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ronau

Oct 15, 2009, 10:13 PM

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Arco Norte

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I have heard a lot of talk about a new tollway called Arco Norte. I have been told that it is a bypass that takes you east around Mexico City and comes out near Puebla, the point being that you avoid all the hassles of Mexico City. I have searched Mexico Connect but have not been able to find anything about it. Does anyone have any information about this road? I have been told that using it allows you to avoid the "hoy no circulo" problem but it looks like you access the tollway at the Tula exit off of Highway 57 which means you would have entered the state of Mexico before reaching the tollway and jumping over into Hidalgo state. If this is the case then wouldn't the "no circulo" rules still apply for that short distance. Any info or clarification about this would be greatly appreciated.



Vichil

Oct 16, 2009, 9:07 AM

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Re: [ronau] Arco Norte

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check www.arconorte.com.mx they have a web site with a map.
It shows that right now it starts in Queretaro (will start in Atlacomulco) and ends up a little bit north of Cholula. I wonder how many hours that road takes.
If you take it please let me know. It looks fine from the people who live in Queretaro and beyond but I wonder if it is worth while for the people coming fro Guadalajara. We took that road before this new toll road and it added a day to our trip so I do not have good memories of the area.

Right now it takes us 9 hours to get to Puebla from Ajijic so I wonder if that road would help.


(This post was edited by tonyburton on Oct 16, 2009, 9:21 AM)


Papirex


Oct 16, 2009, 12:14 PM

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Re: [ronau] Arco Norte

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It is always a little puzzling to me why so many people try to avoid driving in México City because of The Hoy No Circula law. Driving through México City is a challenge if a person is not used to driving in heavy traffic, and does not know the unofficial “rules of the road” in México though.


Simply learn on which day you cannot drive your car there and avoid driving in the city on that day. There will be no “hassles” with that law then. Crooked cops, maybe, Hoy No Circula no. To find out which day your car cannot be driven there, check this site: http://www.mexicocity.com.mx/nocircula.html
There is not much detailed information on the site anymore, but you can determine the day you can't drive there based on the ending number of your license plate. If you just bought a car and it has a paper permit, or if you have a foreign plated car with vanity plates with all letters and no numbers, you may not drive it on Friday there.


There is also one Saturday per month that a car may not be driven in México City. The city's website has been simplified so much that there is no longer any information about which Saturday you cannot drive your car there.


Sunday is the best day to drive through the city. Hoy No Circula is not in effect on Sunday, and traffic is relatively light in the city on Sundays. Hoy No Circula is not in force after 10 PM until 5 or 6 AM every day either. Starting in the late afternoon you will usually see many cars and trucks parked just before the entrances to the city. They are waiting for 10 PM so they may drive there.


We used to live in México City. Complying with the Hoy No Circula law may have been a little inconvenient at times, but it is no big deal. We live in Cuernavaca now, it is only about 40 miles from México City. My wife and her mother go there at least once per month to take care of family business. They are there right now attending a wedding. I stayed home to dog sit. I like México City, but every time I get a chance to not go there, I take it.


My wife's new van is new enough that it qualifies for a double O (OO) verification (smog test) sticker. It may be driven in México City every day. México City, D. F. has signed agreements with 4 or 5 adjacent states to allow them to issue OO verification stickers to Mexican registered and plated cars made in 2002 and newer. Only Mexican registered cars registered in México City or the approved adjacent states need, or may get OO verification stickers. Foreign registered cars do not need, and may not get valid verification stickers anywhere in The Republic. Our second Mexican plated car is too old to get a OO verification sticker, it may not be driven in México City on Tuesdays.


We have relatives in Puebla. We occasionally drive over to visit them. We do not need to go near México City to drive there from Cuernavaca. Personally, I wouldn't drive five minutes out of my way to avoid México City.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


ronau

Oct 16, 2009, 4:19 PM

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Re: [Vichil] Arco Norte

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Thanks for your referral to that website. It helped to clarify the route. The problem is that while it looks like it starts right outside of Queretaro, if you zoom on Google maps you will see that actually that section is right across the state line lying in Mexico state and no part of it is in Queretaro. So I am still not sure about the application of no circulo rules because the only way to access it is to enter Mexico state (unless I am reading the map wrong) and the avoidance of these rules has been one of the selling points that I have heard from others. In any case we will probably try it. We do live north of Queretaro and were looking for an easier route to Veracruz. From Puebla to Veracruz is smooth sailing, but prior to this we have not found the Puebla to Queretaro route so great. Thanks again for help and if will let you know how it goes when we take it.


