1975 San Diego guide to driving shortcuts

Right from a cabbie's mouth

One of the first maxims of San Diego driving is that the fastest way to get from one point to another is not always a straight line. You may have to go two miles out of your way to get on a freeway to get somewhere ten minutes faster than the most direct route. And all of us have reasons to cut down this extra gas consumption. But sometimes the time lost in going the more direct but slower route is not worth the gas saved. So it is time to ask an expert ... And who can better help us measure time versus distance than the person whose car constantly measures time versus distance — the cabbie.

  1. North Park to downtown. “Depends where you are exactly. From the heart of North Park, 30th and University, Pershing Drive is the best. University to Utah, Utah to Upas, Upas to Pershing, Pershing to B, and B will take you to 4th, if you’re going to the Plaza... 'Course some of these little old ladies don’t like Pershing 'cause they don’t think it's too safe and they’ll insist on going around... Florida's a pretty good one to come in from North Park, too.”
  2. Pacific Beach. “Pacific Beach, Yeah, that’s a tough one. There are only three ways to get into Pacific Beach — if you’re talking about coming from downtown — Ingraham, that’ll get you into the center of P.B. the fastest; Highway 5 to Grand, that’s what you use if it’s an afternoon rush hour; and Mission Boulevard, that’ll take you closest to the beach... 'Course Grand is the fastest street moving east and west.”
  3. From the Coronado Bridge to the Hotel del Coronado or the Amphibious Base. “Oh yeah, what’s that street? — Pomona. Yeah, you go up 4th, cut over on A, then back towards the Bridge on 3rd and right on Pomona, through that residential area over to the strand. No, no, you have to take the Bridge from downtown. It used to cost over 16 dollars to go around through Imperial Beach and up to Coronado, and it’s about S6.50 from downtown across the Bridge. Plus the Bridge toll, of course. I don't know why they don't give commercial companies like the cabs a special rate to go Across the Bridge. We had a lawyer once refuse to pay the toll and we had to call the police to get him to pay.”
  4. Hillcrest to the Airport. “This is one not too many people know about. You go to the far west end of Robinson and turn left on Curlew; it goes down to Reynard which goes right into Laurel, then to Harbor. We take a lot down to the Barbary Coast from the Brass Rail that way. Gays. Yeah, from Picasso's and Show Biz, too. Those are gay, too, you know. That's right, we take a lot of 'em."
  5. Mt. Soledad. “That's a snap. You just follow up — what’s the name of that street? — used to be Muirlands all the way, now it’s La Jolla Mesa at the south end. You take that from the end of Mission Boulevard in Pacific Beach. It goes into Muirlands and takes you right up to Mount Soledad.”
  6. Hillcrest from downtown. “Just go up 5th and down 4th. They’re the fastest.”
  7. State College area to downtown. “That's the good question. Bet you don’t know which way is the fastest. College Ave. to 94, you think? Nope, that’s not it. We learned that when they had the bowler's convention here. They all wanted to go out to University Lanes from downtown. I took one guy from University Lanes by going from University to 54th to Chollas Parkway to Euclid to 94. This other cab pulled out right after me and went College Ave. to 94. There was a 40 cent difference on our meters. Now the shortest way in distance is to take El Cajon Boulevard to Utah, Utah to Pershing, Pershing to B. But there’s too many lights and too much traffic; that'll kill you. 'Course if you're right up at State College itself. Highway 8 to 163 would be the fastest if there weren’t a lot of kids getting out of class at the same time."
  8. Birdrock. “Now that’s just as bad as Pacific Beach. You've got to go up Ingraham to Foothill and then take Loring over to La Jolla Boulevard. There’s just no easy way to get there.”
  9. Parkway Bowl to downtown. “Let's say you're going to the El Cortez Hotel. Which is the shortest way? ... It's taking Johnson Street to Highway 8 and 8 to 163. Going bv 94 is shorter distance-wise, but it takes a longer time — you lose when you get to downtown."
  10. Airport to Lytton and Rosecrans. “Here's one for you. Guess which way is quickest — the Harbor to Nimitz to Rosecrans or the Harbor to Laurel to Pacific Highway to Barnett? ... They’re the same! Well, it depends on the time of day. After 3:30 when the Navy bases on Pt. Loma let out. you can't go by Nimitz. Then after 4:05. Teledyne Ryan and Solar let out, and you can't go Pacific Highway."
  11. Escondido to La Jolla. “The highway down through Rancho Santa Fe is really the most direct, but it's murder because of the curves and you can't pass in some places. Now that Miramar Road goes all the wav through, it's the best."
  12. Ocean Beach to downtown. “Almost everybody you ask wants to go the fastest way. And the fastest way from, say. Sunset Cliffs and Newport is to go out Sunset Cliffs to Highway 8, then to 5. You could go up over the hill on Narragansett, down Nimitz to Harbor. That's really the shortest and the cheapest way. But nobody ever chooses that way. They all say, ‘let's go to the freeway.' '*
  13. Mission Hills to Mission Valley or Loma Portal. “You have to take Sunset to Juan, down through Old Town, to Taylor. 'Course that's tricky 'cause it's steep and narrow.”
  14. Getting across downtown east and west. C, B, A and Ash Streets are pretty good most times of the day. But during the rush hours, that * traffic control computer screws things up and the lights get all out of sequence. Then you’re best to take F Street west and G Street east. The lights on F Street are almost never goofed up by the computer.

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