Category Archives: Maps

San Ysidro Ready Lanes 2018

by Traffic Editor Quincy Quiebra……………. 

The key to accessing the San Ysidro Ready Lanes(Requires Passport Card or SENTRI Card) is knowing where to cross the TJ Rio and how to back track from your choice of bridges to the Via Rapida Orienta(aka VRO).  VRO is the 5 lane, one way street that is immediately adjacent to the RIO.

Every time I produce a border routing map, I wonder how anyone could possibly get it right on their first try.  Your chances increase if you have a good navigator traveling with you.

Coming from TJ Playas/Toll Road along the TJ Rio, as the road bends from east to southeast, pick the left lane in photo 1.

If you prefer entering from Calle Segunda(second street), you will be at this spot, aka The TJ NO-K Corral.  It is NOT OK, because a false move into the wrong lane will put a hurt on your travel day. Choose the far left lane from NO-K Corral and you will merge with Step/Photo #1 above.


CAUTION!!!…In 1/2 mile from Photo 1, you will be at this optional right turn.  I have it in caution yellow here and on overview map on top, because taking a right turn here, U-turning at the Independence(aka Scissors) roundabout and crossing the bridge sometimes will provide traffic problems and police tape cut-offs.  I have experienced Ready Lane backups past the Nissan Dealership, so good luck nosing your car into the correct lane. The 2017 Google Earth image that I am using for this post has the lineup 600 yards past Nissan and, from the shadows, appears to be a mid afternoon shot.

PREFER STEP 3, adding 5 worthwhile minutes to your trip.


In 1 mile from Step 1, you will need the right lane and turn right here.  Notice concrete barrier between left lanes and right lanes on this one way blvd.  Get to the right side of barrier.


Showing Step 3 right turn here and your route to enter the Big Chief(Cuauhtemoc) roundabout and U turn onto the Cuauhtemoc bridge.  Stick on the outer edge(third lane from center) of the roundy and you will be fine.  Check out the funky sink hole on the bridge, left side of photo…just my PC doing tricks on Google Earth.


Coming out of the roundabout, choose the third lane from left onto bridge.  You will see plenty of taxis and cars using FAR right lane.  Do NOT pick far right lane.  Lane # 3 is your spot.


On the other side of the bridge, staying in right lane, you will turn right, and make another quick right.  This U turn will bring you along the CFE(electric company) property. The inset photo shows how you are going to circumnavigate CFE.


Here is the alley that runs along the CFE property. I will confess how I discovered this route.  Last year when I was needing the Ready Lane for approx 6 weeks, I noticed several California plated vehicles make this turn into the alley.  Checked out the map and tried it soon after.  Yipee, because the other backtrack to get the other side of this bridge and access the Via Rapida Oriente is not easy.


At the end of the CFE property, you turn right onto Via Rapida Oriente(VRO).  Notice a concrete divider in the middle of the VRO. After your right turn here in step #8, you will need to find one of the crossover openings to get to the left 3 lanes.


Get to the LEFT side of the concrete divider ASAP.  This is another reason NOT to choose optional step #2 bridge crossing…need room to get through the two or three openings in the divider. Choose the MIDDLE LANE once on the left side of the divider.


FELICIDADES/CONGRATS.  This was one of my early morning Ready Lane crossings last year to catch a flight to Reno in September.  Thanks to friends who gave me several huge assists on this trip including a vehicle rental and a garage for airport parking. This was approx 05:15 on a Friday morning.  Thirty five minute wait was not too bad.

Six SENTRI, ten Ready and six regular lanes were available this September morning.  They adjust these lanes as traffic changes.

Choosing the Ready Lanes vs. the Regular Lanes is a coin flip on which is faster.  Sundays and Monday morning(and Tuesday mornings after Monday U.S. holidays) are always slow in Reg and Ready.  Slow can be 2-3 hours, zzz!

This is not the only way to Ready Lanes, but, I’m recommending it to minimize TJ traffic variables.