Hound Dog

Oct 16, 2009, 4:22 PM

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Re: [ronau] Arco Norte

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Leave on a SUnday the first time you go and that way you will not have any problems for sure.


ronau

Oct 16, 2009, 4:51 PM

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Re: [Papirex] Arco Norte

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I agree with you that Mexico City traffic in and of itself is not a reason to avoid the city. And yes, it is easy enough to figure out which day not to travel (although it would be more convenient not to have to do that if another way presented itself). The problem I have is exactly as you said the "crooked cops". I can truthfully say that everyone I know in my small town (both Mexican and expat) reports having been stopped by police when passing through Mexico City even though they were driving on the correct day and they were expected to pay the "fine". Recently I had friends who were stopped twice on the same day. Of course with persistence and patience many escaped with nothing more than a loss of time, but that problem is so frequent and unpleasant that many of us will go to extremes to avoid Mexico City. Maybe that is not such a big deal for some people but again if there is a way around it then I will take it. Thanks for your info and insight, especially the info about driving after 10pm which I was not aware of.


Vichil

Oct 17, 2009, 7:47 AM

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Re: [ronau] Arco Norte

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We cross DF twice a year coming from Toluca and since crossing via the viaducto rather than going via the periferico never had any problems with cops.
Every time we took the periferico we got hit by crooked cops so I think if you enter the city rather than stay on the outside you have less problems.
We also have Jalisco plates now and we had California plates before, that may have made a difference too.

The first time we went to Oaxaca we went with people from Oaxaca who told us to go via Queretaro, Pachuca, Tlaxcala, Puebla to prevent from going via Mexico States and Mexico City as they had to give too many rugs to the crooked cops especially in the State of Mexico. It was a long detour , full of trucks doing the same thing as they were, trying not to meet any cops from Mexico State.
On the second trip we went via Atlacomulco Tula, Pachuca etc another nightmare of road at the time because of poor signage and construction.
We then decided to go via the periferico and got some nice tickets for no good reason.
In 2006 we decided to cross the city and we got no ticket since that time . We cross the city in an hour on Sunday and it is no problem.
We never try to go around it after that.

Coming from Queretaro may be a different problem although the person who told me to cross rather than go around told me that the best way to cross was going north south. He gave us the route he takes but we never tried that route so unfortunately I do not have the information any longer. The Arco sounds nice if it is a good road and bypasses large towns . I bet it is not cheap if it is good.


Hound Dog

Oct 17, 2009, 9:08 AM

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Re: [Papirex] Arco Norte

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I thank Rex for his informative post but just a couple of things:

We drive through the heart of the city between Santa Fe via the new Toluca libramiento and the Puebla highway and as my wife indicated, have had no problems with cops since getting our Jalisco plates in 2004. We avoid the perifericos whenever possible because crooked cops fish there for out-of-towners whether Mexican or foreign.

Some advice for those of you driving through there:
* Expect to normally make it from the toll plaza in Santa Fe to the first one on the Puebla highway in about one hour. The longest it has taken us in really bad traffic has been 1 1/2 hours during the work week.
* Never drive through the city during the week including Satruday between 5:00AM and Noon (legally 6:00AM and 11:00AM) but don´t push your luck with those nasty cops. and drive through at 11:05AM. The time may be your word against theirs and they are often armed thugs.We would never ever drive through Mexico City in the middle of the night. There is a reason residents of DF are known to run redlights at night. Way too dangerous.
* Whenever possible drive through on a Sunday. Period. The DF governing authorities can declare any weekday a Hoy No Circular day if they issue a smog alert and you will not know it until you get to the district border if even then.The Hoy No Circula rules in and around DF have become way too confusing lately.
* Detailed instructions on getting through the city can be misleading. Every time we have driven through there on our way from Chápala to Chiapas and back the route has changed and there has amost always been some detour off of your planned route because of publc works projects. Just keep your cool if you get diverted and lick the monster.

We have heard that there is a new autopista from Toluca through Cuernavaca to Puebla that just opened. We´ll have to look into that.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Oct 17, 2009, 9:13 AM)
 
 
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