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Easing border crossing good for both the environment and the economy

  • Easing border crossing good for both the environment and the economy

    Posted by BajaGringo on March 26, 2022 at 12:32 am

    The San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce estimates more than $3.3 billion in sales and over 80,000 jobs are lost due to border wait times at the southern ports of entry.

    The San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce estimates that with border crossing times of no more than 45 minutes any day — and any time — for general vehicles and 15 minutes for pedestrians, we could inject new life into our local economies, diminish our incidence of asthma-type ailments and live up to the CaliBaja potential. We are losing more than $3.3 billion in sales and over 80,000 jobs due to border wait times at California’s southern ports of entry. To help fulfill the U.S. government’s economic and environmental goals at our borders, we simply need tangible commitments at the border, around the border and in Washington, D.C.

    At our ports, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) must use true “risk evaluation.” Per the San Diego Association of Governments, 97 percent of crossers between California and Baja California cross three or more times a week. While “registering” 100 percent of crossers, scrutiny needs to be focused on the 3 percent we do not know. Also, modes matter. Pedestrians pose much less security risk than commercial trucks, yet pedestrian wait times are often some of the longest suffered by border crossers. Why do we not implement the same document readers used in vehicle lanes to pedestrians and offer preloaded information prior to pedestrian interviews? With no vehicle to inspect and X-ray machines to assist with luggage, pedestrian wait times should consistently be negligible.

    Time goals for officer interaction at primary lanes are a must, as is the full use of facilities — including double-stacked booths, the reopening of the PedWest pedestrian border crossing, segmented lanes for elderly visitors and those with disabilities, and facilitation of bicyclists, specifically in San Ysidro. Additional crossing options — including a dedicated pedestrian bridge between the San Diego Trolley and a Baja California light-rail system, and a ferry crossing between Tijuana and Imperial Beach — are also needed.

    Easing border crossing good for both the environment and the economy

    JuanSoler replied 11 months, 3 weeks ago 5 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • laguera

    March 26, 2022 at 10:34 am

    I remember how excited we were when watching the border expansion project happening a few years ago, with the installation of more lanes and all with double booths to be able to process 2 cars at one time. But all we have seen is the agents don’t open all the lanes and only rarely have both booths operating at the same time in any lane.

    Over the years I have come to believe they actually enjoy making people wait in line, as if somehow it makes them feel better about having to stand around in the same place all day.

    • mx-rider

      March 26, 2022 at 11:29 am

      I believe you are right. I used to ask some of the officers patrolling between the cars why they didn’t open up more lanes/booths and most of them just laughed and kept walking. Only one that I can recall stopped to explain that they were supposedly understaffed, that Washington had sent the money to pay for the expansion but never authorized more hiring. And right then I pointed a group of 5 or 6 officers standing around and doing nothing. He shrugged his shoulders and said they hadn’t gone through the training to be a gate agent.

      There is always some excuse.

      • laguera

        March 27, 2022 at 2:28 pm

        Oh yes, we always see many of them just standing around with half the lanes closed.

  • bajajeepers

    March 27, 2022 at 3:32 pm

    The long border waits on Sunday afternoons is the number one reason we don’t do more weekends in Baja. I had always believed that the San Diego chamber of commerce loved the long lines at the border but after reading the article, maybe not?

    • BajaGringo

      March 27, 2022 at 9:39 pm

      Actually the San Diego area CofC’s hate the long border waits as it keeps a lot of people living south of the border from shopping north of the border. But they do love any and all negative news about Baja / Mexico as they believe that keeps people who live north of the border spending their money north of the border.

      • bajajeepers

        April 1, 2022 at 4:56 pm

        Never thought of that and it does make sense. Never stopped to think about how many people in Tijuana/Rosarito shop in San Diego.

  • JuanSoler

    April 1, 2022 at 5:14 pm

    Whatever happened to the idea of creating lanes to pay to cross quicker with the rates charged to vary with the amount of time saved, or something to that effect as I remember it?

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