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EHEI Award: Encouraging Nonmotorized Transportation

Interstate 5/International Friendship Plaza


Photo of Bike Path

The San Ysidro Border Crossing serves as a gateway between California and Mexico, where over 30 million vehicles and 18 million pedestrians cross each year. The California Department of Transportation's (Caltrans) Interstate 5/International Friendship Plaza project has improved the multi-modal access and aesthetic appearance at San Ysidro.

Prior to the Friendship Plaza project, the area around the San Ysidro, the world's busiest land border crossing, suffered severe congestion. The poor circulation patterns resulted in conflicts between pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorized traffic. In order to address the area's deficiencies, the Friendship Plaza project had two primary objectives: (1) improve multimodal access, and (2) enhance the area?s aesthetic appearance.

Improve Multimodal Access
The Friendship Plaza project improves accessibility for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users through the following project elements:

Enhanced Aesthetics
The Friendship Plaza project enhances the area's aesthetic appearance by adding:

Implementing improvements at the Friendship Plaza required collaboration among various entities, including: the City of San Diego, the San Ysidro Business Association, the San Diego Metropolitan Transportation Development Board, the Federal Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Mexican and City of Tijuana governments. By working together, these agencies improved the non-motorized transportation conditions at the border crossing.

For more information about the Friendship Plaza project, please contact Tom Ham, Senior Landscape Architect for Caltrans District 11 at

Updated: 06/27/2017
Updated: 6/27/2017
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