Cheap gas gimmick creates traffic and anger issues

BP Gas Station, Youngstown, Aug. 27, 2015
Drivers line up for 99-cent gasoline at the BP station at Midlothian and Youngstown-Poland Road in Youngstown. Aug. 27, 2015

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A cheap gasoline promotion turned into a police situation in Youngstown near the border with Struthers on Thursday.

The owner of the BP at Midlothian Blvd. and Youngstown-Poland Road decided Thursday morning to pull the price of regular WAY down, to 99-cents a gallon. Lines formed on all four streets leading to the gas station. At one point, Midlothian was nearly backed up to I-680, two lanes deep.

Joanne Ramos got there early for the bargain gas. She says, “Since about 9:30, the line has grown very, very much”.

In fact, Youngstown police had to reassign officers as tempers flared with drivers claiming other drivers were cutting in line. “A lot of people trying to cut in front, trying to come all the way along the side, cutting in front of other people and the horns blowing”, said customer Sharon Rouan.

Even the community policing unit had to be moved to direct traffic. “They’ll be pulled away from their regular duties and some of their other complaint oriented-type calls”, says police chief Robin Lees. “It does strain our resources”.

Some customers waited three hours to get to the pumps. The price went back up to $1.97 during the afternoon.

Drivers say they’re thankful for the cheap gas, but some say this was the first and last time they’ll wait for savings.

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