*2019 Crossing Stats Available Visit: https://smartbordercoalition.com/blog/facts-and-figures
WAIT TIMES INTO THE U.S. San Ysidro - All Traffic: Vehicles: 0:55 Pedestrians: no delay Ready Lanes: Vehicles: 0:40 Pedestrians: no delay Sentri Lanes: Vehicles: 0:10
Otay Mesa - All Traffic: Vehicles: 0:20 Pedestrians: no delay Ready Lanes: Vehicles: 0:20 Pedestrians: N/A Sentri Lanes: Vehicles: Lanes Closed Cargo Standard: 0:15 Cargo FAST: 0:10
Tecate - All Traffic: Vehicles: 0:20 Pedestrians: no delay Ready Lanes: Vehicles: N/A Pedestrians: N/A Sentri Lanes: Vehicles: N/A
WAIT TIMES INTO MEXICO Tijuana - I-5: 0:06 I-805: No Wait


The Smart Border Coalition is like no other organization on the U.S.-Mexico Border

What We Are About

A border managed to bring the people of San Diego County and the Tijuana Metropolitan Area closer together in shared success and prosperity, setting a world standard for border innovation.


Making travel and trade easier and more efficient through the ports of entry between San Diego County and the Tijuana Metropolitan Area.

How the Coalition Does Its Work

The Smart Border Coalition was established by some of the best-known leaders in the San Diego-Tijuana border region. It is unique in both countries in its vocation and approach. The coalition strives to be visionary and pragmatic, far-seeing and engaged in the present, and open to dialog with border “citizens” both large and small.

Focusing on Shared Purpose

A multitude of actors work together within each country and across the shared boundary. Their respective missions focus on tourism, flows of goods and people, law enforcement, immigration, infrastructure, environmental protection, and much else. These organizations seek creative and practical solutions to improve border movement, an effort requiring a common sense of purpose, priorities, planning, and funding. Cultural differences add to complexity, offset by an awareness of interdependence and countless personal and professional cross-border experiences, many of them profound and life-shaping

Coalescing for Change

The Smart Border Coalition has succeeded as a catalyst for change and a facilitator of combined effort. We work together in flexible, focused partnerships to fill the gaps among Smart Border Coalition stakeholders and outside entities.

Values That Make It Work

To make this level of cooperation possible, the coalition upholds an ethos of respect, openness, and accountability toward all partners and the broader community.

Talk and Action

The coalition brings forward ideas to reconceptualize the border in the interest of prosperity and security. We identify challenges and provide frameworks for dialog, information sharing, the building of professional relationships, the development of specific initiatives, and the monitoring of implementation. In some cases, the coalition takes on an informal short- or medium-term governance role vis-à-vis governments, quasi-governmental organizations, companies and civil society groups.


arrow_right In 2007, James Clark, then Mexico Business Center Director at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Malin Burnham, Salomon Cohen, José Larroque, Steve Williams, Mary Walshok, and others came together to form the Smart Border Coalition. Their aim was to convene San Diego and Tijuana business, government, agency and civic society leaders to advocate for an efficient and welcoming border at our ports of entry.
arrow_right The coalition became independent of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2014 and chose the San Diego Foundation as its new home and the United States-Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership as its fiscal agent.
arrow_right James Clark continued as the coalition’s executive director. Malin Burnham and Ascan Lutteroth served as the first board co-chairs of the Board. Steve Williams and Gaston Luken, Jr. served as the first co-chairs for the Stakeholders Working Committee.
arrow_right The Smart Border Coalition was directly inspired by San Diego Dialogue, formed in 1991 as a distinctive collaboration among the University of California, San Diego, the region’s emerging high-tech business leaders, and figures from downtown San Diego’s established banking, real estate, and tourism sectors. It was led by the late Chuck Nathanson, whose one-on-one political skills wove the connections between ideas and the elite networks. His work expanded the cross-border discourse, generating new civic knowledge and shaping the regional agenda.
arrow_right Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of the UCSD Extension Program and current Smart Border Coalition Alternate member Mary Walshok also was instrumental in bringing about San Diego Dialogue and in shaping its organizational focus.
arrow_right San Diego Dialogue was best known for its cross-border research, which led in 1995 to the establishment of SENTRI, initially a pilot trusted-traveler rapid lane for frequent border crossers. It has since become a permanent and widely used program facilitating use of the ports of the entry. San Diego Dialog’s key finding -- that 96% of border crossings are made by frequent crossers -- demonstrated that the region is a bi-national economy and changed the way the US/Mexico border was perceived.