CHICAGO (CBS) — Whether gas will go up to $5 per gallon remains to be seen, but prices in excess of $4 per gallon are already a reality in some parts of Chicago.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports, in north lakefront neighborhoods, the number 4 is becoming a familiar site. At several gas stations on Fullerton Avenue, a gallon of regular unleaded ranged from $4.09 up to $4.21.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports

Most motorists were shocked to learn, after they pulled up and filled up, they were paying the most in the city.

“I didn’t know that,” said Thomas Naraja.

But Naraja says he didn’t have a choice.

“I was on empty so I had to pull in. It still hurts,” he said.

Most drivers say it’s a matter of proximity and necessity and filling up to the tune of four or even five dollars a a gallon is something they’ll never get used to.

What are you going to do? What can you and I do?” said Kevin, of Chicago.

According to the National Lundberg Survey, the average U.S. price for a gallon of gas went up 18 cents in the past two weeks

In Illinois, residents are paying on average $3.76 per gallon. That is up 28 cents a gallon in just one week.

Some drivers have been pushed to pay for memberships at wholesale outlets such as Costco, where the price Monday was just $3.90.

When they zip back onto the street, drivers say they’re still searching for ways to burn less gas. The drive to save has many shoppers trying plazas to buy clothes, office supplies, electronics, even groceries all in one place.

Experts say if the situation in the Middle East becomes more unstable, prices in the U.S. could head toward $5 this summer.

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