GLENDALE — Drivers are seeing higher costs at the pump during the busiest travel weekend of the year, as the price of a gallon of gasoline is now within 20 cents of the all-time high.
In the second week of October, average retail prices for regular unleaded gasoline were at $3, but they have climbed steadily since then, reaching $3.37 as of Nov. 12, according to the most recent statistics released by the California Energy Commission.
The rise in prices over the past month amounts to an increase of about 1 cent per day, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.
The most drastic spike occurred between Nov. 5 and 12 — when the average retail price went from $3.23 to $3.37, according to the Energy Commission.
Crude oil prices of $90 to $100 per barrel are largely to blame, but it remains to be seen whether a drop in seasonal demand will ease prices, said Carol Thorp, a spokeswoman for the Automobile Club.
Along Glendale Avenue, gas prices ranged from $3.39 to $3.43 for regular unleaded gasoline and $3.59 to $3.69 for premium on Friday, and the higher prices did not escape the notice of drivers filling up at gas stations.
Glendale resident Martha Garcia, 52, said that though she was not doing a lot of holiday travel, the higher prices were marking her usual driving around town more expensive.
“I’ve been doing a lot of driving for work,” she said.
But she was not likely to cut back on the amount of miles she travels, she added.
Glendale resident Nick Stepaneyan, 40, expressed disbelief at how quickly prices skyrocketed, but said he was better off than drivers who are doing a lot of seasonal travel or who have long commutes.
“I work and live in Glendale,” he said. “So it doesn’t affect me as much.”
Peter Boodanian, 28, who is visiting Glendale this week, said that in his home state of New York, drivers are crossing state lines for lower gas prices.
“I’m just visiting and not doing a lot of driving here,” he said.
“But a lot of people in New York are going all the way to New Jersey to buy gas because it’s significantly cheaper there.”
New Jersey is home to the lowest gas prices in the country, with an average price of $2.90, according to the Auto Club.
Elsewhere in California, Glendora has the lowest gas price average, at $3.23, and Tahoe City, on the north side of Lake Tahoe, averages about $3.59, the highest price in the state, according to the Auto Club.
CHRIS WIEBE covers public safety and the courts. He may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at chris.wiebe@ latimes.com.