San Ysidro residents got their first look at the latest set of plans for a new transportation center at the San Ysidro border crossing on Wednesday night, November 13.
Residents who gathered at the San Ysidro Civic Center seemed to like the latest design — the third so far — the best.
"This one, you don't have to walk across the tracks, and the buses are separate," said Ysenia Avalos, who lives nearby. "When you go to pick people up, it's so complicated and dangerous now."
There's a reason that the public likes the third set of plans best, according to City of San Diego engineer Nicholas Abboud. "We drew this one based on public comments about the last two plans," he said. "If you walk or drive or live in this area, you know details and have insight we don't have. We took their comments and went back to work on that."
The project is in the very early stages — SANDAG hasn't begun to identify funding, Abboud said. But the goal is to design and build a safer, more workable entrance to the U.S.
The federal building and plaza immediately north will remain unchanged, but the end of the trolley, the bus terminal, and the shops there are all up for redesign.
The first design allowed for buses and pedestrians crossing the trolley tracks, which, besides being dangerous, risks serious traffic jams should anything go wrong, such as a bus breaking down or a crash.
The second design put the buses underground, which meant building a 60' high retaining wall on the east side to contain the unstable hillside. And it still had places where buses and trolleys could tangle.
The third design lays things out so the trolleys and buses are separated and pedestrians deal with autos at just one location.
"We got a lot of comments from people tonight and we're going to pay attention to their concerns, so this may not be the last design," Abboud said.
People also made suggestions about the stores and amenities in the proposed commercial building there.
"A lot of people commented about bathrooms, how they want a nice public bathroom," Abboud said. "We wouldn't have thought of that, but it's important to the users and we're going to make sure it's included."