New Border Crossing Draws Fire

But, no worries, it’s going to get better
BY: DUSTY RHODES

 Half a mile west of the eastern San Yisdro border crossing, which is 8 lanes 24 hours a day going back to the  U.S, a new and much needed pedestrian border entrance from Tijuana to San Ysidro has been cause for celebration north of the border. But in Baja California, there has been mostly uproar over the quality of a temporary structure built by Mexico’s federal government to access what’s called the PedWest facility. About 20,000 pedestrians cross the San Ysidro border going north on an average day, and PedWest is key to their happiness.

After much public pressure from the business community on both sides of the border and from politicians, the Mexican federal government has agreed to shake a leg on building a permanent crossing. Right now it’s a bollixed together plywood thing, kind of shaky, and very unattractive. It will now open for real in September, rather than December.

The 500 yard temporary walkway leads from a pedestrian bridge across the Tijuana River into the El Chapparal port.

The bottom line to the unhappiness is what local officials see as the problem with federal officials calling the shots from Mexico City. They say they can’t possibly know what’s needed at the border.

PedWest’s 14 foot lanes are critical to the San Ysidro Port of Entry, by anyone who walks across, rather than driving.

Not to admit that the temporary structure is dangerous, as many people are saying, but the construction guys are hanging around, helping people over the bumps on the floor and pushing crips in wheelchairs.