If you don’t know how to get from the Toll Road to step1 of Ready Lanes, here is your bonus map showing the 270 degree turn(looks like an upside down #4) at the “San Diego/Zona Rio” exit…


Navigating Ensenada Southbound

                        by staff Traffic Editor Quincy Quiebra                

Getting south through Ensenada is not a big challenge if you know how to reconnect to Avenida Reforma on the south end of the city.  The above map with numbers corresponding to key intersection photos, below, will lead the way.

After paying your toll at the Ensenada Toll Booth, enjoy your aapproach to Ensenada with fish packing plants, some great taco shops, cervecerias and fun restaurants.

1. Five miles south of the toll booth, your first decision is at a Y.  Take the right route at this intersection to “Zona Turistica”.  A left here can be a handy bypass around downtown when racing(Baja 1000/500 , Bicycle races) events clog Centro Ensenada.  No, that 9th/10th street bypass/truck route is much slower than Zona Turistico route 340 days per year. Here is map and photos for the 9th/10th street bypass.

2. Two miles south of your Y decision in step 1 is a traffic light at the northern edge of downtown Ensenada. This intersection gets clogged during afternoon rush hour or on weekends.  Simply follow traffic bearing to your right.  This is Costero Blvd.   Bienvenidos a Ensenada!  We are working on spiffing up this drab entrance to the city and will report back to you on that project’s progress soon. 8)

3. Two miles from the previous step #2 will put you here, at the Municipal Beach, “Playa Hermosa”. See the sign for Hw1 and La Bufadora?  Yep, left turn here, with Ocean’s Bar(excellent landmark/weak restaurant) on your left.

4. As you are now headed inland/eastward, in 1/2 mile, at the second 4way stoplight, turn right.  My photo looks like a Pemex gas station here, but it is now(2018) an Arco station.  This is Avenida Reforma, aka Hwy 1, upon which you are turning right.  Congrats/Felicidades!  Oh, one more danger note is that a forever pothole monster lurks in the right lane, just before your right turn.

5. You will pass through shopping centers and the MacroPlaza(mall with Walmart, Telnor/Telcel, Home Depot, Costco…aka “Little America”), then dropping down the hill into the agricultural fields of the little town called Maneadero.  A total of 8 miles from step 4 above will put you at the La Bufadora exit in Maneadero.  Take a right here to enjoy the most overrated tourist trap in all of Mexico.  Or get your groceries and fill your cooler before your journey south here.

…that Telnor/Telcel store is the best English speaking resource to get cell phone chips and phone plans.  It is tucked in behind McDonald’s at the MacroPlaza.

For those continuing south, the sign pointing to Guerrero Negro gives you approx 350 miles to get to that town.  You have approx 100 miles to San Quintin, the next significant town south and popular night stop.  Cheer up Griswold family.  It’s only 900 more miles to Cabo San Lucas from Maneadero.

Tijuana to Wine Valley Waste Water Aqueduct

Bajadock: We reported on this proposed aqueduct last week.  In that report, we also published an article from 2010 about getting the aqueduct out for bid “soon”.  BTW, what is it about Mexican journalism/culture that almost always prefers to publish a photo of the politicians discussing the project at the press conference over the actual project at hand? If a bomb explosion occurred at the San Ysidro border crossing, rather than a photo of the damage, they would have a photo of officials at a press conference.

I added(as I often do) the above map for those wondering what the deal is all about. Here is the photo attached to the waste water aqueduct article.  The boys have that “when do we get out of here?” look as Baja Governor Kiko speaks.


The governor, Francisco Vega de Lamadrid, confirmed the construction of the aqueduct that will bring treated water from Tijuana to the Guadalupe Valley, which will triple the surface of vineyards and guarantee tourist activities in the most visited region of Baja California.

The state governor indicated that the work has an estimated cost of one thousand 500 million pesos, will be made with resources from the private initiative and has already begun the bidding process of the work.

He pointed out that to guarantee the clarity and legality of this project, the civil organization Transparencia Mexicana was invited to supervise the bidding and construction of the system that will bring the treated water from the La Morita plant from the city of Tijuana to Valle de Guadalupe.

