Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

President Obama's visit snarls traffic on L.A.'s Westside

Picture 1 Navigating rush-hour traffic on Los Angeles' Westside, which is never an easy task, was even worse in some areas Monday evening as streets were blocked off because of a visit by President Obama.

Obama arrived in Los Angeles for a fundraiser at the home of "ER" and "The West Wing" executive producer John Wells and his wife, Marilyn.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, also are expected to attend.

The Los Angeles Police Department said it had received a number of calls from people about the traffic but had not been given information on street closures from the Secret Service.

On Twitter, motorists reported that traffic was at a standstill in Hollywood and the Miracle Mile. Others reported that Olympic Boulevard was closed in Beverly Hills.

-- Robert J. Lopez

Photo: President Obama. Credit: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (129)

What can I add to the postings I've seen? Just my voice to the complete lack of concern that the Secret Service has for ordinary citizens and the incompetence and rudeness of the LAPD for not demanding better. NO ONE could tell you ANYTHING about how to navigate through. Why? "We can't tell you the President's route, ma'am." Well duh. I don't want to know his route but I certainly expect to have a traffic map that tells me what the main arteries are that will be open and which will be closed. All over the web and calls to LAPD Traffic and 311 and no one had any suggestions. The Secret Service told me to take the 101 to western and go south adn that it would take me 10-20 minutes. Who are they kidding? After two attempts to cross Olympic to get my child I had to give up and leave her to spend the night at a boy-friend's house. Great. And all thish to raise money? I want the LA taxpayers reimbursed for their lost time and the cost of security if this was a private event.

My sister called me on her cell crying. She was stuck for hours and could not go anywhere just so Obama could have his luncheon with A FEW RICH PEOPLE. Obama and his wife are out of touch with the people. Use a helicopter next time.

The people's president! Having a private function at a private home. Change has come?

This is pure arrogance.

"The Rest" of us amount to nothing to these self-proclaimed aristocrats.

They have destroyed our Nation. It is getting worse.

They celebrate this.

Keep trying Charles.

I've read most of the comments and I've tried to hold off but I just can't help it anymore...there are a whole lot of stupid people in this city. It was reported in the news at least two days before his arrival that Obama was coming, not just to LA, but to the westside of LA. Anybody who has lived in this city for more than a day, and who bothers to listen to the news, would have seen this coming a mile away and planned accordingly. But these same douches who complain like he just dropped from the sky are the ones who don't bother to stay on top of the news so they at least have a minimal understanding of what's going on around them. CLUELESS!

Hey, it could have been worse. Obama's policies have cost so many people their jobs that I'm sure the traffic volume was correspondingly reduced. Just think of how bad things would have been 12.2% of the city wasn't out of work.

With the problems of the world mounting and getting worse, the best headline you could come up with is "Obama snarls LA traffic." Oh, you poor, poor car-loving, polluting Kalifornians.

I agree. You can say all you want about Angelenos, the one thing you don't mess around with us is traffic during peak hours. Obama just did.


Praise Obama! He must have been doing something really important, so all you people need to stop complaining. He could have been talking about the economee or how were going to get rid of Alqida or heal the world from the poison gases and oil leak. He's doing his best to make the world a better place so hwho cares if you were stuck in a little traffic. People are so selfish, just thinking about themselves while Obama is trying to help all of us. i love you Obama. Yes we can!

Obama raises $1 million for himself and the Democratic party. Why not just take it out of the treasury, because it cost MILLIONS to get him here? Why not just bill the taxpayers $10 million and save us the traffic snarls? How many lost their jobs this morning, lost business, missed meetings???

I work in Beverly Hills and watched the traffic jam develop. I was essentially trapped in the office - my only choice would have been to drive the wrong way down a one way street so I could go north to Sunset.

I live in Playa del Rey with view that includes LAX departing flight paths over the ocean. What is particularly galling is that Sunday afternoon, I watched 3 Sea Stallion Ch53s escort 2 VH-3ds - Marine 1 and Marine 2 - into LAX. So - he had a chopper at hand...

This morning, the Sea Stallions and VH3s returned to LAX a little before 9am. On August 6th there was an uproar in DC about a Presidential visit to a sign company- Marine 1 was used instead of a motorcade which was deemed disruptive and expensive.

DC traffic can be every bit as horrible as LA traffic. One wonders why they didn't chopper him to his destination.

Tone deaf White House.

So the same entertainment industry who daily takes over taxpayers city streets for shoots (FOR FREE) now does them over to 'hob knob' with the president.

Shows you whose got control of our government.

