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Obama's L.A. visit: Westside residents urged to stay home to avoid gridlock

Barack Obama speaks during a town hall event at Facebook Inc.

Authorities said they were taking steps to avoid a repeat of past gridlock when President Obama arrives in Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl urged Westside residents to plan activities at home during the period the president will be moving around or face “putting yourself into potential gridlock.”

Obama will arrive at Los Angeles International Airport at 2:45 p.m. He will spend some time at a fundraiser at the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City. He is scheduled to dine at the Tavern restaurant in Brentwood. It's unclear where he will spend the night, but the president is scheduled to depart from LAX about 9 a.m. Friday, at the heart of the morning commute.

Obama's visit to L.A. last summer closed numerous streets from downtown L.A. through the Westside, turning 45-minute commutes into three-hour ordeals. In his next visit in the fall he used a helicopter for some stops, and the traffic situation improved.

"Every effort is being made to minimize the impact to the residential communities and businesses affected by the president’s visit," the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement. "Although it is not always possible to provide advanced information regarding the specific routes of travel involving the president, we are committed to utilizing traffic control measures that minimize the impact upon commuters while still maintaining the safety of the President as well as the communities involved."

Rosendahl said that after the traffic nightmare last summer, he talked to White House officials and urged them to use a helicopter, which they ultimately did. He said the president’s advance team gave “encouraging signs that they appreciated that situation on the Westside.”

While there will be some hard closures and parking bans on designated streets, efforts would be made to quickly reopen them after the president’s motorcade passes by, he said.

“The president's security will be directly relate to the president’s movements and his security needs and will not be arbitrarily based. There will be flexibility,” Rosendahl said. “Frankly there wasn’t in that visit to Hancock Park. I'm hoping [this time] there will be a balance between the president’s security needs and the Westside constituents’ sensibility toward gridlock.”


Obama's visit expected to cause traffic delays in Los Angeles

Obama tries to reconnect with youthful supporters at Facebook town hall

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Barack Obama speaks during a town hall event at Facebook Inc. headquarters in Palo Alto on Wednesday. Credit: David Paul Morris / Bloomberg

Comments () | Archives (136)

typo...below should read:

The president is here so it's time to stop OUR LIVES?

all the obamas do is travel...for one stay in DC and fix the mess. Dud you are not wanted here.

To realize the havoc that a visit causes and still choose to proceed soley for the purpose of campaign fund raising is arrogance with a capital "A".

Why do Taxpayers allow Presidents the ability to spend so much of our money by flying a hugely expensive 747 so they run a personal fund raising campaign?

I suggest they just steal the money directly directly from the Treasury, leave the plane in the hangar and provide some leadership instead of $35,800 a plate dinners.

I am just confused as to why this is allowed? Acts like this pale in comparison to the City of Bell financial scandal. Why does the media not take the ball and run with it? I don't get it.

How about instead of trapping yourself inside of a home or car..you ride your bike today! Mid-week cicLAvia..let's do it!

I still like the guy, but please, go away.

westside deserves all of this they voted for him ha ha

Barry's even managed to screw traffic up... Might as well. He's consistent if anything.

Maybe someone can hit him up for a few bucks for a light rail/mass transit system that was needed 10 years ago.

Another solution is just to tell the President to stay home.

stay home to avoid gridlock, or pay the consequences of another painful and useless speech, fill with empty promises.

Pretty disgusting given the fact that the man is a usurper ...not qualified under the Constitution to be POTUS... and a total fraud. He should be in prison for election fraud and identity fraud instead of tying up traffic.

Plan activities at home? So because I had the audacity to go to work today, and will then head to my 2nd job at 4, I am, in fact, the one to blame for "putting" myself into potential gridlock?

Perhaps I should have planned activities at home, instead of going to work. At that rate, maybe I'll just pay the $32,000 to attend the fundraiser.

I hope the money that you fundraise makes up for alienating every West Side commuter, Mr. Obama. How about supporting the working class by not planning a fundraiser for rush hour?

Again, only thinking about himself.

How bout if YOU stay home mr. o

Here's a better idea: Why doesn't President Obama stay home and let citizens get to work on time? The far left owns California and there's no reason for Obama to fire up his climate-changing personal air force and fly out there to buy votes. He could run with Charles Manson in 2012 and he'd still have those 55 electorals in the bag.

The Campaigner in Chief sure looks happy being on the road all the time.

Last year it took me 4 hours to travel 1.5 miles from my office to my home. I was in downtown LA in 1992 the night the Rodney King verdict was announced. During last year's traffic jam, I felt way more afraid than in 1992. At a time of economic recovery, in a city that is normally almost impossible to get around in (which has been made worse by all the road construction going on), to close off whole sections of the city is complete insanity. If this were for some important government reason, it might make some sense. But, for a second time, for a fundraiser? Are you kidding me. I used to be a major Obama supporter. But the arrogance of this is beyond words. I am very afraid for the city today. I think there is a very real possibility of violence. My husband and I are not working today and have chosen to keep our son home--as his school is right in the middle of where the closures will be. This is completely insane!

Maybe the title should read "Westside residents urge Obama to stay at home."

Why should we have to stay off the streets of our own city?

Maybe while Obama is here, since it is just after Tax Day. He can explain to the citizens of California why for every $1 we pay in Federal Tax, we get back $0.80, but states like AZ get $1.20 for every dollar in federal tax they pay.

yes please stay home you simpletons, thanks to the chosen one you probably dont have jobs to go to anyway. please let lord Obama through while you pray for him.

That article told me absolutely nothing.

I wonder how much his fundraising is costing the city. Regardless of party affiliation, I would force politicians to pay for all costs (security, traffic, lost work) out of any funds raised. It doesnt make sense for the city to spend $40 million so he can raise $20 million.

Why can't Obama stay home instead? Oh wait,he needs some hollwood elites to pony up some cash for his 2012 election...nevermind

And here he goes again, out spending our money we don't have, campaigning for another 4 years to further his agenda to take down this country. An arrogant, egotistical, clueless moron. STOP WASTING OUR TAXES ON YOUR AGENDAS.
Anyone with an ounce of sense wouldn't vote this lying muslim back in office after everything he's pulled on us.

It's good that the Prez can visit LA but fundraising and dinner are not official Presidential duties, vital to the administration of the federal government.

How about putting the Prez in the back seat of some unpretentious van and traveling from place to place. He and the rest of us will move about the Westside quickly (relatively speaking) and it'll avoid the expected gridlock. Then the rest of us can make doctor appointments, trips to the store and meet other important obligations.

The Prez can go where he pleases ... but then so can we, but his visit to LA shouldn't inhibit our or interfere with our responsibilities to meet our obligations.

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