It’s been my impression that, at least in West Van and downtown Vancouver, there are fewer gas stations than there used to be? Is this true? Did a lot of the gas stations move out to the suburbs?
I rarely drive, so it’s not really a pressing concern for me, but I think I’ve observed this trend over the past fifteen years. I’m particularly aware of it because former gas station land has to lie fallow for a long time, so you become familiar with these weed-choked cement lots waiting for redevelopment.
Hang on. I did some further searching, and came up with some data courtesy of UBC. It’s not particularly current, but it confirms my observation:
The table below shows the number of gas stations in Vancouver in 1970 and 1998. There has been a reduction of 209 gas stations in this time period. However, there are 39 new sites, so the number of abandoned sites since 1970 is 248.
I also found this article about disappearing gas stations in Manhattan:
Since 1999, the number of gas stations in Manhattan has declined by 18 percent, to 207, according to the Fire Department, which maintains a record of gas stations in the city. Cropping up in their places are everything from condos to clothing stores.
It’s not surprising, really. If you have ten gas stations in a city, and get rid of five, you get more efficient and the number of possible customers remains the same.