Thank you Barbara "Call me Senator" Boxer.

Now AQMD, as this was major damage to the environment, cite them.

Ha ha ha.. serves you all right for driving to work and not making an effort to use public transportation or walk/ride.

I especially like the comments like, "Took me 3 hours to drive 1.2 miles." You have to drive 1.2 miles to work? I can walk 1.2 miles in about 15 minutes. LA traffic is a problem because of people like you, not President Obama.

It is unbelievable that Obama ruined the day of about 20,000 commuters while he attended a private fundraiser. I would imagine the cost of the travel and security, not to mention the cost to the community of hours upon hours of traffic and missed plans/schedules far outweighs whatever private donation was made. The difference here is that the funds raised go towards a political agenda, while the funds spent are at the expense of the community, with no regard given to the daily lives of those paying the tab.

Regardless of any political affiliation, this is absolutely ridiculous.

Dear irritated LA,

I feel for you. King Obama pulled the very same selfish type of stunt when he decided at the last minute to fly into Chicago's O'Hare airport so that he could have his birthday party with his Chicago political cronies.

As a result, he completely grounded air traffic, caused numerous flight delays as well as flight cancellations (all at a major hub which jams up all other major hubs nationwide - I might add).

It makes you wonder why the boy-president couldn't he have just landed at a military base instead thus allowing the rest of the working, taxpaying-citizens of this country to actually try to fix our economy instead of use it as there own private meal-ticket?

Consider the math and the ramifications for his selfish act ... and keep in mind that Obama's stimulus package sure as heck isn't going to pay back all those stranded business people let alone the airlines for the costs resulting in the aftermath of having to re-book everyone.

But hey ... I guess what's important is that Obama got to go to both his parties (albeit on the taxpayer's dime).

Thanks Mr. President. You're a shining example of fiscal responsibility.

100K commuters X 4Hours X $10 per hour. Cost in lost time $4M+
Add in the cost of the gasoline lost while idling. And the transportation costs via AF1. Hope it was worth it, BO.

Maybe the plan is to just hit LA up for a $1M campaign donation for NOT visiting next time.

Completely unacceptable. The arrogance required to displace hundreds of thousands of voters / citizens is appalling. There is no reasonable way to account for the loss of man hours, carbon emissions created, and not to mention the goodwill destroyed by this act.

Not to mention that it happened again this AM, where in the infintie wisdom, they decided to close to the 405 during morning rush hour!!

As an ex Dem (because Obama is so loathsome) I am loving the comments here. But the real news is Babs Streisand skipped the Barry show. That kinda says it all.
I'm starting to feel bad about the last of the Obama supporters....so alone....so crazy.

I simply do not understand how the hell this happened. An hour and a half to go 4 miles?? I could have walked home quicker. Why the hell don't they just put the man in the back seat of a 1972 Ford Pinto and trick him out with a cute little Groucho nose/glasses/mustache combo? No one will look twice and they can easily drive him from Point A to Point B without disrupting the LIVES OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE!!!

Personally, I am just OUTRAGED!

For the people commenting on Los Angeles car lovers. "I can walk 1.2 miles?" Do you have any idea what we pay to maintain our emissions to a standard your car will never achieve? Do you really know? The people complaining voted for the man. Move here and pay what we pay to maintain our CARS and then you tell us what to do next. Wait until he comes to your city. Just wait. Youth is arrogant and it shows in this President and in some of these posts. Lets just text our next President into office, and not really have the ability to tell him when he was wrong.

It's all Bush's fault.

"the People are stuck in traffic and are hungry for want of bread" "well, let them eat cake." - overheard in the motorcade

It was a fundraiser for pete's sake! Planning this visit to raise money was so irresponsible to the Los Angeles commuters it shows, again, the extreme disconnect between government and they people they govern. There was no crisis, no emergency, no mitigating circumstances that called for Obama's visit and the subsequent intense disruption of traffic (and life) in Los Angeles. It was about money at the expense of the good (and already stressed out) people of this city doing the best they can in what is always a horrible commute at rush hour. Obama is great at giving speeches, really good wordsmith and so visually invigorating to watch. But this was an example of empty words. I say put the money where your mouth is, next time, try this, VIDEO appearance!

There were 2 easy answers. Several nearby buildings on Wilshire Blvd have helipads; they could have flown him in, and then driven him a short distance to his destination .

The other option is that they could have landed on the grounds of the Wilshire Country Club, and then driven him a short distance to his destination.

These options should be considered next time.

« | 1 2 3 4 5 6 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: