30-cent gas station promotion creates L.A. traffic nightmare

A Chevron station was participating in Amazon’s ‘Maisel Day’ promotion

The critically acclaimed Prime Video series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” might be set in the Big Apple, but Amazon this week celebrated “Maisel Day” in Tinseltown by going back to the Fifties depicted in the show, with businesses across town offering 1950s-inspired prices on everything from haircuts, movie tickets, malts and more. But in car-crazy Los Angeles, one gas station’s decision to offer gasoline at 30 cents a gallon created problems.

Police in Santa Monica had to intervene, by issuing traffic warnings, directing traffic and eventually putting an early stop to the promotional sale at a Chevron station after throngs of drivers lined up for their turn, snarling traffic on Cloverfield Boulevard and the 10 Freeway, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Calls complaining about the traffic jam started rolling in almost immediately after the promotion began at 9 a.m. Thursday, the paper reported, and police arrived on the scene shortly afterward to direct traffic. Originally intended to go until 5 p.m., police at one point apparently shut down the promotion, though The Verge reported that it was later allowed to resume with a more orderly line of motorists at the station, with help from Amazon officials.

The promotion wrapped up by 3 p.m., with Amazon security personnel informing confused motorists who continued to trickle in, and the pink “Maisel Day” promotional signs replaced by giant signs flashing “EVENT CLOSED.” 

Set in New York City in the late 1950s, the series is about a housewife who discovers a talent for stand-up comedy and presses forward in an era of rigidly defined gender roles and boundaries. The series has racked up 43 Emmy, Golden Globe and other awards and earned 70 nominations since premiering in 2017, according to IMDB. The “Maisel Day” promotion was part of Amazon's Emmy Awards campaign.

The Chevron in Santa Monica was the only gas station to offer 30-cent gas, but there’s no word whether the discount led to a spike in Hummers, Ford Excursions and other gas-guzzlers of yore being awoken from their hibernation and driven around L.A.

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