SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Officially it’s known as the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry West Pedestrian Facility, but most people simply call it Ped West.
It’s one of two pedestrian crossings at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, the busiest land border crossing in the Western Hemisphere, but the southbound lanes of the facility have been closed since the coronavirus pandemic began more than three years ago.
Back in January, the northbound lanes were reopened, but only from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
When people walk back to Mexico, they have to do it on the east side of the crossing where it can get especially crowded during rush hour in the evening.
“It’s crazy, I just don’t understand it,” said border commuter Michael Jones. “I cross here regularly because I have a place in Mexico and I have a place in the United States.”
Jones added that getting across the border, in both directions, is vital for his adventure guide business, and he believes opening Ped West in a southbound direction would benefit a lot of people like him.
“If we could finally use the west side it would free up the other side, it would be more fluid for people crossing the border.”
Soon, Jones and others could see it become a reality.
Two weeks ago, an official with Mexican Customs said his office had been in talks with U.S. Customs and Border Protection about reopening the southbound pathway into Mexico through Ped West.
This afternoon, the official confirmed to Border Report negotiations are still taking place and soon, they could set a date and “make the announcement.”
When contacted, a spokesperson with CBP would not corroborate whether Ped West’s southbound lanes were about to reopen or whether the agency is involved in discussions.
He said there was no change from two weeks ago when CBP told Border Report the agency “continuously assesses its resources and the feasibility of expanding travel operations at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.”
For Jones, it can’t happen soon enough.
“People like to cross through here, there’s easier taxis to get here and it’s easier to get to different parts of Mexico,” he said. “For seniors, for people with luggage and things like that, this is actually the best place.”