COMPTON, Calif. (KABC) -- On the day that a California gas tax hike took effect, a city councilman on Friday morning held a free gas give away in Compton, attracting drivers who caused a traffic jam that spanned several blocks.
Many Californians can relate as gas prices continue to rise. This comes as a state gas tax that increases prices another three cents took effect on Friday.
In response, Compton Councilman Andre Spicer wanted to give his city a bit of a reprieve by offering up free gas.
The 8 a.m. event at ZY Oil gas station was hosted by the Councilman of the city's 2nd District.
"That's how they get to work. That's how they get to school. That's how they get their kids to wherever they need to get their kids to," Spicer said. "So, it's just important for this community to get gas. Gas is just one of those rare resources that no one is giving away."
Video from AIR7 HD showed nearby streets gridlocked as motorists descended on the location in the 100 block of North Long Beach Boulevard.
"I'm helping out with traffic and everything and I'm getting a chance to actually talk to people and hear people's story and see what people's going through and a lot of people need this," said volunteer Jamarro Mercer. "A lot of people been out here two, three hours before we even opened."
The free gas event attracted a crowd of drivers causing a traffic jam for several blocks. Organizers said they gave away about $5,000 worth of gas capped at $50 per car.
"With everything going on, with everything, gas prices and food shortages and everything, it's a blessing that we could get. It's not free money, but it's free gas and it's the same thing," Compton resident Sione Laufou said.
Spicer partnered with the singer Rhyan Lowery, a Compton native who goes by the stage name El Compa Negro, "to provide the community with relief as gas prices continue to be high," the councilman's office said in a statement.
The increased state sales tax on gas makes California the second highest in the nation. With no relief in sight, people said they need help.
"I think it's a hardship for people," Compton resident Sherrie Barmore said. "As it is, we're trying to come out of a pandemic and we're trying to make ends meet and it's making it difficult in order to pay all this extra money out."
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Despite gas prices hitting a record earlier this month, AAA's annual forecast for the July 4 holiday weekend said that 42 million Americans -- more than ever -- will take a road trip of 50 miles or more.
Spicer said he hopes to have more events like this to help his community in the future.
"I hope that we made people's week easier," Spicer said. "I hope that we got people's 4th of July weekend started off at a nice smooth start. A full tank on a Friday morning. I'm hoping everyone is grateful and it helps them out."
The CNN Wire contributed to this report.