Trolley extension progress near UC San Diego.

If you’ve recently driven up Interstate 5 through University City, you’ve probably observed great progress has been made building the Mid-Coast Trolley extension.

Curving beside the freeway, crossing over it twice, in many places raised up high in the air, this new trolley line will connect Old Town with UC San Diego, the Westfield UTC mall, and a number of stations along the way. This northward trolley expansion is scheduled to open next year!

Most of the structures appear to be in place. I’ve noticed work crews are now stringing up electrical overhead lines. (An overhead wire is also called a catenary. This unusual word is an important clue that will help you solve the mysterious Alvarado trolley station riddle, which you can read here!)

This morning, at the end of a long walk through a quiet University City, I crossed over I-5 at Medical Center Drive and snapped photos of the Mid-Coast Trolley construction in both directions–south and north. My walk concluded at the Gilman Transit Center, a couple blocks farther west.

Looking south from the bridge you can see how the new trolley line curves past the VA Medical Center Hospital, where there will be a station. Another station beyond that, high above the freeway, will be located at Nobel Drive.

After I crossed the bridge, I turned my camera north to photograph the new Pepper Canyon at UCSD West trolley station. From there the line curves eastward, crosses the freeway at Voigt Drive, and will serve passengers boarding and disembarking at UCSD East near Scripps Memorial Hospital.

I’m looking forward to riding the Mid-Coast Trolley when it’s completed. Looks a little like a twisty amusement park ride. I bet the views will be great!

The following photos are looking south toward the Veterans Hospital…

The next three photos are looking northwest, into a small corner of UC San Diego…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Ride the bus or trolley free to vote!

This coming Tuesday, November 3 is MTS Free Ride Day!

The annual day when anyone can ride the San Diego Trolley or any transit bus for free coincides with Election Day in 2020. Even though most polling places aren’t far, and many will be voting by mail this year due to the unusual COVID-19 pandemic circumstance, having Free Ride Day on Election Day seems a great idea!

If you try riding the bus or trolley for the first time on Tuesday, make sure to bring your face covering.

I happened to see the above banner as I waited yesterday at the City Heights Transit Plaza for the 215 Rapid bus. Because I live and work near convenient transit centers, I always purchase a 30 day regional pass, which allows me to ride trolleys and most buses each month wherever and however I choose.

If, like me, you have things to do during your commute, or simply want to rest or look out the window, going by bus or trolley is a great option. Being a photo blogger and writer of fiction, I can be on the lookout for new “Cool San Diego Sights” or people watch!

Yesterday I rode transit from downtown San Diego to Normal Heights to City Heights to Lakeside and back to Balboa Park! Yes, way out east to Lakeside! I even got a photograph of a cowboy!

Stay tuned for many, many more blogs!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Solve a riddle at the Alvarado trolley station!

Ready to solve a San Diego riddle?

Put on your thinking cap!

At the Alvarado Station of the San Diego Trolley, a long riddle appears near the top of the wall that separates this Green Line station from Interstate 8. The very clever public art was created by Roman De Salvo in 2005. The first part of the riddle is now partially obscured by plant growth, but I’ve been able to ascertain the exact words.

Can you solve the mysterious riddle? After racking my brain and coming reasonably close, I checked out the nearby Braille answer! (And learned a little about Braille in the process.)

Leave your guess as a comment, and I’ll let you know how close you are!

(Hint #1: If you can’t make out the words in my photographs, that’s unimportant. I’ve transcribed the words for you. Hint #2: If you’re unfamiliar with this part of San Diego, it helps to look at a map.)

ARTERIES VEINS AND CAPILLARIES FOR AUTOS RAIN AND CATENARIES ALL THREE LINES ARE SIDE BY SIDE ABOVE BELOW AND STRATIFIED ONE IS NUMBERED LESS THAN NINE ANOTHER WAS HERE AT THE DAWN OF TIME THE LAST WILL BE HERE AFTER A WAIT OR RIGHT AWAY IF YOU’RE NOT TOO LATE LOOK AROUND TO SOLVE THIS RIDDLE NAME ALL THREE TOP BOTTOM AND MIDDLE IF BEWILDERED FEEL THE HANDRAIL THE ANSWER THERE IS WRIT IN BRAILLE

The above sign on the waiting platform contains a little information about the Alvarado Medical Center Station’s unique riddle:

…Each word in the riddle is inscribed on individual stone tiles. The words form a pattern along the top of the south wall visually reinforcing the rhythm of the words. In classical frieze tradition, the reader is encouraged to walk along the station platform form one end to the other…

(If these photos seem a little unnatural, I’ve increased the contrast and darkened them slightly so one can make out the words.)

