Thursday, July 30, 2009
Mexico's plan to screen all cars headed south into Tijuana has not yet begun, but traffic is already backing up on San Diego freeways.
The line of traffic headed south from San Diego across the border into Tijuana in the afternoons and evenings looks more like what border crossers are used to seeing heading north, albeit on a light day. It's a parking lot. During the week it can take 40 minutes or more to get across. Friday nights are worse.
Melissa Biguet, who is with Total Traffic Network, which provides traffic reports for media outlets including KPBS says her only consistent way of knowing about southbound traffic at the border is when people call in.
"Sometimes I'll get phone calls that its slow, but I won't see it on the map. And then sometimes I'll see it on the map," says Biguet. "It's inconsistent, but I've been told it's there almost everyday."
Construction on Mexico's new southbound screening system, in particular a new range of nearly mountainous speed bumps, are to blame.
It is not clear when Mexico will start screening. Businessmen on both sides of the border are lobbying Mexican officials to hold off.