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skipweldon

Nov 7, 2005, 6:43 PM

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Driving in Mexico City

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I am planning to drive on the periferico in DF on Thursday. My plate is all letters. Will I hace a problem?



Ed and Fran

Nov 7, 2005, 6:58 PM

Post #2 of 16 (3338 views)

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Re: [skipweldon] Driving in Mexico City

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Can't guarantee that you won't have a problem with the traffic. But your plate is fine. Friday is the 'no drive' day for plates with no numbers.



Regards

Ed


Bear

Nov 8, 2005, 4:29 AM

Post #3 of 16 (3315 views)

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Re: [skipweldon] Driving in Mexico City

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Skip,
The southeast Anillo Periferico is in very bad repair.
(section east of Mexico City airport)
Furthest south you will be brought into very heavy traffic at Iztapalapa crossing.
If you are going across the north periferico, east to
west, the traffic is extremely heavy from Hank Gonzales (Central) to Tlalnepantla, and thence to the southern turn. Best to stay out of the area between 7:30 am and 2pm, again from 4 pm to 7pm.
Trucks and macho male whacked out drivers make this a difficult time to travel that section.
North/south traffic on the west side is always heavy
when the sun is out. There is construction in the
Gustavo Baz section. Lanes narrow and reduce.
Most of the important Highway signs are spray
painted unrecognizable by taggers, north and west
sections of Anillo Periferico. Bear


raferguson


Nov 8, 2005, 8:41 PM

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Re: [skipweldon] Driving in Mexico City

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My joke about driving in Mexico City is that I only do it about once a decade. It usually takes me that long to remember how difficult and unpleasant it was last time. ;-) Even without tagging, the signage is inadequate. I recommend travel with the best available maps and an excellent navigator riding in the right hand seat.

Ricahrd


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


TigerTonio


Nov 9, 2005, 9:04 AM

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Re: [raferguson] Driving in Mexico City

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My advice -- make sure one gets a good nights sleep and does whatever one does to do to be put into a calming state of mind. The only other place in the world with worse traffic and driver behavior that I've seen is in Istanbul.

Driving in Mexico City is a nightmare I'd care not to ever have to experience again. Don't get me wrong -- I LOVE D.F. but would prefer to fly or take the bus.


Papirex


Nov 9, 2005, 9:31 AM

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Re: [skipweldon] Driving in Mexico City

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Richard is right about the inadequate signage in Mexico, I think many ex-pats come to Mexico expecting to find street and road signage like they are used to seeing up north, installed by the local government. There are some signs like that, but usually not as many as we are used to finding nob. There are cities that are exceptions, but Mexico City isn’t one of them. A good map is invaluable in an unfamiliar city.

If there are no official signs, the navigator should look for an unofficial sign at the street corners. If there is one, it may be professionally painted, or just more or less scrawled on the corner of a building, sometimes very high, or low, even sometimes painted on the curb. Sometimes it will be on a plaque on the corner. There is no uniformity for the location, size, or format for an unofficial sign, but that is what we often must depend on in an unfamiliar area.

If there are no signs, look at the signs on any businesses on the street. Many of them will list the street address of the business. I think they probably do that because of the lack of adequate signage on the streets. One time, I even used a pair of binoculars we had in the car to read some signs on businesses on a street to find out where we were.

Actually, The Hoy No Circula law is silent about license plates with all numbers. You should be able to drive them every day of the week. The cops have bluffed everyone into believing that they can’t be driven on Fridays. I wouldn’t drive one with all letters on a Friday since there is no sense in giving a cop an excuse to try that scam on me. We don’t have a car with those plates anyway.

Remember a regular Mexico City cop does not have the authority to cite you for violating the Hoy No Circula law. Only a Transito (khaki uniforms), or an Environmental policeman (green and white cars), may do that. If a regular cop tries to cite you, tell him to go ahead and write the ticket, and you will go to a bank and pay it. You can do that there, he can’t.

