Free Road Report July 2014

No drama during my Thursday San Diego shopping day that began in light fog just before sunrise.

1. Free Road northbound from Ensenada to La Mision was clear with speeds averaging 60mph.  Only bogged down as I approached the coast behind a slow moving truck for the last 3 miles of the Free Road. borderoptions 2. Toll Road was extremely light.  I have not used Blvd 2000 from Popotla to Otay in a couple of years.  That haul east and trackback to Otay is too long at approx 32 miles vs. Toll Road to North Rosarito Free Road.  Using NRFR to TJ Airport for Otay access is only 22 miles.  Traffic IS heavy on Hwy 2 to TJ airport , but, it moves swiftly during morning rush hour.   3. Ahead of schedule and picked Tijuana/San Ysidro over Otay this trip.  The N.R.F.R. dumps you into downtown Tijuana at the Cuauhtemoc roundabout.  Stay straight through that roundy, cross the rio and I COULD NOT BELIEVE MY EYES that a sign guides you to the SAN DIEGO SENTRI LANES.   Take the semi right hand turn as you approach this green belt and it will move you 270 degrees to a stoplight that will access Linea Int’l(aka Av Padre Kino).  SENTRI LANES have more good signage on Av Padre Kino.  It’s only 1 mile from the stoplight at green belt to SENTRI entry.


4. Lineup was just behind the stop sign at the SENTRI LANE bridge, but, total wait time was less than 10 minutes at 8AM.  The east bank of SENTRI gates were closed off for some kind of construction, so you wind west a bit as you approach the gates. sbb&g

5.  Did my usual shopping stops and my car’s outside temp gauge reaching 96F when inland.  Wow, that heat is not my thing.  Highlight of San Diego tour was the WORLD’S BEST FISH TACOS at SOUTH BEACH BAR & GRILL/Ocean Beach. (click the highlighted purple link for taco porn).  The Mahi fish is grilled and the salsa topping is fresh and crunchy.  View of the surf is not bad. 6.  Crossed TJ southbound at 6:45PM.  Lineup was about 200 yards before the new right hand turn.   What’s the idea with the white canvass canopy of lights just before that right turn???  Took about 10 minutes to get through the gates and to the bridge leading to TJ Playas/Scenic Road.


7.  I take the Free Road TJ Bypass(see first map above) when heading south to home.  After the big hill along the border, instead of the right turn toward TJ Playas, stay straight.  The Pemex here takes credit cards, fyi.  In 6 miles you will merge to North Rosarito Free Road.   From here, another 7 miles south, you can hop on the Toll Road at the WalMart/Home Depot shopping center.   The time difference between the Toll Road vs. my Free Road routing described here is negligible.  The Free Road TJ Bypass hauls ass with no stop signs and no traffic lights.  

8.  Traffic on the La Mision to Ensenada Free Road was heavy but behaving well this evening.  This 20 mile stretch of the Free Road a good 2 lane highway and usually takes 30 minutes to navigate.  If you are alert and keep plenty of space between you and the car in front of you, you should have no problem.

9. The latest construction on Carretera La Bufadora has made big progress in the last 10 days.  There is pavement all the way except for approx 1/2 mile stretch just east of Cantu.


10. SECOND best part of climbing the hill up to Colonia Puerto Escondido in last night’s fog was seeing my car’s outside temp gauge dive to 67 degrees.  Best part was of the hill climb was getting out of the Vibrator for a couple of beers with my good friend to complete a productive day. CHEERS!



  1. Janika
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 21:45 | Permalink | Reply

    Doc, I nominate you as the official traffic coordinator to help us cross the border. Well done, amigo!

    • bajadock
      Posted July 26, 2014 at 06:52 | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, but, disagree. Getting lost in TJ is a great way to learn the city. Only whimps stick to the straight and narrow.

One Trackback

  1. […] (if you miss this right turn to Scissors from the Via Rapida Poniente, take a right at next bridge overpass, which will lead you to the Big Chief Cuauhtemoc roundabout.  Do a 180 at the Chief, cross the river on the bridge and follow SENTRI and SAN DIEGO signs to Av Padre Kino.  Click:  THIS POST provides a map of the BIG CHIEF maneuver). […]

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