With hundreds of homeless people living in the Tijuana River canal under makeshift shelters and tents, more and more are being struck down by automobiles as they attempt to cross the adjacent Avenida Internacional, a road that runs along the western edge of the canal and the California/Mexico border for several miles.
The homeless make a dash into the northbound lanes and attempt to vault a three-foot-tall concrete median while at the same time avoiding oncoming traffic. There are no traffic lights or crosswalks nearby, and vehicles are often traveling at 50-plus miles an hour. This week, Tijuana’s daily Frontera reported that there has been an increase in lethal collisions.
Police make periodic raids on the homeless encampment in search of wanted criminals; when police arrive, as they did on one recent evening, the people scatter. This reporter witnessed a dozen or more indigents run along the levee road, away from the police, before stumbling down the steep exterior banks of the canal and running into the traffic on Via Internacional. They hurdled the median as cars skidded to a halt. Alarmed drivers cursed the people bounding about the traffic-filled lanes.
Pictured: Rio Tijuana encampment (top right); Avenida Internacional (left)