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Gas Prices For Presidents Day Weekend Hit Highest Level Ever In Tri-State Area

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Gas Pump (file / credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Gas Pump (file / credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – You’d think a warm winter and lower demand for heating oil might somehow translate to lower gasoline prices as well – but it doesn’t work that way.

The price at the pump has been creeping up steadily.

Nationwide, the average price of a gallon of regular is up 27 cents since New Year’s day to $3.55 a gallon. Experts say it could reach $4.25 by late April.

1010 WINS Reporter Steve Sandberg caught up with drivers who were paying the price at the pump…

In New York City, regular is already at $3.92 a gallon. The highest price in the city might be at a station on the Hutchinson River Parkway – $4.49 a gallon.

“I come from Yorktown Heights so it costs me a lot of money to get to work… I work here in the Bronx,” one driver told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.

Another driver called the prices “Highway robbery.”

If today’s prices are any indication, drivers are in for a rough ride this summer. Prices are 40 cents higher than this time last year.

In New York, average prices are $3.87 a gallon. In Connecticut, it’s $3.86.

The high prices are altering people’s behavior.

“You want to go to movies, you can’t do any of it because you have to fill up your tank and go to work and back,” John Decrescenzo of Brentwood told CBS 2.

In New Jersey, drivers are paying slightly less than the national average – $3.51 a gallon – but it’s still painful.

“It’s insane,” said driver Sharon Curtis. “I’m using regular gas and the thing is, I like to use ‘super,’ but it’s just so expensive now it’s like you can’t even afford it anymore.”

“They are getting pretty ridiculous,” said James Cherry. ” I supposed that have been for a while now, but it just seems to be getting higher and higher, so it’s crazy.”

Oil prices have climbed past $100 a barrel. Rising tensions in Iran are fueling higher prices around the globe. Drivers hear the explanations, but as they dig deeper and deeper each day, their patience is running on empty.

“Once it hits $5, which don’t look too far away either, I’ll take buses, walk or just don’t go,” said driver Judy Otero.

Marchello Laray echoed those sentiments, he told CBS2’s Chris Wragge that rising gas prices are pushing him towards public transportation.

“It’s my money and gas is too expensive, it makes me want to take public transportation,” he said.

Experts say that passing the $5 mark may still be far off.

“Five dollars a gallon nationally seems a little far fetched to me, in 2008 the peak was in July at $4.11. We’re thinking $3.74 to $4.25 at its peak,” said Beth Heinsohn of the Oil Price Information Service.

Are you feeling the pain at the pump? Sound off in our comments section below.

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