WHILE THE "gas wars" are good for business in Martins Ferry, there is one group that isn't particularly happy with the event.
That would be the Martins Ferry Police Department.
In fact, Chief John McFarland had some stern words for would-be gas buyers.
STARFIRE MANAGER Crystal Mitchell stands next to a pump at her station after placing an “out” sign on the regular season selection. Starfire was only temporarily out of gas until a new shipment was delivered early Tuesday afternoon.
"It's becoming a growing problem," he said early Tuesday afternoon while standing amidst a logjam of cars trying to enter and exit the Starfire gas station on the corner of Aetnaville and Broadway streets.
"Every day for the last five or so we've had an officer here for some reason or another," he added. "I understand that everyone wants to get the gas as cheap as they can, but at the same time, they can't park on the roadway in order to wait in line to get their gas."
His main reason is that with the congested intersection, emergency vehicles would not be able to get through.
"If a fire truck or emergency squad had to get through here, they would probably have to get the cars moved themselves," he continued.
His message to potential cheap gas customers: "Be smart in the way that you attempt to get into the gas station here and do not block the roadway."
McFarland said he, and his officers, are currently working with management in an attempt to alleviate the traffic congestion.
Starfire manager Crystal Mitchell said the police were called to the station twice Monday to help ease traffic problems from the continuous flow of traffic to the already congested intersection.
"The line of cars has been down Broadway that way," she said, pointing to the north. "They've also stretched clear out to Ohio 7. It seems like they've been coming from everywhere ... around every corner.
"I understand the police's action," she said. "The streets can't be blocked in the case an emergency vehicle has to get through."
McFarland said one citation was issued Tuesday for assured clear distance, but that no arrests have been made.
"We will start writing tickets if we have to," he stressed. "But we really don't want to do that if we can get by without it."
Once the Sunoco station, directly across the street from the Starfire station, received its shipment of gas early Tuesday afternoon, Bridgeport police were called to assist in easing further traffic congestion.
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