Gasoline lines generally were shorter yesterday in the Washington area with many motorists waiting only a few minutes before reaching the pumps, but others found the now-familiar, hour-plus wait in lines.
In general lines were longest in Maryland; one Prince George's County station had more than 200 cars in line between 6:45 and 11 a.m. yesterday. Spot checks showed that Virginia and D.C. seemed to have shorter lines.
In some areas, 100-car lines could be found just a few blocks from stations where 10 or fewer cars were waiting. Some motorists spent part of yesterday shopping not only for an open station but for one with a short line.
An estimated 5 percent of the area's 1,500 stations will open this morning, the American Automobile Association said, but most of them will close before noon.
Prospects for fuel will be significantly better outside the immediate Washington area. Gasoline is easily available in most resort and vacation spots.
In Virginia, 40 percent of the stations outside Northern Virginia plan to sell gasoline today, according to a AAA survey.
Eight gasoline stations have agreed to open this morning in Washington to sell gasoline they received under the District's setaside program. About 100 Maryland stations will be open under that state's program.
Officials believe the crucial test for the metropolitan Washington area will come Monday with the resumption of a full work week in the capital. Many officials and workers were out of town on extended Fourth of July holidays on Friday and Saturday, when gasoline station lines here began showing improvement.
Searching for gasoline yesterday proved to be study in contrasts. Motorists at the Exxon station on Wisconsin Avenue near Tenley Circle in Northwest Washington reached the pumps after a wait of only five to 15 minutes. But two miles away at an Amoco station also on Wisconsin Avenue, motorists waited more than an hour for gasoline.
Selecting the right time to buy gasoline also made a difference. Bill Batchelor found a mile-long line of cars at 7:45 a.m. at the Crown station on Jefferson Davis Highway in Alexandria. He decided not to buy any fuel.
But at 10:30 a.m., when he returned to that station, the line was shorter. He waited less than 20 minutes to reach the pumps.
The longest lines in the metropolitan area yesterday were in Maryland.
"It was terrible," said John Lacey, manager of a Shell station in Seat Pleasant in Prince George's County. "There were at least 200 cars when I got here and it stayed that way," he said.
Service stations that will be open in the District of Columbia from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday with a special allocation under the city's setaside program are:
Blair Road Shell, 5913 Blair Rd. NW Fowler's Gulf, 420 Rhode Island Ave. NW
Van Ness Gulf, 4339 Connecticut Ave. NW
Triple GEE No. 1 Amoco, 1580 New York Ave. NE
Daniel's Gulf, 4519 Benning Rd. SE J&A Exxon, 1201 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Herb's Amoco, 2501 Martin Luther King Ave., SE
Atlantic Exxon, 103 Atlantic St., SE
Here is a list of gasoline stations that have agreed to open Sunday in Maryland in exchange for 4,000 gallons of gasoline each from the state's reserves:
Gulf, U.S. Rte. 1 & Maryland Rte. 175, Elkridge: Amoco, U.S. Rte 40 and St. Johns Lane. Ellicott City; Mobil, Craddock Way, Columbia, and Sunoco, Twin River Road, Columbia.
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY
Hess, 400 Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard, Glen Burnie; Crown, Forest Drive and Bay Ridge Road, Annapolis; Shell, Benfield Road, Severna Park; Amoco, Rte. 165 and Higgins Avenue, Odenton; Texaco, 2006 West St., Annapolis Texaco, 5570 Shadyside Rd., Churchton; Texaco, U.S. Rte. 50 and Old Mill Bottom Road, Annapolis; Gulf, Maryland Rte. 175 & Maryland Rte. 178, crownsville; Exxon, 6701 Ritchie Hwy., Glen Burnie; Exxon, 2791 Solomons Island Rd., Edgewater, and Mobil, 2914 Mountain Rd., Pasadena.
Amoco, 1525 West Main St., Hampstead; Gulf, Pennsylvania and Hersch avenues, Westminster; Gulf, Keymar, and Crown, Libert and Ridge roads, Eldersburg.
PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY
Amoco, 311 Washington Blvd., Laurel; Amoco, 7101 Allentown Rd., Oxon Hill; Amoco 10604 Campus Way, South Largo; Chevron, 6900 Marlboro Pike, Forestville; Gulf, U.S. Rte 301, Mitchellville; Gulf, 10621 Baltimore Ave., Beltsville; Gulf, 6100 Oxon Hill Rd., Oxon Hill, Sunoco, 5541 Marlboro Pike, District Heights; Sunoco, 5715 Old Branch Ave., Camp Springs; Sunoco, 7313 Baltimore Blvd., College Park; Sunoco, 9499 Lanham Severn Rd., Seabrook; Shell, 4201 Kenilworth Ave., Bladensburg; Exxon, 5915 George Palmer Hwy., Seat Pleasant; Exxon, Maryland Rte. 197 and Baltimore-Washington Parkway, Laurel; Texaco, 8014 Old Branch Ave., Hyattsville; Texaco, 14323 Indian Head Hwy., Accokeek, and Philips 66, 5818 Riggs Rd., Chillum.
BP, 10010 Darnestown Rd., Rockville; BP, 13990 George Ave., Wheaton; Exxon, 13400 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring; Exxon, 17651 Redland Rd., Potomac; Exxon, 5001 Bradley Blvd., Chevy Chase; Southern States, 1111 Georgia Ave., Wheaton; Amoco 596 North Frederick Pike, Gaithersburg; Amoco, 7725 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda; Amoco, 18635 Germantown Rd., Germantown; Amoco, 3700 University Blvd., Kensington; Amoco 8550 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase; Texaco, 19300 Montgomery Village Ave., Gaithersburg; Texaco, 5335 Westbard Ave., Bethesda; Texaco 7224 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park; Shell, 10201 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring; Citgo, 15821 Frederick Rd., Deerfield, and Citgo, 10810 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring.
ST. MARY'S COUNTY
Sunoco, Mechanicsville, and Sunoco, Maryland Rte. 2, Leonardtown.
Exxon, Rte. E-4, Waldorf.
Amoco, Prince Frederick, and Mobil, Chesapeake Beach.