Tag Archives: border crossing


ROSARITO AND ENSENADA ADVENTURES – Rides in Rosarito, dining in Ensenada offer memorable views and moments south of the border
By Wendy Lemlin Oct. 13, 2013

If you go – Getting there

Cross the border at San Ysidro and bear to the right, following signs for Rosarito-Ensenada Scenic Road and then signs for Ensenada Cuota. For the Rosarito Beach Hotel and Susanna’s, take the third Rosarito exit, and continue straight to Blvd. Benito Juarez.

Returning to the U.S.

Important: You must have a valid passport to re-enter the United States.

Some hotels and restaurants, including the Rosarito Beach Hotel and Susanna, offer a one-time “Fast Pass” allowing access to the faster, specifically designated border lanes.

Ensenada lodging
Casa Natalie: Hotelncasanatalie.com/English.
Hotel Coral & Marina: Hotelcoral.com
Rosarito Beach lodging
Rosarito Beach Hotel: RosaritoBeachHotel.com
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Baja Is Back


Hip and delicious. There’s no reason not to get in your car and go.
By Elizabeth Salaam from the San Diego Reader, July 24, 2013

In a December 2011 Vanity Fair article, writer Dana Vachon described Chula Vista as “a sputtering neon error of beauty academies and pawnshops, recently terrorized by a homicidal Tijuana drug gang skilled at dissolving bodies in chemicals.” He also referred to the year 1989 as a time before “Mexicans were festooning highways with one another’s severed heads.” When the article came out, Chula Vistans and their mayor responded with vehement demands that Vanity Fair writers check their facts (there is only one beauty academy, damn it) and come visit this beloved seven-miles-from-the-border town before taking their stories to print.

Hip and delicious. There’s no reason not to get in your car and go.

Hip and delicious. There’s no reason not to get in your car and go.

The same month the article was published, my husband and I bought a house in Chula Vista, and so I understood the embarrassment over the description. At the same time, factual or not, the writer had aptly summarized the images that presented themselves to me whenever I considered a day-trip across the border. While I hardly felt terrorized in Chula Vista, I was clear on the fact that I would not be going to Mexico anytime soon.

And then, this past Easter weekend, less than a year and a half later, I was hit with the realization that half of everyone I know was either currently gallivanting around Mexico or had just returned. Yes, I’d seen articles in the New York Times about the burgeoning art scene in Tijuana, and in the Wall Street Journal and Condé Nast Traveler about the wine country of Valle de Guadalupe. But somehow, as hip and delicious as all that sounded, I’d never relinquished my fear. Here it was, Semana Santa (holy week), and I was home in Eastlake wondering when Mexico had stopped being a scary place to visit and whether I was the last person still hung up on beheadings, while everyone else was living it up in Baja.
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12/20/2011 San Ysidro “Ready Lane” will start operating. By: Miguel Sedano.


The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency is set to open a new Ready Lane at the San Ysidro port of entry for persons crossing the border with RFID-embedded travel documents.
Radio Frequency Identification Technology
The new Ready Lane at San Ysidro will operate 24 hours a day, granting access to travelers with valid documentation such as the U.S. Passport Card, SENTRI card, the new Legal Permanent Resident “green card” and the new Border Crossing Card.

RFID-enabled cards together with the new Ready Lane will allow officers to screen travelers faster; the Ready Lane supports the ability to capture an entire group of travelers, in one vehicle, who may have different types of RFID-enabled travel documents.

The planned Ready Lane at San Ysidro follows the successful opening of a Ready Lane at the Otay Mesa port of entry, which also reduced wait times and eased traffic flows.

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Baja California Mexico moving ahead with new border crossing. Compilied By: Miguel Sedano.

While U.S. funding to finish the expansion of the San Ysidro port of entry is not yet allocated, Mexico appears on track to complete its new southbound border crossing.

Mexico is to finish construction in 2012 of the crossing, known as El Chaparral, as well as new bridges that will be needed for the transborder traffic, said Mexican Congressman Gastón Luken on Friday during the 21st summit of the South County Economic and Development Council.Mexico New Border 2012

Luken, who represents Baja California, said that Mexico has allocated $55 million to finish the project as planned. The funds came from fees collected at Mexican commercial border crossings.

“The expansion project should be seen as an investment not an expense,” Luken said about the San Ysidro expansion.

The remodeling and expansion project is to be done in three phases, which together are to cost $577 million.

Phase one is under way which involves the demolition of the existing port of entry building and expansion of traffic lanes from 24 to 62.

The second phase, which is to start in 2013, involves improving the pedestrian processing facilities.

And in the third phase, the I-5 southbound lanes will be shifted to accommodate the expansion of northbound lanes. The new southbound lanes are to connect to El Chaparral.

The total San Ysidro project was to be completed by 2016 but that date is now in doubt because the U.S. Congress has not yet funded phases two and three. When pressed as to what a potential funding delay means, project managers say that the expansion will be finished, but later than planned.

What’s more, a potential delay would also affect the planned U.S. expansions of the Otay Mesa and Calexico border crossings.

The annual summit drew about 400 people to the San Diego Convention Center to hear a variety of leaders and analysts discuss the region’s economy. One panel featured elected officials from all levels of government in California, as well as Luken, speaking about “The Future of the Border Region.”

They all spoke about the importance of securing the funds to complete the San Ysidro project.

“Reducing the wait times should be the priority,” stressed Assemblyman Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, during the panel discussion.

He said that reducing wait times by one hour per day would generate an additional $7 billion in revenue per year for San Diego County.