This aqueduct, said Vega de Lamadrid, will have a capacity of up to 1,000 liters per second and the projected cost will be just over 10 pesos per cubic meter, a price that was already accepted by the winemakers who will use those waters.

The governor of Baja California said tentatively the work could be completed in 2019, and of the nearly three thousand hectares of vineyards that are currently had could exceed ten thousand hectares to be provided with this water resource.

He added that parallel to the construction of said aqueduct, the XXII Ayuntamiento de Ensenada works in the Sectoral Program of Ordenamiento del Valle de Guadalupe, which will allow for an orderly growth of urban growth and services in the region.

Regarding the quality of the water that will be brought to the wine region, the Secretary of Agricultural Development of the State, Manuel Valladolid Seamanduras, indicated that the project and tender for the aqueduct was made with the aim of guaranteeing and even exceeding the highest quality standards in treated water.

According to a report from the State Public Services Commission of Tijuana, during the last three years, experimental vineyard cultivations were carried out using these waters.

These works were supervised by the winemaker Camilo Magoni, the State Water Commission, the Technological Institute of Tijuana and the Center for Research and Development in Electrochemistry of Conacyt.

The Cespet informed that the tests done on water, soils and grapes were satisfactory when they were met and were at levels above the technical standards established in the management of this type of water resource.

TJ Playas Hwy Construction

Bajadock: The construction area is approx 1/2 mile east of the Hwy 1 curving from north to east from TJ Playas. Begins Monday 16 April.


The Secretariat of Urban Development and Ecology (SDUE) informs the public about the closure of lanes of circulation of the southern body of the Playas de Tijuana Highway, from the access section to the Lazaro Cárdenas neighborhood to the ramp that comes from the Los Laureles neighborhood to join this road in the direction of the Central Zone.

The Department of Municipal Urban Infrastructure and Works (Doium), explained that in this section of 365 meters will be made soil densification to ensure its stability and prevent risks for motorists to travel through this road.

These works will begin with the closure, for 21 days, of the right lane of the access section to the Lazaro Cárdenas neighborhood to the ramp that comes from the Los Laureles neighborhood to join the Playas de Tijuana – Centro highway. He indicated that the closures will be systematic and gradually between the three lanes so as not to affect the vehicular traffic that circulates daily from Playas de Tijuana towards the Central Zone. It is worth mentioning that access to the Lazaro Cárdenas and Los Laureles neighborhoods will not be obstructed during the execution of these works.

At the conclusion of these works in the south body, these works will begin in the same section, in the north body, that is, in the Center – Playas de Tijuana direction, in which it is estimated that the global work of both directions will be concluded in a 80 day period.

San Ysidro Fast Pass Lane

A few discussions have been on the Fast Pass Lane, aka “Medical Lane”.  Realized that I had not yet posted a map or directions.

First, you need a paper pass to the lane, obtained from a Baja care provider, restaurant, hotel or other business that has these passes.

From Calle Segunda(Second Street), you will enter the Tijuana Corral, photo below, and at position 1 on the map above.

To enter the Fast Pass Lane, choose between the concrete barriers, the Colonia Federal Lane. This area, aka the “TJ NOT-OK Corral”, is one of the most confusing areas to navigate at the border area.  While above photo shows a peaceful setting, it is usually full of vehicles.  If you happen to choose the wrong lane, good luck changing.

At position #2 in the above map, this gate is where you will be asked for your paper pass to enter the Fast Pass Lane.  The right side of this is the Colonia Federal Loop, which is one way to get to the SENTRI lanes OR pick up a pedestrian that has cross from San Ysidro to Tijuana. But, do NOT choose the right side of this booth if you are not experienced with the Colonia Federal area.  That is another flustercluck mess that will cause you great pain.

The Fast Pass lane moves you to the right(inland) of the shops where you approach the border crossing station.

The problem with this lane is that there have been several counterfeit passes and other abuses.  The one time I tried this lane a few years ago, it was backed up for likely the same wait as the regular lanes.

