Tag Archives: tijuana border crossing map

San Ysidro Ready Lane Map



San Ysidro Ready Lane Map, or how to get lost in Tijuana!  If my map confuses you, please blame the clusterfluff of Tijuana and not my map-making skills.  Constructed this map for visitors and forgot to publicize earlier.

CBP Ready Lane ID Requirement  If you have a passport CARD, that works for Ready Lane.  Unfortunately, the newish RFID passport BOOKS do NOT qualify for READY LANE.

With all of the construction and changes at the San Ysidro Border Crossing(Tijuana), please beware that these instructions could change at the whim of Customs and Border Patrol(CBP) and/or the city of Tijuana.  Traffic, blocked off roads and some holiday celebrations can put you in for a long day if you don’t know how to navigate Tijuana.

If you really need to escape TJ from here, the Cuauhtemoc Bridge crossing will have signs to get you to the AIRPORT and/or the OTAY MESA BORDER CROSSING.

My TWO keys to navigating Tijuana are:

a)the two ONE WAY boulevards that are adjacent to the Tijuana Rio, Via Rapida Poniente(WEST) and Via Rapida Oriente(EAST).  VRP bypasses the TJ stop signs, traffic lights and pedestrians and runs from West to Southeast.  VRO is also a congestion bypass that runs from Tijuana East to the San Ysidro Border Crossing.

b)the two bridges that cross the Rio,  Independencia(Scissors Monument) and Cuauhtemoc(Aztec Chief) bridges gain access to Via Rapida Oriente.

Following photos, 1 thru 7, are also plotted with corresponding numbers on map.

At Photo location #1 Below, get to left lane, which is Via Rapida Poniente.


vrp2scissors  vrpc  cuauhvro mhg2vro  vronissanready  syrl7

Once on Via Rapida Poniente, there are two “exit” options to access the two bridges getting you north to READY LANES.  The Scissors Roundabout Bridge exit(PHOTO #2) is 1/2 mile from photo #1.  The Cuauhtemoc Roundabout Bridge(PHOTO #3) is 1 mile from photo #1.

Hey, Doc, why would I travel an extra half mile and further away from the border to access the Cuautemoc Bridge?  GOOD QUESTION.  If the Ready Lane is really busy(weekend, day after holiday) it’s going to be backed up past the Scissors Bridge and you’ll have a tough time merging there.  btw, if this would ever happen to me, I would SKEDADDLE over to Otay Mesa Crossing!!!

The good news is that on the north(east? closer to the USA?) side of either bridge you choose, the drill to access the READY LANE is the same.  You will encounter a roundabout(aka glorieta) within .1 mile after crossing the bridge.  As you do your 180 degree maneuver at the roundabout, GET to the RIGHT LANE leading to VIA RAPIDA ORIENTE(VRO) and READY LANES.  WARNING…if you don’t get to RIGHT LANE, you’ll end up back on the bridge for another tour of the monuments.   Photos 4 and 5 show you the way.

Photo #5 above shows the route to VRO(along the side of the bridge) 200 yds after the Miguel Hidalgo Glorieta(MHG).  Photo #6 puts you at the Nissan dealer right turn to VRO.  BE CERTAIN to merge left ASAP after the Nissan right turn to access the READY LANES.    Miss this merge left and you’ll have to circle back south on PASEO CENTENARIO to Miguel Hidalgo roundabout for a second attempt.  Click any of the photos to enlarge them.  Photo #s in top left corner correspond to locations on San Ysidro Ready Lane Map.

Once on the left side of the barrier on VIA RAPIDA ORIENTE, hug that barrier.  The left lane backs up for those accessing the Av Independencia that leads back to the Tijuana Playas.

To guess your border wait time, see the Border Wait Time site, that allows travelers to enter wait time info vs. relying on the CBP.


New Tijuana Border Crossing 2012

This week was my first time through the new Tijuana Border Crossing(aka “Chaparral” Port of Entry).  Thanks toBajaNomad forum for info, video, map and discussion.  My first crossing south to TJ on Nov 9 story/photos here.

The new entry into Mexico from San Ysidro to Tijuana opened 1 November 2012.  The geographical change is not a big deal.  The number of vehicle inspections when crossing into Tijuana is way up.  Early reports are that more than half of vehicles are getting a brief inspection, leading to more than 1 hour delays during rush hour.

If you are headed south to Rosarito or Ensenada via the scenic/toll road, gotta hustle to RIGHT LANE immediately after the inspection chamber.   That right lane get you to ramp and bridge that will turn you west to the familiar route to get to Highway 1, Playas de Tijuana and your fun southbound.

Getting 2nd hand reports on duty being charged for food.  Will look forward to solid first hand reports on the filtering and duty paid for other products.  Bajadock’s Pub wine importing is very interested in the “adjustments”.

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