Costco gas station is causing massive traffic snarls, proposes to fix things by making them worse

Costco gas station is causing massive traffic snarls, proposes to fix things by making them worse

(Image: Michael) 

Everybody knows what a Boxing Day door-crasher sale at a big box store is like, right? Now imagine that chaos, only with a crowd of SUVs and minivans instead of consumption-mad shoppers. That’s basically the scene at Warden and Ellesmere these days, thanks to Costco selling gas the same way they sell everything: with big, big discounts.

The Toronto Star reports:

Since opening this fall, the gas bar near Warden and Ellesmere Aves. has seen a daily wall of cars, with drivers flocking from as far away as Whitby for discounts of up to 10 cents a litre.

The markdowns are only offered to the warehouse chain’s paying members. Even so, the lineup of cars entering the gas bar off Canadian Rd. are so long that paid-duty police and Costco staff in orange vests help direct traffic to the pumps…

Costco knows the situation isn’t ideal. Its proposed solution? Add four more pumps to the congested gas bar’s current 12 to take off some of the pressure.

Costco’s solution, of course, will only make things worse. The problem isn’t the shortage of gas pumps—it’s the shortage of road space leading to and from the station. We assume Costco staff have some skill in managing a supply chain, so we’re pretty sure they understand stuff like this. City staff, on the other hand, seem to have been totally gobsmacked by this highly predictable development—which local councillor Michael Thompson, in fact, predicted. Normally we like to grumble about councillors on the wrong end of arguments with staff, but for once it looks like a councillor actually came out looking better.

Neighbours fuming over chaos at Costco gas bar [Toronto Star]