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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)

What a surprise. Our president doesn't seem to understand how ordinary people live.

If Obama really was concerned about the gridlock he always creates at rush hour here he would choose to conduct his motorcades during "off hours".

We can't he leave at 5am? Guess we can't inconvienence him. So many people were annoyed by this last time, he definately didn't win any new supporters.

Why can't he do this on a weekend?

No mention that this is a fundraising tour...


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.”

Seeing as the President has seen fit to schedule his non-governing-related activity during the evening rush hour, the problem is getting home. I'm more than happy to stay there and forgo dinner out. I'm sure many struggling restauranteurs are happy to hear that.

"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.”

Right, like I am supposed to take the day off from work or leave work at noon so I can stay home? As far as I can tell, the President will be "moving around" during the evening rush hour.

They should really consider making use of the helicopter more often in this situation. It's completely reckless to impact traffic in this capacity over such a short visit.

Just a quick question: For Republicans like myself - who have jobs to go to during the day - how do Rosendahl and Obama expect me to "plan activities at home?"

If it is for a fundraiser why doesn't LA bill his campaign for the extra costs?

The air pollution index will be up until he leaves. Worst President in the history of the country. The country can't take another term for this empty suit.

Does this mean we a tax rebate for missed work hours and pay???

When you work, how can you just plan activities at home to avoid presidential traffic in the afternoon?

Go back to washington and actually fix the budget instead of screwing us all over so you can attend a fundraiser.

Everyone who voted for this abomination should be forced to drive in the area at the worst possible time.

Why should people be out, when they are unemployed? Please keep Obama in Culver City. Let him have his own reality show. He's screwed-up healthcare, the economy and the jobs outlook.

Go Home Obama !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Go Home Obama>>>>>>>>>>

LORD HAVE MERCY!! Have you hurd of video conference??!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I work in Brentwood and how am I going get back home this afternoon in the Valley?!

$86,000/hr of taxpayer money to fly him here and back. 5 hour flight each way. $860,000 of taxpayer money so he can come here to raise money for his campaign. Nice. Just add it on to the debt.

What does Obama's visit have to do with Westside gridlock?...maybe they moved the White House to Wilshire and Barrington.

Were broke State and Federal Government and yet they are spending money to Travel around to give speechs or whatever there doing. Quit spending our money We can't afford it.

Because there aren't any hotels by the airport that can host a fundraiser????? Good luck Westsiders!

Go home Mr. President we don't want you here. We do not have money to give you towards your reelection. We don't have money for vacations or to fly around the country. Don't you have anything to do in Washington except to disrupt us in LA? Our country is in big trouble and we need representation in Washington. Go home and do your job for the time you have left because you will never again get my vote.

Why doesn't he sleep on AF1? No morning traffic snarls at least... the bed I'm sure is quite comfy and - gasp - already paid for. Ear plugs Barry, ear plugs.

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