Tijuana Border Lane Merge


I have been crossing the border to and fro my home on the south side of Ensenada for the past 9 years.

It took me a while to learn that the righthand land of I-5 merges with the left lane of 805 approx 1/2 mile north of the border.  This merge doubles the time of the crossing for those 2 lanes and is especially hairy with road rage on Friday afternoon crunch hours.

But I just learned this Friday that the the lane next to the leftmost 805 lane also merges into this mess.  That’s 3 for 1 happy hour merging special, AMC Gremlin fans.  I was on 805(plz forgive my non-cali dismissal of the definite article to raise the prominence of I-805 to “THE 805”) yesterday due to some shopping in Eastlake that got me into this merging mess.

Hey Doc, it’s 5 minutes, loosen your grip and enjoy the ride.   Yes, that is true.  But, my Friday was a grind for time on several projects.  My edge was a bit prickly.  I sincerely apologize to the 6 vehicles I dented and scraped during my merge.

Easy memory is that on I-5, the left lanes of this merge, STAY LEFT.  On 805, the right lanes of this merge, STAY RIGHT.

It is natural for those wanting access to the Scenic Road/Hwy1 in Baja try to catch the right lane on I-5.  But, I have always found it ez to sift through the cars along the “hallway” after the WTF turn westbound.  Speed bumps, distractions, nervous nellies smuggling contraband and other factors leave plenty of openings to get to the right hand lanes approaching the Mexican crossing gates.

More on the WTF turn into the hallway, what is with the Mexican cop car blocking the left lane on my last 3 trips?  I do not see a churro or doughnut cart nearby.

On the after Mex inspection station merge, if you have the right attitude, you can get across from the left lane to the right lane for the bridge over the Rio.

BTW, it had been 18 months since being waved into my last Mexican secondary inspection.  But, yesterday, they pulled me over, immediately went to my back hatch and asked to open the box of my new TV receiver.  Friendly guy asked where I lived and how it was in Ensenada.  No prob and I was on my way with a whopping 60 second delay.

Total wait time southbound at TJ Friday at 6PM was approx 20 minutes.


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