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


skipweldon

Nov 9, 2005, 10:54 AM

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Re: [RexC] Driving in Mexico City

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Thank you all for your help. As it turns out we would have to go through DF on Friday so we will seek an alternate route.
On our return trip on a Saturday from Puebla to Toluca we are considering the viaducto and then North to the Toluca exit. Any comments? Thanks


jerezano

Nov 9, 2005, 5:19 PM

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Re: [skipweldon] Driving in Mexico City

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Hello Skip,

Yes, I have a comment. We tried that earlier this year. We came North from Puebla hoping to hit the East Periferico. That Periferico exit is not signed, it just has a street name which shows on a good city map, but we were past it before it registered. We kept straight on hoping to hit the Viaducto and yes we hit it and at first it was signed well. Then it started changing names but we finally made it across town to an exit labeled Periferico. We took that exit to the right as that should have been North. We immediately got lost. We stopped and asked directions. We got them but they were obviously wrong. We stopped and got new directions again. We were still lost. I must point out my driver was a native Spanish speaker from Zacatecas. We finally stopped, had a soft drink, cooled down, looked at our city map, asked more directions and took off. We found ourselves driving right through the center of the City, so we stopped and asked a taxi driver to lead us out to the North on the way to Querétaro. He led us out past the Bellas Artes building and dropped us off on the way to Querétaro, but still well within the City. Straight forward from that point. We lost over 3 hours.

So, if you make it across Mexico City, please be sure and post the method here on the forum. Nobody else seems to know how either.

Adios. jerezano.


Bubba

Nov 10, 2005, 8:38 AM

Post #9 of 16 (3195 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Driving in Mexico City

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These comments remind me of our own nightmare trying to find the East Periferico coming in from Puebla. We saw no signs either and ended up hopelessly lost around the airport. We had a license plate that would not normally have allowed us to drive on that day but it was a national holiday so we could drive.

Sure enough, these two thugs in uniforms pullled us over (we had California plates) and gleefully informed us that we could not drive on that day and it was going to cost us $4,000 Pesos to avoid impoundment of our car.

My wife informed him that it was a national holiday and, as a result, we could drive on that day. Well, he told us, of course you are right but you changed a lane back there without giving a signal. Today, we would fight this but we were new in the country and quite anxious to get to Queretaro before dark so we asked him how much a ticket would cost us for an illegal lane change. He told us that was only $2,000 Pesos payable on the spot as it wasa national holiday.

My wife told him there was no way we would pay that much money to him. Well, in that case, the cop said, I'll have to take your driver's license. She gets really irrritated (knowing he can't legally do this) and tells him to just take the damn thing. Of course, it was my license she was referring to - not hers. This really freaked me out but my wife was adamant and the cop could pretty much see this was going nowhere so he say, "Well, just how much will you give me?" My wife says, "$200 Pesos. The cops says no, he needs at least $400 Pesos.

Keep in mind that we were hopelessly lost and faced with driving at night to Queretaro so I figured it was make a deal time. We told the cop that we would pay him the $400 Pesos if he would escort us to the periferico (we were looking a for cab to lead us anyway) and, for $400 Pesos, we were escorted with lights flashing and sirens wailing to the periferico.

We have taken the " western periferico" through D.F. from Toluca to Puebla and have also taken the "eastern periferico" from Puebla via Texcoco and the hellish Coacalco. We would always opt for the western route. You may think Coacalco is in the country when you look at your map. You will be in for a surprise.

We have friends from Oaxaca who bring valuable carpets with them from Oaxaca to sell in Ajijic and they refuse to drive even through the state of Mexico, much less the city as they swear that the state police and district police are all corrupt and dangerous. They drive from Guadalajara to Oaxaca via Queretaro, Pachuca and Tlaxcala.That is a scenic drive on both freeways (free?) and poorly marked back country roads. It really takes no longer than going through DF if you consider the traffic hassles.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Nov 10, 2005, 8:43 AM)


RickS


Nov 10, 2005, 9:33 AM

Post #10 of 16 (3187 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Driving in Mexico City

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Speaking of driving from Guadalajara to Oaxaca, I seem to recall (but cannot find with searches) that Bubba or someone talked of a more-or-less easy way to skirt D.F. by going to Toluca, then south, maybe through Cuernavaca, down through Juajuapan de Leon and on to Oaxaca. Now I know that much of that last part is not freeway travel but....

My wife and I would like to go to Oaxaca this winter from Ajijic. We would like to consider taking in one or more of Patz/Morelia, the butterflies, Valle de Bravo, Taxco and maybe Cuernavaca on the way. I have a new Guia Roji but would listen to ANY advice as to how to make that trip 'something to remember' rather than 'something to forget!'s with regard to highway travel.

RickS


Bubba

Nov 11, 2005, 9:50 AM

Post #11 of 16 (3159 views)

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Re: [RickS] Driving in Mexico City

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It is not as easy as it appears to get from Toluca to Cuernavaca without getting into Metro Mexico City.

