New Gas Station Fuels Debate
By Mark Cuminale, Matt Kensek, Ricky Wolf, and Chris Suarez
Clarkson, NY- The long awaited construction of a new Speedway gas station is underway in the Town of Clarkson, leaving some residents scratching their heads.
The building site—at the intersection of Ridge and Sweden Walker Roads—has been in development for quite some time, but with 19 filling stations within about a 16 mile radius, locals are questioning whether another gas station is needed.
Matthew Prest of Brockport, NY sees the incoming Speedway as an unnecessary addition to the surrounding towns.
“If you count how many [gas stations] there are—there’s one in Hamlin already, one on the corner of Ridge and Lake Road, Kwik Fill, the old Hess, and Crosby’s—there’s at least six in the small town of Brockport and Hamlin,” the 22-year-old said. “I think that’s too many.”
Area resident Randy Beemis, 67, likes Speedway’s service but with one already in Brockport, he’s not convinced that adding another store to the area will enhance the living experience.
“This [Speedway] is the the main one I go to because it’s on the main road to all the stores,” Beemis said. “I’m not sure we need another one, but I’ve always liked the service here. I like the bonus points and all that stuff.”
According to PR Newswire, Marathon Petroleum Corp., which owns Speedway, purchased 78 store locations and building sites in New York State that were slated to operate under the Express Mart Brand in April 2018.
Mobil station manager John Connor stays up to date on the gas station and convenience store news in anticipation of the growing competition.
“It was supposed to be an Express Mart,” Connor said on the original building plans. “Express Mart got bought out and they sold to Speedway.”
Connor, a resident of Hamlin, admits that another Speedway will have an affect on business, and he contends that the addition is unnecessary.
“I’m sure [the new Speedway] will take some people away, but I don’t think it will kill us,” Connor said.
Less than four miles away from Speedway’s future location is The College at Brockport. With over 7,000 undergraduates either living on campus or commuting, students provide area businesses with substantial commerce.
As a student commuter, Brockport senior Nick Sarkis understands the need for service stations in the area, but his concerns stem from the possible traffic congestion that could arise at the site’s location.
“It could cause an increase in traffic near that intersection—maybe longer commuting times if it slows things up,” the 21-year-old Greece resident said. “I think it would be [fair] to expect a bit more congestion around there from time to time.”
With 2,740 stores branches located in 22 states, Speedway is the second largest gas station convenience store chain in the U.S. In 2014, the Ohio based company acquired the Hess’ gas station network, bringing 30 stores under the Speedway brand into Monroe County. The company’s latest acquisition was the Minnesota based SuperAmerica brand in October.
Despite the mixed reactions from nearby residents, ground has been broken and construction has begun.