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Judge Tentatively Orders MTS To Unblock Doorway At Bus Terminal In San Ysidro

The disputed doorway at the McDonald's trolley station building is blocked by...

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: The disputed doorway at the McDonald's trolley station building is blocked by a scissor gate, September 28, 2016.

A judge is likely to order the Metropolitan Transit System to unblock a doorway long used by travelers at the San Ysidro Transit Center.

MTS erected a scissor gate at the back doorway of the McDonald’s trolley station building in San Ysidro in 2016. The barrier prevented travelers from going directly to and from the bus terminal to the McDonald’s building.

Many of those people, who were seniors, disabled or small children, instead had to take a lengthy detour around the building.

MTS blocked the doorway as part of a lawsuit it filed against the McDonald’s building owner Grand Central West, alleging trespassing.

RELATED: Letter From MTS Board Member Could Be Key In Lawsuit Over Blocked Doorway At Border Transit Center

But San Diego Superior Court Judge Katherine Bacal has now twice ruled tentatively against MTS. She said that a change in the law as well as photographs, showing a well-defined walkway between the transit center and the McDonald’s building, undermined MTS’s trespassing claim.

“In light of this, the Court cannot find that MTS is likely to prevail on the merits,” Bacal wrote this month.

Grand Central West consultant Steve Padilla called the judge’s ruling “the first death knell” for MTS’s lawsuit.

“The judge is basically saying that MTS is not going to win in court,” Padilla said, adding that the agency’s lawsuit has been a waste of public money.

MTS spent more than $381,000 in taxpayer money on legal fees for the lawsuit.

MTS spokesman Rob Schupp accused Grand Central West of taking advantage of the legal system and forcing the agency to spend time, money and resources to protect “this public asset.”

“MTS, or any public agency, should not be intimidated into giving away public property rights or special interests who utilize aggressive litigation and public relations campaigns,” Schupp said.

The blocked doorway forced travelers in San Ysidro, next to the border with Mexico, to take a long detour to and from the bus terminal and the McDonald's trolley station building.

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