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June 9, 2009

Some quick gas price tips for Maryland travel

If you live in Baltimore and are driving to lower Montgomery County (Bethesda-Chevy Chase), gas up at home and don't get caught with the needle near E down there. The close-in D.C. suburbs in Montgomery typically have the highest prices in the state -- running about 30 cents above the prevailing price per gallon of regular gasoline in the Baltimore area.

But if you're going to the beach, try to hit the Bay Bridge with about a quarter tank (don't cut it too close) and get your next fill-up around Salisbury. Eastern Shore prices are typically the lowest in the state, though certain stations in Laurel and Edgewater can give it a run for the money.

There is typically about a 50-cent swing between Maryland's highest and lowest prices. The lowest Tuesday on was $2.37 in Ocean City; the highest was $2.88 in Cabin John, near Potomac in Montgomery County. The average in Baltimore was just above $2.50. That's not an atypical spread.

East Baltimore and the Perry Hall area tend to be someof the better places to buy in the Baltimore area. In South Baltimore, at Patapsco Avenue and Potee St., you have a very comptetive corner. If in Howard County, never fill up in Columbia and shy away from Ellicott City. The U.S. 1 corridor in Elkridge is the place to go.

In Montgomery County, there can be a vast spread between the cheaper north county (Olney-Germantown-Gaithersburg) and down-county. Tuesday it was more than 40 cents.

Just a few ideas. I'm sure readers can point out some other high and low spots.



Posted by Michael Dresser at 5:41 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: On the roads


I live in Columbia and my family lives in Rockville. If I get stuck down there on E, I try and eke it out to Burtonsville, where gas is much cheaper. Lines form around the Shell station right off exit 33 on I-95. Instead of waiting in line, here's a hint-- pass the Shell station and make a U-turn. There's an Exxon a half-block before the Shell that's usually the same price and empty because it doesn't have the street frontage.

Also, I try to fill up when I'm out on Rt. 1 vs. Columbia because it averages about 10 cents cheaper per gallon. Though the gas station across the street from my apartment in Columbia is usually only 1 or 2 cents off, but it's fairly well hidden from people who are just going to places off 175 or Snowden River.

Okay, enough.

Dont you mean with the needle near E?

COMMENT: So I did. Good catch.

Suprisingly, the Exxons by Arundel Mills have pretty good prices.

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About Michael Dresser
Michael Dresser has been an editor, reporter and columnist with The Sun longer than Baltimore's had a subway. He's covered retailing, telecommunications, state politics and wine. Since 2004, he's been The Sun's transportation writer. He lives in Ellicott City with his wife and travel companion, Cindy.

His Getting There column appears on Mondays. Mike's blog will be a forum for all who are interested in highways, transit and other transportation issues affecting Baltimore, Maryland and the region.

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