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Tijuana keeps on plowing ahead with its colossal street renovations. Recently, 10 to 12 inches of asphalt were removed from Avenida Constitución, the street stripped down to sandy soil that hasn’t seen daylight for perhaps 70 years. Heaps of tar-oozing chunks are being moved out, to be replaced by a freeway-like surface of grooved concrete. A couple of streets have already received the concrete treatment, most notably Artículo 123 (First Street) and significant segments of Calle Benito Juárez (Second Street).

It has probably been more than half a century since Tijuana has seen so much renovation in infrastructure. Some of these projects were begun almost two years ago. A major renovation of Avenida Revolución was begun under former mayor Jorge Hank Rhon. The once ultra-wide Revolución was substantially narrowed and the sidewalks widened and lined with palm trees to make it more pedestrian-friendly.

Constitución is parallel to Revolución (one block west) and considered Tijuana’s main downtown drag for locals. It’s a street not often seen by tourists, yet its junction with Calle Benito Juárez marks the true gateway to the Zona Norte.

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Founder Aug. 14, 2010 @ 11:05 a.m.

Now all they need to do, is connect it safely to the Border... Ole

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Evelyn Aug. 16, 2010 @ 9:26 a.m.

What do you mean by safely, Founder?

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Founder Aug. 16, 2010 @ 11:15 a.m.

Reply #3

Enhancing a patrolled pathway or Zone, that welcomes folks that do cross the Border, to a clean safe way to get to the "new" shopping district. One that improves upon the current walk across the bridge (whose dark stairways are often smelly because there are no public restrooms nearby) to have fun on the way to Avenida Revolución and then again back to the Mexican side of US Border crossing for reentry to the USA.

This would seem to me to be the most important project in TJ today, because it would encourage American tourists to once again start traveling and shopping South of the Border. It would also help fill up all those small shops I love and that would be a Blessing for all the shop keepers that are being financially devastated by the lack of tourism now caused by the "fear" of Crime.

I imagine a Park like atmosphere, with licensed "personal" guides & Green Angels on street patrol, to welcome everyone to the area, insuring they all have a safe and enjoyable time. I could also see electric powered pulmania's (SP?) and or restricted auto access. I don't know how to say it in Spanish, but a Green Zone of Sanctuary or a "Green Peace Park" would put that entire Area on the Map and also be a model for what folks should expect on both sides of the Border from BOTH our Governments! Perhaps one (or more) of Mexico's Billionaire's would help promote the Park in-trade for having it named after their Family... If it becomes a huge success, then other Parks could be constructed in other Cities all over Mexico, here in the USA and maybe even in other Countries around the World!

Once that "Pathway to Peaceful Progress" is more user friendly, then many more folks will once again, venture on foot and by car, across the border to re-discover the "Amigo Spirit" that Mexico is World-Famous for...

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David Dodd Aug. 16, 2010 @ 11:34 a.m.

Founder, Mexico is not going to become the U.S. And that pathway isn't dangerous, I've walked it thousands of times, without issue. I'm about as "glass-half-full" as they come concerning U.S.-Mexico relations, but one thing I think that people tend to do (I certainly did it the first couple of years that I lived here) is to think of one country in terms that are entirely based on the other. I don't see taco stands on every corner over there, white Americans would likely freak out and think that Mexicans had taken over ;)

Tijuana's tourism is gone forever, that happened when the WTC fell. Obviously, it is made worse by media hype over everyone here apparently getting killed (apparently, I'm the only one it doesn't affect), but it all started on that day, when the twin towers fell, everyone here knows it. Tijuana will continue to redefine herself. Some tourists will show up, but I think that this City will ultimately become the manufacturing center envisioned during the NAFTA years. And, hopefully, remain as a center of art and culture that so many on the other side have never come to know.

That's pretty much all that's left at this point.

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Evelyn Aug. 16, 2010 @ 12:01 p.m.

Not only is that pathway not dangerous (from the few times i've walked it) but, like Refried said, Mexico isn't dangerous either. You're not the only one not affected, Refried. My family's survived the violence that the media so loves to push.

How did the towers falling affect tourism? I hadn't thought of that...

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David Dodd Aug. 16, 2010 @ 12:05 p.m.

Oh, blue, it was wicked. Basically, the U.S. simply all but closed the border, it took me more than four hours every day to cross for a month afterward. People just stopped coming over, no one wanted to wait that long. People are under the impression that the recent violence (or rather, the media's coverage of it) caused what's going on in Tijuana with tourism, but really, it started way back then.

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Evelyn Aug. 16, 2010 @ 12:17 p.m.

