Gas Station Survey (August, 2018)

I made up a checklist, and surveyed 20 gas stations in London. I placed an ad, and hired a woman to drive me around for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. We were looking for any gas station that had a residence beside or behind them.

My checklist included the intersection, type of gas station, with notes about adjacent residences, location of tire compressor, location of underground storage vents. I also took photos of what was documented.

Of 20 stations surveyed :

  • 20/20 had a convenience store
  • 4/20 were Independent stations meaning they were affiliated with a little known or unknown gasoline brand
  • 14/20 had at least one freestanding house on either side of the station or located behind the station
  • 6/20 were located by a duplex, townhomes, condos or an apartment building on either side or behind the station

Dumpster and garbage handling:

  • 13/20 had an enclosure for their dumpster
  •  Of the 7/20 that did NOT have a dumpster enclosure – 6 had a dumpster location that was not visible from the residential side, and 1 had garbage cans in a visible location


  • 18/20 stations had a fence between them and the nearest residence
  • Of the 2 stations with NO fence, one had a parking lot estimated to be at least 50 feet wide between them and the closest residence. The other had a large expanse of lawn or yard between it (30+ feet) and the nearest multi-story apartment or condo building
  • 2/20 stations had a chainlink fence
  •  1/20 stations had a 4′ chainlink fence between the station and closest residence
  •  1/20 station had a chainlink fence, 7′ or taller, with tall bushes/vines planted
  • 11/20 stations had a wood fence, between 5 – 7 feet tall between the station and the closest residence
  •   7/20 stations had a masonry fence between the station and the closest residence
  •  1 station had both wood AND masonry fences

Tire Compressor Location in relation to estimated property line:

  • 16/20 stations had tire compressors in a location far away from the closest residence (20 feet or more)
  • 3/20 stations had a tire compressor approximately 20 feet or less from the presumed property line
  • 1/20 station had a tire compressor approximately 5 feet from the presumed property line

Traffic Safety and Raised Curbs :

* 17/20  stations had raised curbs

* 3/20 stations had no raised curbs. These were all independent stations

(Raised curbs help direct the flow of traffic, making it safer for pedestrians who can anticipate where vehicles will enter/exit)

Underground Vent Location in relation to presumed property line (at fence):

* 10/20 were placed as far away as possible from the closest residence

* 6/20 had vents that were 15 feet or more from the property line for the closest          residence

* 1/20 had a vent that was 10-15  feet from the property line of the closest residence

  •  1/20 had a concealed vent location that could not be detected (presumed to exit adjacent to carwash building) approximately 15 feet from the property line
  • 1/20 had a vent located ON the property line, although the neighbouring residence was set back approximately 25 feet
  • 1/20 had a vent located less than 4 feet from the presumed property line. This was next to a narrow driveway, the front door and many windows of this bungalow residence. This location was truly egregious. The age of this house pre-dated the gas station in its current configuration.

Fire Safety:

  •  20/20 stations had fire extinguishers mounted on their pumps

How did these 20 stations compare, statistically, to my gas station neighbour ?

  • My neighbour has a convenience store (100% common)
  • My neighbour had a chainlink fence (10% common) that was shorter than 95% of the other stations with fences
  •  My neighbour’s dumpster was completely exposed and visible from residences, like 0% of other stations
  •  Like only 1/20 other stations, my neighbour’s tire compressor was within 5 feet of the property line (5% common)
  •  A vent location very close to the property line was 10% common
  •  My neighbour’s lack of raised curbs was 15% common
  • The lack of fire extinguishers at the pumps was 0% common.










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