Transportation in San Diego
Transportation in San Diego consists of a variety of air, road, sea, and public transportation options.
San Diego is served by the trolley, bus, Coaster, and Amtrak. The trolley primarily serves downtown and surrounding urban communities, Mission Valley, east county, the coastal south bay, and the international border. A planned Mid-Coast line will operate from Old Town to University City along the 5 Freeway. There are also plans for a Silver Line to expand trolley service downtown. A historical timeline of the development of public transportation in San Diego (dating back to 1886) is available on the Metropolitan Transit System's website
The Amtrak and Coaster trains currently run along the coastline and connect San Diego with Los Angeles, Orange County, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Ventura via Metrolink. There are two Amtrak stations in San Diego, in Old Town and Downtown.
The bus is available along almost all major routes; however, a large number of bus stops are concentrated in central San Diego. Typical wait times vary from 15 to 60 minutes, depending on the location and route . Trolleys arrive at each station every 7 to 30 minutes (depending on time of day and which trolley line is used). Ferries are also available every half hour crossing San Diego Bay to Coronado.
San Diego's roadway system provides an extensive network of routes for travel by bicycle. The dry and mild climate of San Diego makes cycling a convenient and pleasant year-round option. At the same time, the city's hilly, canyoned terrain and significantly long average trip distances—brought about by strict low-density zoning laws—somewhat restrict cycling for utilitarian purposes. Older and denser neighborhoods around the downtown tend to be friendlier to utility cycling. This is partly because of the grid street patterns now absent in newer developments farther from the urban core, where suburban style arterial roads are much more common. As a result, a vast majority of cycling-related activities are recreational. The city has some segregated cycle facilities, particularly in newer developments although the majority of road facilities specifically for bicycles are painted on regular roadways. In 2006, San Diego was rated as the best city for cycling for U.S. cities with a population over 1 million.
San Diego International Airport, also known as Lindbergh International Airport or Lindbergh Field, is the primary commercial airport serving San Diego. It is the busiest single-runway airport in the United States, and is the second busiest single-runway airport in the world, only behind London Gatwick. It serves over 18 million passengers every year, and is located on San Diego Bay three miles (4.8 km) from downtown. There are scheduled flights to the rest of the United States, Mexico, Hawaii, the United Kingdom, Canada, and starting in December 2012, Japan. It serves as a focus city for Southwest Airlines. Voters rejected a proposal to move the airport to Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in November 2006.
Other airports include Brown Field Municipal Airport (Brown Field) and Montgomery Field. Aeroméxico provides a shuttle service from San Diego to General Abelardo L. Rodríguez International Airport in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.
The Port of San Diego manages the maritime operations of San Diego harbor. Cruise ships arrive and depart from San Diego's cruise ship terminal on B Street Pier. Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America have home port cruise ships in San Diego during the winter season. A second cruise terminal on Broadway Pier opened in 2010.
San Diego is home to General Dynamics' National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), the largest shipyard on the West Coast of the United States. It is capable of building and repairing large ocean-going vessels. The yard constructs commercial cargo ships and auxiliary vessels for the U.S. Navy and Military Sealift Command, which it has served since 1960.
The streets and highways of San Diego reflect the auto-oriented development of the city as well as its "urban sprawl" historic growth pattern. Major freeways were built and repeatedly expanded to serve the needs of commuters coming into the city from the suburban regions of North County, South Bay, and East County, as well as the Tijuana metropolitan area. The importance of tourism to the city also stimulated the development of roads, since 70% of tourists visiting San Diego arrive by car.
San Diego is the terminus of three primary interstate highways. The region is also served by one three-digit auxiliary interstate.
San Diego Freeway
|Interstate 5 begins at the U.S.-Mexico border and heads north through downtown and the coastal portion of the city, continuing through North County to Los Angeles.|
Ocean Beach Freeway
|Interstate 8 has its western terminus at the intersection with Sunset Cliffs Boulevard in Ocean Beach, and heads east through Mission Valley and San Diego's eastern suburbs before heading through East County to the Imperial Valley and Arizona.|
|Interstate 15 begins at I-8 in Mission Valley. It heads northeast through the city's inland suburbs before continuing through the Inland Empire to Las Vegas.|
Jacob Dekema Freeway
|Interstate 805 is a bypass of Interstate 5 that begins just north of the Mexican border in San Ysidro and rejoins I-5 near Del Mar, at an intersection known as "The Merge".|
California State Routes
State highways in San Diego include the following:
|State Route 15
|SR 15 is a continuation of I-15, running from the I-8/I-15 interchange south to I-5 in Southeast San Diego near the 32nd Street Naval Station.|
|State Route 52
San Clemente Canyon Freeway
Mount Soledad Freeway
|SR 52 connects La Jolla with East County through Santee and SR 125.|
|State Route 54
South Bay Freeway
|SR 54 begins at I-5 in National City, then travels northeast to SR 125 near Spring Valley. SR 54 then continues northeast on Jamacha Road to El Cajon.|
|State Route 56
Ted Williams Freeway
|SR 56 connects I-5 with I-15 through Carmel Valley and Rancho Peñasquitos.|
|State Route 67
San Vicente Freeway
|SR 67 runs north away from I-8 and El Cajon towards Lakeside, where it becomes a smaller road and continues north towards Ramona.|
|State Route 75
San Diego-Coronado Bridge
Silver Strand Boulevard
|SR 75 spans San Diego Bay as the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, then heads south along the Silver Strand from Coronado to South San Diego, where it becomes Palm Avenue|
|State Route 94
Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway
|SR 94 connects downtown with I-805, SR 15, and East County.|
|State Route 125
South Bay Expressway
|SR 125 connects East County cities from SR 905 near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry north to Santee. The segment of SR 125 from SR 905 to SR 54 is a toll road, the South Bay Expressway.|
|State Route 163
Dean E. Beattie Memorial Highway
|SR 163 connects downtown with the northeast part of the city, intersects I-805 and merges with I-15 at Miramar. The stretch of SR 163 that passes through Balboa Park is San Diego's oldest freeway, and has been called one of America's most beautiful parkways.|
|State Route 905
Otay Mesa Freeway
|SR 905 connects I-5 and I-805 to the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.|
- Rosecrans Street (formerly California State Route 209)
- Balboa Avenue (formerly California State Route 274)
- El Cajon Boulevard (Interstate 8 business loop, formerly part of U.S. Route 80)
- "San Diego, Madison (WI) and Boulder (CO) Are Best among Cities of Their Size, While Atlanta, Boston and Houston Are Worst". Bicycling. January 26, 2006. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
- Downey, Dave (April 24, 2006). "FAA chief says region right to consider bases". North County Times. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
- Craver, Joe W. (November 19, 2006). "A clear rejection on Miramar, so...". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
- Lindquist, Diane (November 23, 2006). "Creating a connection". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
- "Nassco Seeks to Parlay Power Plant Into Major Ship Contract". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
- Journal of San Diego History, vol. 41, no. 3, Summer 1995
- San Diego Union-Tribune, May 28, 2004
- Marshall, David. San Diego's Balboa Park. Arcadia Publishing. 2007.
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