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‘No one uses’ California border crosswalk after reopening, customs official says

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) – The San Ysidro Landport West Pedestrian Complex, as it is officially known, reopened earlier this week after nearly three years of closure due to the pandemic and significant travel restrictions.

Unofficially, most people refer to him as “Ped West”.

Its closure meant that all pedestrians arriving across the border would have to use the pedestrian crossing on the east side of the San Ysidro Port of Entry, creating long lines and long waits to enter the US.

Officials said the reopening of Ped West is expected to shorten wait times, although for now it will only open from 6:00 am to 2:00 pm daily and northbound only.

An unidentified couple walks out of Ped West in San Ysidro, California. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

But since it reopened, compared to previous years when it was at full capacity, it’s clear that only a handful of people are taking advantage of it.

US Customs and Border Protection does not provide official figures, but one customs officer who wished to remain anonymous told Border Report: “No one is using Ped West, despite all the calls to open it again.”

Joe Hendrix, a commuter, doesn’t complain.

Border Passenger Joe Hendrix. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

“I love it, keep it low key because we get through quickly,” Hendrix said.

Border Report spoke to Hendrix after he used Ped West to enter the US after a night of celebration in Tijuana.

“My friend and I went out drinking last night and we came back this morning instead of last night, but this is a game changer,” Hendrix said. “It’s much easier to move back and forth that way. Sometimes it takes several hours in a (different) queue. It’s not even worth it – you know what I mean?

Hendrix also said that Ped West will make a big difference to the thousands of people who cross the border every day to go to school, work, visit family or meet in the US.

“It’s fast, you can do it easily,” he added.

He also said faster crossing times would help bring more visitors to Tijuana.

“Why would you go back and forth, hang out, spend your money there for six hours, and then come back for four hours?” he asked. “It doesn’t make much sense, but if you can cross the border quickly, it will make things easier for you.”

Ped West originally opened in July 2016 following its construction during a complete renovation of the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

When fully operational, more than 60,000 pedestrians use the facility daily to get from Mexico to the US.

For now, lanes south to Mexico will remain closed.

Mexico Customs said it hopes to open its portion of Ped West within a few weeks.

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