Queuing for the Border - sunday 2009-07-12 1842 last modified 2009-07-26 2319
Categories: Daily Grind
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Edit: After making the crossing again not on a holiday weekend, this requires some amendments. It's probably faster to come through downtown when both are open because most people end up on the main thoroughfare and not driving amidst downtown. Also, the first twelve lanes or so on the right are actually for people with passes to get through customs faster, so it's not so advantageous a split to head right. It's more likely that the side with less incoming traffic will be faster.

A couple quick notes on crossing back into the US from Tijuana. There are two main access points to the ramp that eventually leads to customs, one from the downtown tourist section of Tijuana, the other from a thoroughfare nearby. I'd guess the thoroughfare is slightly shorter, but it's not always open. People with high clearance drive over medians when it's closed, a circumvention that doesn't seem to be discouraged by the Mexican police. Even when that entrance is closed a steady stream of slow traffic comes up that ramp.

From downtown Tijuana, be sure to be in the right two lanes. Despite the third lane being an actual straight ahead to the ramp lane, it's closed off and is considered a left turn lane. If you're not in a barely-moving line, you're in the wrong one.

The two lanes of downtown queue eventually merge with another two lanes from the thoroughfare, then grows to five lanes, and at the end they fan out into twenty-four checkpoints, much more from the rightmost lanes. Those are the ones that move the fastest; the three leftmost lanes only spread out to maybe eight; all the rest come from the right lanes. This seems to be an artifact of the closing of another approach of six or seven lanes from the right side.

Finally, don't cross over the last day of Independence Day weekend. It takes twice as long, and the traffic police are very, very unhappy.


You figured it a...

You figured it all out while I didn't even bother to investigate into it, taking things for granted. Amazing(!) and a good thing - sharing this useful info with everyone.

Kiona Rhee on July 14, 2009 04:08 AM

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