People push their cars along McGuinness Blvd. towards a near-by gas station. (Brian Ries/Daily Beast)

There is a gas shortage in Brooklyn and it’s not pretty. As of early this morning, the lines at Greenpoint gas stations were blocks long, many were livery cabs, which are in high demand since the subway system is still recovering from #sandy.

Watch the Video Below To See Pissed Off Brooklynites at Williamsburg Gas Station

This is a problem. And the problem is not ONLY that we don’t have gas. The problem is the false notion that there is an unlimited supply of gas and we are entitled to use as much of it as we want.

Ask yourself: Do I really need to drive?

While the gas crisis is a serious issue, not just in the short term, it is not on my personal radar because I don’t have a car. I also don’t have much sympathy for people who are waiting in line for gas.


Unless of course: you are elderly, disabled, an emergency vehicle, a food delivery truck, service personnel, construction/repair/garbage vehicle, or if you need gas for a generator because you don’t have power. I empathize with people who actually need gas right now.

In NYC (aside from during this crisis) you can get anywhere using public transportation, a bike or your feet. And during this crisis, ask yourself, do I really need to drive? Is it better to keep the roads clear for vehicles that need to be easily getting around, like buses, trucks delivering supplies to areas affected by the hurricane, emergency vehicles?

Soon gas will be available in the vast quantity we foolishly think we can consume it in. But when there is no longer overnight waits at the pump, we should remember that this is a taste of a much bigger problem we will all face when we inevitably run out of this natural resource. And it is only a matter of time.

We MUST stop thinking we are entitled to drive and consume as much gas as we want. We MUST find alternative sources of energy that don’t destroy the environment. We MUST start thinking about how to live in a world that is more local.

This gas shortage demonstrates the ever increasing value of eating and working closer to home.

For everyone who asked me to report on the gas shortage, here goes:

As reported in the Daily News:

Cuomo during a media briefing this morning said more gas tankers and barges are coming to the area, the New York Harbor is open, the pipelines “to an extent” are up and running “so there will be more of a supply of gas.”

“That does not mean there will be a total alleviation of the problem in the immediate future,” he said. “But it is getting better.”

While expecting it to be a “short-term problem,” Cuomo said officials anticipate it will continue for “a number of days.”

Be smart. Walk. Bike. Take public transportation. Don’t drive (unless you have to.)

Join the Conversation


  1. FYI: the gas station on Meeker & McGuinness has diesel. just filled up there an hour ago. prolly doesn’t help a ton of people but I know there are a few around that it could.

  2. I understand you don’t have sympathy for drivers and suggest that people use public transportation or (naively) work near home (as if it is that easy), but what does one do when they rely on the G train, which is STILL suspended, or the L train, which only recently restored full service? Report news and refrain from editorializing. Maybe locals could afford bikes if hipster bloggers stopped moving in and raising the rents.

      1. as if this blog pays my bills! i work full time and blog. i wish i had the luxury of time to complain on other people’s blogs…

        1. I find it pretty annoying that this guy is blaming hipsters for his inability to ride a bike. My bike has paid for itself countless times over since I rarely have to put money on a metrocard. I am really sick of everyone having an excuse as to why they can’t do something.

    1. I rely on the G train. I work in Midtown. I am going to ride into the city tomorrow. My bike was $250. That costs less than 3 mo. of daily metro card rides, then it costs hardly anything to maintain. You can get a great used commuter bike at B’s for $100. To suggest that riding a bike is just for rich people is completely false. I see tons of “locals,” plenty who are children riding bikes. Come on. Stop blaming hipsters for your problems. It’s getting old and this is the wrong blog to rant on for that. Want news? Check NY1. This is a blog; it’s all ABOUT editorializing on here!

    2. I was agreeing with you until the last line. I was all HEY SOMEONE’S MAKING A VALID POINT IN AN INTERNET COMMENT SECTION, oh wait, nevermind, now they’re just being snarky.

      Anyway, I do think it’s unfair to assume that everyone can get to work or wherever they need to be by walking or biking (which excludes a lot of people who don’t have or can’t afford bikes). We live in a huge city and often people travel many miles to get to work. In general I am getting frustrated with the increasing judgement I am seeing in people’s post-sandy reactions, particularly to other people’s actions that are, say, not that terrible. i.e. People being called “disgusting” for waiting in line for iPads/buying them because a “they could be donating that money or volunteering.” Are they silly? Definitely. Do we know that they’re not also donating money or contributing in some other way? No. I know that there is incredible devastation in parts of this city, but the truth is we need our economy to return back to normal as well while we rebuild.

      People seem quick to judge others based on one action, but these people are strangers, and ultimately, it’s really saddening to me that people seem eager to assume the worst instead of giving people the benefit of the doubt.

      1. no judgement calls. more crisis call. this is a little problem now. we need to start realizing that this will soon be a big problem. not just because we can’t fill our own gas tanks, but because food prices will soar! and i like to eat.

        i am not in any way assuming people should just walk/bike everywhere. public transportation is essential to NYC and all big cities. riding bikes here is not the safest thing and walking is not always an option in bad weather.

        if you can afford $2.50 on the subway – you can afford a bike. BIKES ARE SO CHEAP! and once you start riding, you save so much on commuting.

  3. i work 30 miles away in long island. neither walking, biking or taking public transportation is an option for me. so yes, i will be waiting for hours in line to fill up my gas tank so i may go to work and keep putting food on my family’s table.

    1. jay, i totally respect that. driving is your only option. best of luck. i hope people who don’t need to drive keep the roads clear for people like you.

  4. Stop Driving! Walk! But MOST of all!! STOP HONKING! The bottom line the lack of police presents at the intersections, the self governing gas lines is not working. Just a bunch of dinks honking at each other!! Fuel in your car is a privilege and not a right. We just had a horrific storm that wrecked havoc on a very busy place. Honking is not going to change the dependency on gas. But mitigating this way of life is the only way to change how bad it is now and in the future.

  5. only a moron would wait 3 hours for gasoline. get a screwdriver, few feet of tubing and a jerry can and siphon it from a hoarders Esplanade.

    bikes rule!

    1. thanks markus for the advice. i was asking around how all these trucks were driving to places like the rockaways to deliver supplies and volunteer. answer: all those totaled cars on the beach have FULL gas tanks… i thought that ruled!

      bikers do rule!

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