Hmm, very true Refried... I hadn't thought of that. And the lines just keep getting worse. I went on vacation to Mexico days after 9/11 and walking back was horrible...

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MsGrant Aug. 16, 2010 @ 12:26 p.m.

Refried's right. We used to go all the time, and I would say since 9/11 we have crossed the border via car maybe 5 times. The reported violence is not what keeps us away. It is the waits. Brutal. On a related note, Refried, can you tell me if Mexico still does the half-price specials in January? I went to Las Rocas in 2005 and it was amazing. Everything, including our hotel room, was half off.

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Founder Aug. 16, 2010 @ 12:31 p.m.

Reply #5, # 6 & #7 What I was referring to was, what it would take to make Avenida Revolución become the "Happening Place" it once was; and it's not street repairs!

I've also taken that walk lots of times (no problema) but I consider myself a seasoned amigo; cleaning up that area would be really good for business as now many "new" tourists just go to the Bridge and not over it...

I agree that 9/11 was a "game changer" (but only the first half), and was in PV on that day and the locals were crying about what happened, feeling so sorry for all the poor people! BTW: the local hotels allowed folks stranded in Mexico (when the air travel was halted) to stay at very reduced rates, which is something their US counterparts did not do! The second half of the 9/11 "game changer" is the recent crime "wave" that has been receiving mucho attention on both sides of the Border; this has had a huge affect on small shop owners in the area (on my last foot trip across the Border there were only a handful of tourists instead of hundreds.

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Evelyn Aug. 16, 2010 @ 3:58 p.m.

That you know of, Parker. Don't assume opinions from the lack of comments.

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David Dodd Aug. 16, 2010 @ 4:58 p.m.

Blue, when some commenters are obviously simply attempting to bait me, you'll find that I often ignore them. There is no reason for me to comment on the Chula Vista/Tijuana story, a certain user's comments in there are simply troll-bait. Others who live in Tijuana seem to recognize this as well. It's like reading any story about Mexico in the online version of the U-T, all you have to do is to scroll the comments and you realize how many people that have spent practically no time in Mexico hate Mexico and Mexicans. There's no sense in glorifying such commenters.

MsGrant: I'm really unsure of January specials at this point. I'm not used to paying attention to that, but I'll certainly keep my ears and eays open and let you know. And yes, there are practically no tourists anymore. Revo looks like a ghost town, even on Saturdays in the afternoon.

Founder: It would be great if the tourists came back, but I wouldn't count on that ever happening. The City of Tijuana has actually made great improvements, Ave. Revo, Zona Norte, and the path into Centro have all been reworked and beautified in recent years. And now they're working on Constitución, which is a smart move because many of those shops that cater to locals remain open, so it certainly doesn't hurt any sprinkle of tourism. I think the problem is more than just image. Twenty years ago I used to cross back into the U.S. without even having to show identification. Now, you need a passport, and you still get the occasional grilling concerning who you are and why you are crossing.

The climate really changed a lot since 9/11, and it continues as time passes.

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nan shartel Aug. 16, 2010 @ 5:18 p.m.

my HB and my dentist is there and we walk across frequently...we have no problems

i would like to know more about that area of Chula Vista that has so many Mexicans settling there...

i did find this http://newamericamedia.org/2010/07/welcome-to-new-tijuana-east-lake-terrace.php

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David Dodd Aug. 16, 2010 @ 5:27 p.m.

"The second half of the 9/11 "game changer" is the recent crime "wave" that has been receiving mucho attention on both sides of the Border; this has had a huge affect on small shop owners in the area (on my last foot trip across the Border there were only a handful of tourists instead of hundreds."

That "seems" apparent, but I think it's almost impossible to determine that for certain. There are going to be a handful of people that claim they no longer visit Mexico for that reason, and while that sentiment might be true, there's a chance that it wouldn't have mattered anyway; that even had the government not decided to crack down on the cartels, and the violence had never reached the level it is at currently, that the border wait and the passport rule and so on wouldn't have kept them away regardless.

But you're correct, it has to be included as a factor. If people don't feel safe somewhere then they shouldn't go to that place. But it seems that people would rather complain about it from over in the U.S., regardless. I keep telling Americans to please stop taking drugs, but I'm guessing that they aren't listening. Over 20 billion dollars per year of deafness. Amazing.

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Evelyn Aug. 17, 2010 @ 9:56 a.m.

Less drug usage means less bureacracy? There's a thought...

(sidenote, i initially misspelled bureacracy with a z... i may adopt the misspelling)

Now if only the other million or so people on this side, or that side, or either side, realized just how connected things are and did something about it.

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Founder Aug. 17, 2010 @ 10:08 a.m.

Reply#24 I'd suggest that GREED is the base problem on many different levels!

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