According to banners posted on pedestrian pathways, the turnstiles will cease their revolutions on September 27.
  • According to banners posted on pedestrian pathways, the turnstiles will cease their revolutions on September 27.
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Banners were hung about various pedestrian pathways into Mexico, warning border crossers that a change was going to come.

On September 24, pedestrians were re-routed from the long-familiar spinning gates located on the west side of I-5 to a somewhat complex and confusing route back behind the old U.S. Customs building and then back into Mexico.

In a recent post, this reporter pointed out that a new road running parallel to the border fence will bring auto traffic from I-5 westward to the soon-to-be-finished El Chaparral Mexican border station; thus, there is quite a bit of road construction going on where pedestrians once tread. Eventually, it appears that pedestrian traffic entering Mexico will also be routed into the same new facility via a pedestrian bridge (under construction at present) on the Mexican side of the border.

The new route, according to the signage and an announcement in Tijuana's daily Frontera, will lead folks entering Mexico from San Ysidro from the trolley terminus back behind the Mercado Internacional, which essentially runs parallel to the McDonald’s and back into Mexico alongside the New Deal–era U.S. Customs House.

Apparently, the old spinning gates into Mexico will be permanently closed, as vehicle traffic will now ply that crossing. The turnstiles will cease their revolutions on September 27.

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William Howell Sept. 25, 2012 @ 9:33 p.m.

Oh no! Those were there when I was a kid in the 60's, then in the 70's, I was the policeman standing there on Fri and Sat nights checking ID's to make sure kids didn't sneak down to TJ.


jnojr Sept. 26, 2012 @ 1:06 p.m.

Umm, what was the justification for checking their IDs? What law was being broken? Thank God that idiotic policy was long gone by the time it was my turn to head down to Tijuana for a perfectly-legal evening of barhopping and debauchery.


Javajoe25 Sept. 26, 2012 @ 9:24 a.m.

Definitely the end of an era. I remember going through those clanging turnstiles, thinking that clanging is a warning bell there to remind you, you are entering a place where the rules are very different, and there may not even be any rules at all. Loved it, and walked even faster. Can't wait to see the result of all these changes.


David Dodd Sept. 26, 2012 @ 6:41 p.m.

Technically, this temporary detour might make for a quicker crossing into Mexico since going over the bridge in the U.S. isn't going to happen anymore until the construction in Mexico is finished. I'll be crossing tomorrow and coming back tomorrow night, so I'll mentally time it and see for myself.

And there are rules in Mexico, Joe, but the flavor of the freedom here generally calls for people to be accountable to themselves and their fellow human beings, so there isn't always someone breathing down your neck ensuring that you behave.


Javajoe25 Sept. 26, 2012 @ 8:13 p.m.

I hear what you're saying Refried; it's just that Mexico is a place that is not hung up about things like blood-alcohol content. It was always a refreshing change to go down there. The general rule tended to be: Be respectful, but have a good time. Behave was not necessarily what we went down there to do. Never had any problems. Always a great, mutually beneficial time for us and those we met. I'd be interested in hearing if the crossing time has improved or not.


Kirby Wright Aug. 25, 2017 @ 5:39 p.m.

Gordon Hall, a grad student in the English Department at UCSD, took me to a Tijuana dive called the Long Bar, one featuring those carnival-type mirrors that warped what your body really looked like. I was fat in one and skinny in the other. Gordon said the bar was one of Hemingway's haunts and that, in his honor, we would drink shots of mescal.I did. I have never had anything burn so badly going down, but returning to Revolución Boulevard after a few drinks sure made it exciting for this sophomore undergrad. Going to Hemingway's supposed bar made me want to be a writer.


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