Did you figure it out?

Share your guess as a comment below!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Your bus or trolley photo on MTS 2021 calendar!

Cool restored Silver Line trolley at Fifth Avenue station.

Do you live in San Diego, or have plans to visit? Are you a rider of the bus or trolley? Are you a photographer at any level who loves a challenge?

San Diego’s MTS (Metropolitan Transit System) might put one of your photographs on their upcoming 2021 calendar!

If you’ve taken a great photo outside or inside an MTS bus or trolley, or perhaps a photo from a station platform, you can submit your image to be considered for inclusion in next year’s official MTS calendar. If your image is selected, you’ll get credit plus your own free calendar.

The deadline for submission is October 15, 2020. Your photos must meet certain requirements, such as being high-resolution and in JPG format. You can learn all about what you need to do on this page.

Why not give it a try?

Sounds like fun!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Six years of colorful Comic-Con trolleys!

It’s mid-June. If this were an ordinary year, brand new trolley wraps would be rolling out right now for San Diego Comic-Con. But, alas, like most events, Comic-Con has been cancelled in 2020 due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

I’ve photographed just about every Comic-Con trolley wrap that has appeared in the past six years. As mobile billboards, they’re used to promote popular entertainment–primarily new or ongoing television series. They’re designed to catch the attention of Comic-Con fans and create a sense of anticipation and excitement.

This year I’ll miss watching the weeks of preparations that lead up to the world’s greatest pop culture convention. Seeing streets, buildings and trolleys massively transformed for the epic event is one more thing that makes living in downtown San Diego so much fun!

If you, like me, are saddened by the cancellation of Comic-Con in 2020, I figured we could revisit these very colorful trolley wraps from the past six years. How many do you remember or recognize?

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

A belated thank you to MTS transit drivers!

I didn’t realize until now that yesterday was Transit Driver Appreciation Day!

I’ve ridden the San Diego Trolley and MTS buses for many years–going to and from work, and around the city on weekend adventures. I like to travel this way because I can gaze out the windows at my city and search for cool new sights.

So I would like to express my appreciation to all those who drive for MTS in San Diego. Many of the bus and trolley drivers are super nice and deserve all the kudos they can get. They often smile or offer a wave or kind greeting as they do a job that at times is quite stressful.

From a downtown resident who appreciates all that you do, every single day: Thank You!

Ron Burgundy on the San Diego Trolley!

The Ron Burgundy Podcast.
The Ron Burgundy Podcast.

For many months now Ron Burgundy has been seen around town on the San Diego Trolley. Yesterday morning I happened to spot him!

A trolley wrap that promotes the popular Ron Burgundy podcast features a couple of funny quotes, as you can see!

Everyone knows Ron Burgundy from the classic comedy Anchorman, starring Will Ferrell. And everyone associates Anchorman with San Diego. So why should anyone be surprised to find him on a trolley?

San Diego. I'm here for the good times and because I'm under house arrest.
San Diego. I’m here for the good times and because I’m under house arrest.

The first podcast in America.
The first podcast in America.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Dramatic clouds, a change in weather.

San Diego’s first “winter storm” is here. This morning the clouds were already gathering, making for a sensational sunrise. I got a beautiful photo from the top of Cortez Hill!

A bit later in the morning, bright slanting sunlight made the clouds over Mission Valley very dramatic. I took a few photos near Hazard Center (you can see the trolley line) and the San Diego River. I captured some cool reflections!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Photos beneath I-805 bridge in Mission Valley.

Yesterday morning I jumped off the Green Line trolley at the Rio Vista station. I walked east over Qualcomm Way via the pedestrian bridge then continued down the little-used walkway that runs parallel to the trolley tracks.

I had never gone that way before.

The concrete walkway leads behind the Marriott Mission Valley and several large, gleaming office buildings and finally terminates by a parking lot directly beneath the very impressive I-805 freeway bridge.

I turned my camera upward and snapped photos beneath the tall landmark bridge!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

The Dark Crystal trolley for Comic-Con!

Another cool trolley wrap has debuted for 2019 San Diego Comic-Con! I spotted it this morning. This one might be my favorite so far!

The eye-catching graphics promote an upcoming show on Netflix. Get ready for Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!