Gasoline Prices for July 4: Where You Might Save in MD (And Other Highway Tips)

Posted on July 3, 2012

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Gasoline prices have held steady for several weeks at $3.35 for regular in Ocean City and West Ocean City, Maryland. (Except for one small station at the corner of Route 50 and Route 611, which is holding out for $3.41)

Six miles west, in Berlin, MD, gas is selling for $3.29. Two large stations at the intersection of Route 113 and Route 346 in Berlin (same intersection as Food Lion and Atlantic General Hospital) have $3.29 gas. So too does one small station on Route 50, across from McDonald’s and Stephen Decatur High School.

U.S. Route 50 in Maryland

U.S. Route 50 in Maryland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can probably save a little more in Salisbury. Gas at $3.18 has been seen in Salisbury, but you’d probably have to get off Route 50 to find it.

It’s one thing to go out of your way to save money on gas if it’s only a few blocks and you know exactly where you’re going. However, I don’t think it’s cost-effective to get off the highway and go blindly searching for the lowest price. But if you want to stop in Salisbury, you might try looking on Route 13, either north or south of Route 50. No guarantees. (Note the correct route numbers: Route 113 runs north and south and intersects Route 50 at Berlin. Route 13 runs north and south and intersects Route 50 at Salisbury.)

(Further note: You have two Route 50 choices at Salisbury. Most people follow the recommended Route 50, a newer, limited-access bypass that goes north of Salisbury. No gas stations are directly accessible from the Route 50 bypass. But there is a Route 13 North exit on the bypass. There you’ll find the big shopping mall and a strip of gas stations and fast-food outlets. Alternatively you can follow the sign to Business Route 50, which goes straight through the city and hits all the traffic lights. You’ll have easy access to several gas stations on Business 50, but I don’t know what the prices are.)

I would guess that gas is selling for between $3.18 and $3.35 all across the Eastern Shore, and quite possibly lower in the most out-of-the-way places. But I don’t have time to survey the entire area from the Bay Bridge to Ocean City, so you’ll just have to keep your eyes open.

A note on traffic: Traffic on eastbound Route 50 often backs up on busy Saturdays and holidays between Ocean City and Berlin. Traffic also backs up on Route 90, which goes past Ocean Pines and has the only other bridge entrance to Ocean City. Your trip from the Western Shore of Maryland, or Pennsylvania, or wherever, is probably long enough as it is. Keep that in mind when you’re considering getting off the highway for gas.

Only two bridges into Ocean City? That’s right. And the Route 50 bridge was built during World War II. A resort city with a population of 250,000 and up during the summer needs more than two bridges. We need at least one new bridge into Ocean City. The only other highway into the resort is via Route 1 south from Delaware. Route 1 becomes Route 528, better known as the Coastal Highway, at the Maryland-Delaware line.

Another Maryland Travel Tip: I had been thinking the new Intercounty Connector (Maryland Route 200) would be a time-saver for people coming to Ocean City from Western Maryland and northern Montgomery County. But the ICC is a limited-access toll road, and it doesn’t connect directly with Route 32. I’ll have to rethink that route. Up to now, I’ve been using Route 198 (Norbeck Road) from Georgia Avenue or Doctor Bird Road to get to Route 32. (Scratching my head.)

Enjoy the hot July 4 holiday, and Happy Birthday America!

— John Hayden

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Posted in: Maryland, Travel