Hundreds of Waltham Costco Members Want Gas Station

Published by Chris Wangler- April 1, 2021.

Is the second time a charm for a Costco gas station in Waltham?
As a vote approaches on a revised proposal for a members-only station, more than 800 Waltham warehouse members have signed a petition in support.
The proposed 18-pump fuel facility would be built at the far end of Costco’s northern parking lot at 71 Second Ave., taking up 92 existing parking spaces.
The station would open at 6:00 a.m. on weekdays and 7:00 a.m. on weekends. Nearly 90% of Costco’s 550 U.S. stores offer gas, with many warehouse members shopping, then fueling up.
Several years ago, heavy criticism from Waltham city councilors, primarily over traffic volume and flow, led Costco to withdraw its first proposal.
Project officials went back to the drawing board and proposed to have gas customers exit onto Winter Street eastbound via a new driveway on the neighboring Embassy Suites property.
A traffic engineering firm hired by Costco said the members-only station “will generate only a limited number of new trips” and that the new Winter Street exit would reduce queuing at the store’s primary Second Ave. driveway.
Waltham traffic engineer Mike Garvin has reported that the proposed fuel facility “will not have a significant impact on traffic operations surrounding the site.”
When the revised proposal was aired during a public hearing last summer, 14 stood in favor and 10 stood to oppose it. Among the opponents were local gas station owners.
To generate more support, Costco hired a strategic communications firm to ask Waltham warehouse members to sign a petition in support of the proposal.
Of roughly 3,000 petition signers more than 800 were Waltham members, representing every ward and precinct in Waltham. A project attorney called it “an extraordinary show of support.”
Currently the council’s Ordinances & Rules Committee is finalizing its review of Costco’s special permit application for the proposed fuel facility.
If the committee approves it, the proposal would need 10 votes to pass at the full council, possibly in the next month or two.
Renderings: MG2 / RJ O’Connell and Associates / Costco