Bad Day To Give Away Gasoline

A promotion by Shell Oil and Lucky supermarkets conflicted with a regional alert to reduce driving due to an ozone alert. Motorists lined up in the morning for free gasoline at a San Francisco Shell station during a 'Spare The Air' Day on Sept. 28.

In Shell Oil's defense, "Wednesday's gas giveaway was part of a nationwide event planned weeks in advance". The same could not be said of the "Spare the Air" day - which was alerted to the Bay Area called by the regional Air District via various media alerts (including personal emails to anyone who subscribes for the alerts) on Tuesday.

The Air District advises that "if motorists must drive on Spare the Air Days, they're encouraged to carpool with other commuters. And if they plan on filling up their gas tank, the evening is the least harmful time to do so."

The give-away was done in the morning - allowing all those vehicle emissions from the long queue of idling vehicles to contribute to the day's ozone build-up. The Bay Area has experienced 4 days where it exceeded the federal 8-hour ozone standard this year.

Several years ago, a far better give-away was deliberately offered when a 'Spare the Air' alert was called: free public transit.

Thanks to California League of Conservation Voters

Full Story: SF gas station's fuel giveaway on Spare the Air Day prompts criticism


building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.
Currently on backorder