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San Francisco’s Disappearing Gas Stations Impacts Housing

Phil Hall
Aug 09, 2016
There is already a shortage of affordable housing in San Francisco—and for residents that drive, it appears there are few options for filling up their gas tanks

There is already a shortage of affordable housing in San Francisco—and for residents that drive, it appears there are few options for filling up their gas tanks.

According to a KGO-TV report, 23 gas stations have been slated for closure in the city over the past six years. By next year, there will be 40 percent fewer gas stations in San Francisco than there were a decade ago. Complicating matters are the municipal restrictions on where relocated gas stations can be placed and the fact that many new buildings have residents with cars—and, it seems, far fewer options on where they can refuel their vehicles.

"If we want things like housing and retail in neighborhoods like this one, maybe we need to open up other areas so that the gas stations can relocate," said Tom Radulovich, executive director of Livable City, a local non-profit, and a director on Bay Area Rapid Transit board. "There's also a lot of restrictions on where you can relocate a gas station, so on the one hand we say preserve them, but on the other hand once they get displaced there is often no place for them to go."

But even beyond the city, there are fewer gas stations in this region: The Bay Area Air Quality Management District determined that hundreds of gas stations in this section of California have been closed since 2000.

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