San Ysidro Pedestrian Crossing

I have never dropped a passenger northbound at the San Ysidro border crossing.  I use the Otay Mesa crossing with my SENTRI pass to drop a pedestrian. A non-sentri passenger cannot use the fast SENTRI lane.  But, a friend asked me for a map on dropping his friend off at SY/TJ.  Here we go.

San Ysidro(Tijuana) pedestrian crossings have up to 60,000 people walking across the border daily.  I have seen the long lines in hot weather or rain, ouch.  But, per the above video, the new(2016) PedWest crossing eases that pain a bit.

Above map shows the paths for the east and west ped crossings.  The east is easier to access and is a shorter route.  But, PedWest has more agents processing ped, so it is usually a much shorter wait.

The north end of PedWest is also your dropoff for a pedestrian crossing southbound.

Dropping off passengers for PedEast is anywhere in Regular, Ready or Sentri lanes.

From Border Wait Time estimate, here is a snapshot Sunday morning at 10AM with no wait at PedWest and a 40 minute wait at PedEast.

So, maybe next time, I will drop someone at PedWest and provide a report on that event in near future.  If I do that, per my San Ysidro SENTRI map above, will drop them off after I cross the PVC Bridge near Av de la Amistad at position #2. I have also plotted that in dark green in top photo.


Of course, you will also need to plan a pickup spot on San Ysidro side of border for your passenger.  There is a McD in the Outlet Malls for Pedwest, but that Achiote Restaurant interests me.  A Jack in the Box is adjacent to the Trolley Station at PedEast.

Any ped crossers that can provide recent reports?  Thanks.

Scenic Road Bypass Discussion Continues

The construction of an alternate route to the Scenic Highway is necessary to avoid road deterioration due to the passage of heavy trucks, said César Ramos García, president of the Mexican Chamber of Construction Industry (CMIC) in Ensenada.

“The stage was never designed to withstand the passage of such vehicles, never, therefore deterioration and constant repairs suffered by the road,” he said.

Specialists in soil CMIC announced on the basis of technical studies that the scenic road suffers its worst deterioration by the passage of heavy trucks, both cargo and passengers, so it is urgent that they be diverted as soon as possible.

He gave as an example San Francisco, California, where on one of its stretches it passes along the coast, like Ensenada, but heavy traffic is forbidden there.

“Studies of soil have shown that the passage of each truck is equivalent to the same damage and wear that would generate 50 sedans; at that level is the wear of the Scenic, making it also dangerous to move in areas closed by these heavy units, “he said.

The president of CMIC emphasized to continue investing in the realization of the alternate route and to do it with professional technical studies to get the project out as soon as possible.

“It is time to see road investments as a growth opportunity before spending, since the alternate route will be developed, will also be promoting the creation of industrial parks, of which Ensenada lacks and of which the state is urgent”, express.

For this reason, he insisted that it is urgent to continue with the Alternate to Scenic section because it will be a pole of industrial development and will immediately stop the passage of heavy vehicles through the Scenic, as they generate terrible and constant damage to the asphalt belt.

Industrial area To
allocate one thousand 750 million pesos in the construction of the alternate route to the Scenic, it has to be seen as an investment for the creation of a pole of industrial development.

The businessman said that the 24.6-kilometer road would connect Bajamar with El Sauzal and could become the industrial area that suffers the city, because when a new industry seeks to settle in a city, it does not look for if its streets are paved or bumpy, Look for connectivity, industrial zones, water and electricity.

“The alternate highway offers that possibility, ample spaces to develop companies and adequate road services, only lack long-term vision,” he said.

Avenida Reforma Floods


Reforma Avenue, in the stretch between Calle Hierro and Avenida de las Rosas, was flooded yesterday morning for several hours because the flow of rainwater in that area was blocked by the construction of a dam on a site particular.

The barrier constructed with stones and earth had to be demolished by personnel of Civil Protection and Municipal Public Services, who broke a padlock that closed the access door to the property and proceeded to remove the materials that prevented the flow of rainwater to the area known as La Lagunita.

