Obama's holding a rally Friday at USC -- expect street closures and traffic gridlock
President Obama will return to Los Angeles this week, and the city is bracing for a repeat performance of extreme gridlock across the city.
President Obama felt the sting of Angeleno road rage in August when street closures for his motorcade from Beverly Hills to Hancock Park extended Westside commutes from the normal 45 minutes into the duration of a one-way flight from L.A. to Chicago.
Commuters may be even more road-weary than usual after an obscure Orange County band earlier this month stopped traffic on the 101 Freeway for an impromptu concert.
Will traffic conditions be smoother this time around when the president comes to town? Los Angeles police say don't count on it. Even in places where streets aren't closed, traffic could be affected well into the evening rush hour, they said.
Several South Los Angeles thoroughfares, including portions of Martin Luther King Boulevard, Figueroa Street, Vermont Avenue and Exposition Boulevard, will be closed for more than six hours in the afternoon and during rush hour.
They also will be closed from 9:30 a.m. to 11:25 a.m., although some cars and pedestrians will be screened and allowed in, LAPD officials said.
After that, the roads will be shut down to all vehicles and pedestrians until 2:50 p.m.
"We would like all motorists who anticipate having to travel in and around the USC campus to expect delays and plan another route if possible," LAPD officials said in a statement.
The closures will affect Martin Luther King Boulevard between Figueroa Street and Vermont Avenue; Vermont Avenue between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Exposition Boulevard; Figueroa Street between Martin Luther King Boulevard and 39th Street; and Exposition Boulevard between Vermont Avenue and Figueroa Street.
-- Andrew Blankstein
Media Parking/ Viewing Areas/ Pool Camera Locations:
Martin Luther King Boulevard at Menlo Avenue
- Designated media parking will be located at Vermont Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Viewing will be available to media/pedestrians along Martin Luther King Boulevard at Lot 6. This is subject to the hard/soft street closures designated by the Secret Service.
USC CAMPUS Senator Boxer Luncheon/Alumni Park
- Designated staging/parking for media satellite vehicles shall be on Childs Way. Only White House-credentialed media may gather along the sidewalk area adjacent to Childs Way at Trusdale Way and will be allowed to enter the designated safe zone by the Secret Service. A pool camera will be available.
Photo: Obama with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2008 L.A. trip. Times file