When we tried this, we drove from Toluca to Metepec intending to go over the mountainous back roads (Highway 4) to Cuernavaca. Since Puebla was our destination and not Cuernavaca and, as it was mid-afternoon, we opted to drive fron Metepec through Xochimilco on Highway 15. If you are going to try this, I would advise spending the night in Metepec which has some nice hotels and seeking direction for the mountain roads to Cuernavaca. This looks like it would a a beautiful but arduous drive. Signage in Toluca and Metepec is terrible but there are lots of people who will tell you, "No problema." and send you out into the wilderness where you will get lost. I still have a cocktail napkin with a primitive map on it drawn out by a traveling salesman in a beer joint. I told my wife that there was no way I was starting that adventure at 3:00PM.

If you don't like the idea of staying in Metepec, you can drive west from Toluca for about two hours and stay in the fancy Valle de Bravo but if you try this on the weekend when the rich folks from DF jam the area, you will regret for the rest of your life. Valle de Bravo, at 1,870 Meters is one cold and congested place. and you will be among the poor there. The rich Mexicans there buy Persian carpets not indigenous Mexican carpets like you rustic U.S. Trailer Trash.

If I were not heading for Morelos State, I would do this if I wished to avoid DF. Try the Guadalajara/ San Juan del Rio/ Pachuca/Tlaxcala/Puebla route I suggested before.

Mexico City would not be so bad if it weren't for the unbelievably bad signage that almost seems to be done on purpose as some really bad joke pulled by the cuty authorities.


hoyafb95

Nov 11, 2005, 12:38 PM

Post #12 of 16 (3145 views)

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Re: [skipweldon] Driving in Mexico City

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All letters are Friday in D.F., but plead dumb as even the signs on the approaches to D.F. and Estado de Mexico do not mention letters just numbers.


Miguel Palomares


Nov 14, 2005, 2:31 PM

Post #13 of 16 (3094 views)

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Re: [skipweldon] Driving in Mexico City

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After reading the responses to your question, I have concluded, yet again, that nobody in their right mind drives in or anywhere near Mexico City.

Too many other ways to spend one's life.

I know a couple here in Patzcuaro who have lived in Mexico almost 15 years. They have never set foot in Mexico City. It can be done. Color them sharp.
From Tzurumutaro, Michoacan, "The Village of the Darned."
_______________________________________

The nuts and bolts of moving to Mexico:
http://michaeldickson.blogspot.com/
The dark side of living in Mexico:
http://mexicopeeks.blogspot.com/
Scintillating life in a Mexican pueblo:
http://tzurumutaro.blogspot.com/
http://tzurumutaro2.blogspot.com/

(This post was edited by Miguel Palomares on Nov 14, 2005, 5:43 PM)


hoyafb95

Nov 15, 2005, 1:47 PM

Post #14 of 16 (3045 views)

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Re: [Miguel Palomares] Driving in Mexico City

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In Reply To
After reading the responses to your question, I have concluded, yet again, that nobody in their right mind drives in or anywhere near Mexico City.

Too many other ways to spend one's life.

I know a couple here in Patzcuaro who have lived in Mexico almost 15 years. They have never set foot in Mexico City. It can be done. Color them sharp.



Ed and Fran

Nov 15, 2005, 2:47 PM

Post #15 of 16 (3037 views)

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Re: [hoyafb95] Driving in Mexico City

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They have never set foot in Mexico City. It can be done. Color them sharp.


Color them sharp?

I suppose it depends on your point of view. I had the great good fortune to live in Mexico City twice, first back in '92-'94, then again in '97-98. I loved it.

I had a car during both periods, and drove all around the city. Of course I also used a lot of taxis and metro, which mode I chose just depended on the timing / situation / destination, etc.

I still think that Mexico City and it's surrounding area is one of the most interesting places in the country. I enjoy the climate there. I was fortunate in that the pollution never bothered me (except from an aesthetic point of view, in not being able to clearly see the gorgeous mountains surrounding the city). I still look forward to our occasional trips there.

ymmv

Regards

Ed & Fran


esperanza

Nov 15, 2005, 3:03 PM

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Re: [Ed and Fran] Driving in Mexico City

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Amen, Ed. I lived in the DF during parts of 1981-82 and 1982-83. I loved it then and love it now and go every chance I get.

Next trip over will be in December, just in time to see the Parque Alameda all gussied up for Christmas. DF friends and I will see several exciting museum exhibits (the Medieval Spain exhibit at the MNA and a new exhibit at the Franz Mayer), we'll go to La Merced during the week and La Lagunilla on Sunday morning, we'll visit La Morenita, we'll eat things we never see in Guadalajara--oh, there is so much to do that it's not possible to do it all, not in this lifetime. The thought of being in that vibrant, fascinating, vivid city gives me a jolt of electricity that comes from nothing else.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com







 
 
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