The intervention of Civil Protection was protected by elements of Municipal Public Safety, and as explained, this was done to prevent vehicular traffic on Reforma Avenue from being affected by the accumulation of rainwater at that point of the road.

It was also reported that several of the businesses surrounding the site where the dam was placed were affected in their operations and goods by the flood caused by the aforementioned wall, which prevented rainwater from reaching La Lagunita or the ocean.

On February 7 in the Official Gazette of the Federation the National Property Declaration # 1/2017 of the waters of the Don Diego and La Laguna Stream, also known as La Lagunita, Laguna El Ciprés, Laguna Formex Ibarra and / or Laguna El Naranjo

Said declaration also includes the channels, glass and federal zone in the extension established by the Law of National Waters, in this case the so-called Arroyo Don Diego.

The decree ensures that the characteristics of national waters referred to in articles 27 and 16 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States are met, because: “because they are waters that from their starting point flow and form currents that give origin to other declared of national property until emptying to the sea “.

The declaration establishes that it will come into force as of the day following its publication, that is to say on February 9, so that the blockade of the Arroyo Don Diego channel could be considered as damage to the Don Diego Creek.

The declaration is signed by Roberto Ramírez de la Parra, director of the National Water Commission and is accompanied by the technical annexes that establish the location and coordinates of the sites included in said declaration.

a) Its waters originate at 1,231 meters northeast of the Government Center of Ensenada, in the Ex-Ejido Chapultepec, Municipality of Ensenada, State of Baja California, at the point with the geographical coordinates Latitud Norte 31 ° 48′ 51.05 “and West Length 116 ° 35′ 02.27 “, according to its location in the topographic chart of INEGI, ENSENADA H11B12.
b) They are of intermittent regime and drain in a well-defined channel.
c) They follow a Northwest course.
d) They cover a total length of 1,960 meters.
e) 1,279 meters approximately downstream of the origin, they change their course to the Southwest.

Feb 8-13 Carnaval Road Closures


Ensenada, Baja California, February 3.- Due to the festivities on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Carnival 2018, starting this Sunday, February 4, at night, it will begin with the assembly of stages, stalls and mechanical games on the Coastal Buklevard

Rodolfo Lizárraga, general director of the event said that “the only road that will be closed is Blvd. Costero, from Miramar Avenue to Castillo Street, as well as Virgilio Uribe Street between Miramar Avenue and Gastélum Avenue.

He said that the entrance to the city of Ensenada, through the port, at no time will be closed, but said that if you want to avoid some delay, “motorists have the option of taking the entrance on the street Diez.”

The Carnival celebrations will be from February 8 to 13 in the tourist area of ​​the port and it is estimated that they will attract more than 250 thousand people during these six days.

The start will be Thursday with the “burning of the bad mood” at 8:30 at night, in the main temple that will be located in the Civic Plaza of the Fatherland (Tres Cabezas).

Bajadock: The 9th/10th street bypass route is advised this coming week:

I-5 Lane Closures January


Bajadock: Surprised that this has not been more widely publicized yet.  SY remodel is in phase 3 now.  Good news is that they are keeping southbound lanes open at rush hour, after 2PM.  The September 2017 Carmageddon closure of 3 days was a bigger lane clsure event and had minimal impact.

SAN DIEGO CA JANUARY 4, 2018 (AFN) .- According to the information provided by the General Services Administration of the United States (GSA), the US government will close two lanes of Interstate 5 (I- 5) to continue with the expansion and modernization works of the Garita de San Ysidro.

These closures will be carried out on two different dates, the first one being that of the southbound lane (the lane at the west end), from January 10 to 12, from 4:00 a.m. to 2:00 pm.

They explained that this lane will be gradually reduced just south of the Camino De La Plaza flyover.

Also three of the six northbound exit lanes, located at the east end, just past the inspection modules of the United States Department of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), will have night closures, from 10:00 in the evening until 4:00 in the morning.

These tracks, as well as the Rail Court ramp, will be closed during the aforementioned hours until January 31.

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