San Ysidro – vibrant community with an international gateway

San Ysidro is located in the southernmost part of San Diego County. Heading south on I-5 or 805, San Ysidro Boulevard is the last exit before the Mexican border. Along the boulevard are fast-food restaurants, gas stations, auto repair shops and Mexican Insurance businesses. Many of these businesses are here to cater to people crossing the border. A public library and community parks are indications that is also a place that people call home.

San Ysidro has transformed through the years from an Indian village, to a Mexican pueblito, to a white, middle-American farm colony, to a racially eclectic border town, to the southern-most community of the City of San Diego.

San Ysidro with view to Mexico
Views of Tijuana, Mexico can me seen from many homes on the U.S side of the border in San Ysidro.

San Ysidro was annexed by the city of San Diego in 1957. It has a "shoestring" connection. Although the independent municipalities of National City, Chula Vista, Coronado, and Imperial Beach lie in between San Ysidro and the rest of San Diego, the two areas are connected by a narrow 400 feet-wide city boundary line that runs over the San Diego Bay. Thus, it's possible to travel across water from central San Diego to San Ysidro without leaving city limits.

San Ysidro Boulevard is the main artery through this community and it is busy throughout the day. Much of the business is focused on people crossing the border. Families are stopping to eat after sitting in line at the border for hours. People are getting car insurance and filling up their gas tank before heading into Mexico.

Many businesses along San Ysidro Boulevard offer Mexican insurance and money exchange for people crossing the international border.

Many of the business have signs written in Spanish - the primary language for many of the residents here. Walking through the neighbohood you will be greeted with "buenos dias" more often than "good morning. "Driving up the hill above the commercial district, many of the streets have Spanish names: Isla de la Gaita Avenue, Boca Del Tule, Via Encantadoras, Pocitos Way, Via del Tanido and Tequila Way. The houses here are well-maintained and look like a typical Southern California neighborhood of homes built in the 1970s and 1980s.

"San Ysidro has some of the most-affordable home prices in the county," said Luis Ramos of Prudential California Realty.

"The economical prices, proximity to the Mexican border and easy access to freeways are often the reasons people purchase here," Ramos said. "Prices for single-family homes start at under $200,000." Many of the homes have views of the Tijuana River Valley and hills of Mexico. In May, 2015 the median price of single-family homes sold in San Ysidro was $382,000 according to DataQuick.

Upscale home in San Ysidro
Newer homes are located on streets just up the hill from busy San Ysidro Boulevard. Home prices here are lower compared to the rest of San Diego County.

Paul Nichols lives with his two adult children in a four-bedroom house on Alaquinas Street. He retired from the Navy four years ago and has lived in San Ysidro for 25 years. "This is a great place to live and the weather is hard to beat," said Nichols. He does most of his shopping at the Navy Exchange in nearby Imperial Beach. "It is a good neighborhood and I can walk to the trolley stop," he said. The San Diego Trolley runs from downtown San Diego to the border crossing. Like many this neighborhood, the Nichols home has views of the hills across the border.

San Ysidro Library
San Ysidro Biblioteca Publica (Public Library).

San Ysidro is home to the world's busiest land border crossing, where U.S. Interstate 5 crosses into Mexico at Tijuana. Approximately, 17 million vehicles and 50 million people entered the United States at this port of entry. The great majority of these are workers (both of Mexican and U.S. nationality) commuting from Tijuana to jobs in the greater San Diego area. There are also many workers traveling to maquiladoras in Mexico and those purchasing services such as vehicle repairs, hair and beauty services and medical or dental. Crossing times are often slow at San Ysidro, particularly for those entering the United States in cars. Many cross on foot, the line for which is frequently much faster than the vehicle line.

A proposed expansion of the San Ysidro port of entry is scheduled to be completed in 2014. The $577 million project will expand and veer Interstate 5 to the west. Plans include a new northbound inspection facility, including primary vehicle inspection booths, a secondary inspection area, an administration space, and a pedestrian-processing facility. A new southbound inspection facility is also planned.

For the people who live here, the connection to the U.S.-Mexico border makes San Ysidro a very unique San Diego neighborhood

Copyright 2015. www.townblip.com



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La Mirada Elementary
222 Avenida De La Madrid

Smythe Elementary
1880 Smythe Ave.

Sunset Elementary
3825 Sunset Lane

Willow Elementary
226 Willow Rd.

Ocean Hills, K-8
4919 Del Sol Blvd.


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