For his part, San Diego Councilman David Alvarez said he recently visited Washington, D.C. as part of a regional delegation that included officials from both sides of the border, including Luken, to lobby members of Congress to approve the funds to complete the expansion.

“There are no funds yet, but we must make the effort to raise awareness of the importance of transforming the San Ysidro border crossing,” said Alvarez, who represents District 8.

U.S. Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, said, “many people would die to live in a region like this one.” That’s why an investment should be made to make traveling between both countries easier, something that would spur economic development in both countries, he said.

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New Otay Border Crossing Option “Ready Lane” By: Miguel Sedano

Ready Lane


Otay Mesa, Calif. — Beginning Monday, May 2, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will open a new Ready Lane at the Otay Mesa port of entry for travelers who have a travel document enabled with Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, technology.
The Ready Lane is a lane for vehicle traffic that only accepts RFID-enabled cards. The new Ready Lane at the Otay Mesa border crossing will be open Monday through Friday from 4 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. In order to use this dedicated lane, all adult passengers in the vehicle over the age of 16 must present an approved travel card. The U.S. Passport Card, SENTRI card, the new Legal Permanent Resident “green card” and the new Border Crossing Card are all RFID-enabled documents.
For example, the Ready Lane can be used by a group of travelers in one vehicle who may have different kinds of RFID-enabled travel documents, such as if the driver is a member of the SENTRI trusted traveler program, and the passengers all have other kinds of RFID-enabled documents, such as a U.S. Passport Card or a new Border Crossing Card. While only vehicles with all SENTRI members can use the dedicated SENTRI lane, a group with any mixture of RFID-enabled travel cards can use the Ready Lane.
Travelers using the Ready Lane should follow these three simple steps as they approach a U.S. land port of entry with their RFID-enabled travel card:
•    Stop at the beginning of the lane and make sure each passenger has their card out.
•    When it is your turn, drive slowly through the lane and hold all cards up on the driver’s side of the vehicle.
•    Stop at the officer’s booth.

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World-class plans for busy border crossing

$630 million, binational, eco-friendly expansion project is designed to lessen wait times at San Ysidro port.

By Sandra Dibble and Janine Zúñiga

World-class plans for busy border crossing

World-class plans for busy border crossing

Architects working on a major expansion and realignment of the San Ysidro Port of Entry, one of the busiest land-border crossings in the world, say they’re creating an environmentally friendly update that will quicken the flow of drivers and pedestrians.

“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime to work on a facility that is this important, not only in terms of size … but also because of all the national security issues,” said the project’s top architect, Craig Curtis of Seattle- based Miller Hull Partnership.

The General Services Administration is handling the U.S. side of the project. It plans to spend $577 million, and the Mexican government will invest $54 million.

The port of entry will stay open during all three phrases of construction, but delays could occur. The first phase is taking place, with U.S. crews building a new 1,600foot-long pedestrian bridge.

More congressional funding is needed for the entire project, which won’t be completed until at least 2016.

The number of northbound vehicle inspection lanes will increase from 24 to 34.

Southbound lanes will increase from six to as many as 12.

There will be two pedestrian crossing areas in both directions on either side of Interstate 5. Currently, there is one northbound pedestrian crossing east of I-5, and one southbound crossing that’s west of I-5.

The revamped port of entry will have more buildings for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a larger primary and secondary vehicle inspection area, and a larger northbound connection and a realigned southbound connection to Mexico’s planned El Chaparral Land Point of Entry facility.

The community has long pushed for a project that would decrease wait times at the border. Now it’s working with government officials to minimize disruptions to nearby businesses during the construction phases.

The San Ysidro Smart Border Coalition successfully campaigned for the second southbound pedestrian lane east of I-5. It’s still working to secure what it believes are fair payments to businesses displaced by the project.

Coordinators want the project’s buildings to receive a platinum rating, the highest designation for green construction offered in the U.S. They also hope to achieve “net zero energy” in all buildings, meaning that as much power is generated as it is consumed.

The United States has no netzero facilities that operate 365 days a year.

In addition, plans call for a 700,000-gallon rainwater reclamation system that would use the water for landscaping.

Architects say with a separate processing area for buses, they hope to encourage people heading north to forego their own vehicles and use public transit instead.

The Mexican side of the project involves moving southbound lanes west of the current crossing and more than doubling their number — to 19.

Officials said by the end of this year, workers will complete two of four bridges connected to the expansion: Three will channel southbound traffic to different parts of Tijuana, while the fourth will feed into the northbound lanes.

Mario Diaz Solis, director of special projects for Baja California, said the new southbound lanes should be open by 2013.

Browse for Mexico Real Estate and  Rosarito Real Estate.

Construction Begins At San Diego Border Crossing


December 17, 2009

SAN DIEGO — The federal government has begun replacing the nation’s busiest border crossing, promising shorter waits into California for tens of thousands of people who enter daily from Tijuana, Mexico.

Existing Tijuana - San Ysidro Border Crossing

Existing Tijuana - San Ysidro Border Crossing

The $577 million blueprint unveiled Thursday calls for increasing the number of lanes into San Diego to 30 from 24 and equipping each lane with two inspection booths instead of one. Six existing lanes into Tijuana will be moved slightly to the west.

Construction is scheduled to finish in September 2015, though the date hinges on money. Congress has funded about half – $293 million – none of it from the federal stimulus package.

Waiting times for the 50,000 vehicles that enter San Diego daily often reach two hours, clogging Tijuana roads. And as the Mexican government has beefed up inspections for guns and cash this year, motorists can wait more than an hour on California Interstates 5 and 805 to enter Tijuana.

Waits for California-bound motorists will drop significantly, but it’s too early to say by how much, said Oscar Preciado, the program manager for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. read more »