Weymouth is one of a handful of communities in Massachusetts — including Milford, tiny Upton, and Arlington — that outlaw self-service gasoline stations. Weymouth passed the rule in 1977, around the time scores of other communities were banning the then relatively new phenomenon because of safety and economic concerns.
Pictured: An attendant pumps gas at the Main Street Gulf. Next
But while most other municipalities have since rescinded their bans – including Milton and Holbrook in 2008 – it’s unlikely that Weymouth will change any time soon, according to Richards. People on their way to work especially appreciate not having to get out of their cars to pump gas, said Neil Murley of Murley’s Car Care Center in Weymouth Heights.
Pictured: Murley's Gas Station in Weymouth has been in business since 1964 as family owned business. Next
Of course, not everyone likes the rule. George Kairouz, owner of Main Street Gulf, thinks it’s “horrible, horrible, horrible” for a litany of reasons. Ironically, his chief concern is also safety.
Consumers have grown a lot more comfortable with gasoline, and Kairouz and others, including Steve Dodge of the Massachusetts Petroleum Council, point to regulations that they say now make self-service gas stations even safer than full-service ones.
Pictured: Kairouz hates the rule and stands in an area where he could sell goods like gum , beverages, and newspapers. Now it’s an empty space not earning him any income. Next
Massachusetts law requires the canopies over pumps at self-service stations to be equipped with automatic fire suppression systems that spray foam on any fire below, according to Jennifer Mieth of the state fire marshal’s office. There is no similar requirement for full-service stations, she said.
Pictured: Ssigns on the Main Street Gulf pumps that say drivers are not allowed to pump their own gas. Next
A daily survey of local gas prices on GasBuddy.com shows that the prices at Weymouth’s full-serve stations are comparable to those at self-service stations in adjacent communities, including Quincy, Braintree, Holbrook, and Hingham.
Pictured: Neil Murley in the garage bay. Next
Ramez Metri encountered another problem with the full-service policy when he opened a convenience store and Dunkin’ Donuts last spring at his Lincoln Square Shell on Washington Street. He found that because drivers don’t have to get out of their cars to pump gas, disappointingly few go inside. “It would be way better if it were self-serve,” he said.
Pictured: Murley's Gas Station. Next
Weymouth’s director of municipal licenses and inspections Jeffrey Richards said the last time there was serious talk of lifting the ban on self-service in Weymouth was about a decade ago, when B.J.’s Wholesale Club wanted to open a self-service station.
Today, only New Jersey and Oregon have statewide self-service bans — Oregon’s dating from 1951 and New Jersey’s from 1949.
Pictured: Murley, left, with customer Judy Fuller, who was at the gas station to get a tail light fixed. Back to the beginning
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