only four cents cheaper,who's gonna drive all the way down to cosco to fill up! I'll burn more gas going down there ,then what I would save to buy gas there. Come on, I rather go to the Orange store and buy gas for full price and get yay points. They have a better points system than any body else!

  • Tom
    July 01, 2011 - 10:50

    Sandy, the problem isn't the gas bar. The problem is Stavanger and it's approaches was designed to handle the traffic of a small industrial park (the Airport Industrial Park was the original development for that road) not a major retail shopping district bigger than the Avalon Mall! Council continues to bungle this area. Prime example, Council commissioned a traffic study that recommended adding a third lane to Torbay Rd Northbound from Major's Path. Great idea, would greatly help the traffic flow. What does the city do right after the study? Spend a huge amount on installing and upgrading the Fire hydrants on the northbound side between Major's Path and Stavanger without building the third lane. Now if the third lane is installed in the near future, the city spends even more money to move that brand new Hydrant installation to allow for the third lane! Just blows the mind!

  • wayne
    June 30, 2011 - 14:12

    god forbid that there ever be any competition for gas prices.. I hope that the traffic is lined up for a mile and Irving and the others lose a LOT of business. Good for Costco ! I wish they would set up a gas bar in the west end too.

  • Brian
    June 30, 2011 - 13:53

    That is the stundest comment Ive heard in a while ...Hickman not panicked because the gas was only 4 cents cheaper !! As for the gas lot it not better to have it far away from the main road so it doesn't conjest road traffic ?! ...what do I know ...Im not an expert planner like those who did the stavanger mess ...omg !

  • Susan
    June 30, 2011 - 12:23

    Ultramar (Corner Store) just reintroduced the 3.5 cents a litre immediate reduction if you buy 25 or more litres on Wed & Thurs only - for a limited time - with their free Valu-max card - that you have to order by mail & or at - it takes maybe 3 weeks to arrive. I believe they 1st brought this in a when there was a lot of talk about Costco maybe 3 months ago & dropped it maybe 4 or 5 weeks later. The website indicates that the current -3.5 saving is good in NL, NS & NB. So, that is some competition at least. Just watch for the sign - because it will disappear without notice. By the way, there is a 1 cent per litre reduction with the card on all gas purchases & 2 cents a litre reduction if over 25 litres bought. When I last checked years ago - the ultramar card offered much more value than the Canadian Tire promotion. Let's hope this is just the start of the competition.

  • KL
    June 30, 2011 - 10:54

    Nice to see council is concerned about the common person (re: "panicked" about deep discounts). Traffic would be much improved in the area if one side was made 'enter only' (eg. Stavanger Drive side) and one side 'exit only' with a required right turn (eg. Aberdeen Avenue side).

  • Mary
    June 30, 2011 - 09:21

    Maybe it's a good thing that Costco has a gas bar, maybe some of our regular gas stations, can give us a break, not exactly Costco's price, but every couple of cents makes a difference. As far as the traffic goes, it's bad enough , now. I'm sure it will get a lot worse.

  • W Bagg
    June 30, 2011 - 09:08

    if Stavanger was planned properly the first time, you wouldn't have any issue.............

  • David
    June 30, 2011 - 08:20

    Yes, please keep vclose tsabs on these pirates! Heaven forbid that there be any price competitve suppliers of gasoline allowed to set up in Newfoundland...Irving's would be incensed!! Tim Horton's line-ups stop traffic on highways, but selling cheap gas?! That scourge has to be nipped in the bud!