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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)

I have to work. Am I to take a day off because of a presidential visit? Now with the road closures during rush hour, I don't have a way home around the mess.

Why should anyone in LaLa Land be upset? Isn't he some sort of hero around here? Let's turn this into a local holiday. So what if he's only here to collect $$.

how about starting your event at 8:30 pm when the working class is already home getting ready for the next day. the only people attending this event are the priviledged and they don't have regular hours.

@ Pooky - You should stay home and video conference (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Where can you get a list of the donors/sponsors of this specific fund raising event? I'd like to know who was to blame in ADDITION to Obama.

I wish he was here to do something more than just raise money for his campaign. If there was a legit policy issue and this was a side trip, that would still be a pain, but not as unreasonable for the huge negative economic impact he imposes on the locals. Really quite selfish of him.

Wait a sec. Sensing a pattern here. Negative local impact that occurs while supporting policies that benefit him and his allies. I wonder how many times this pattern applies?

Bill Clinton used to raise money in Hollywood, but he also held rallies and town hall meetings in neighborhoods all over Los Angeles. Not Obama. His "rally" will be behind the gates at Sony Studios where attendees have pay at least $100 to get in. The whole thing is so fake just like him.

I will not vote for him again.

Last summer he created lots of headache for people just to raise money for his buddies, it wasn't even for official business!!!!
now he comes back here at our expense to again raise money from his rich buddies. he should just stay near airport; i am sure some people are willing to go there and visit him. Certainly I won't!!!!

Yup, right on queue . The only time Obama comes to California is to raise campaign cash. He never comes here to bestow any federal grants on anything ( solar power, high speed rail, etc), just take cash. This is because California is such an easy roll, he knows he does not have to return anything in exchange. On the other hand, states like Florida, Colorado, Delaware, Michigan demand a quid pro quo for THEIR campaign contributions. And it is in those states that you see him photographed handing out federal money.
This reveals the utter stupidity of the Democrats in this state. They don't even have the brains of their liberal counterparts in other states.

Note to the Times: You guys keep missing the point... This man has been a pain for the entire country since he got elected!! Please, as hard as it is for your abundantly biased worldview, try to have some modicum of honesty...

Any inconvenience Obama's visit causes for LA commuters pales in comparison to the rising gasoline prices for which the President is clearly responsible.

Ironic but not surprising that Obama gets a pass from media despite similar prices for which Bush was routinely pilloried by the same media.

After 28 months in office, isnt it about time the media started holding Obama accountable for gasoline prices he has compounded by his unwillingness to use our own oil resources? Yet he finds a way to give the COLOMBIAN oil industry a significant financial boost just last week...and the Brazilians before that.

Ugh OK Mr President, Let me stop my life making my salary and not go to work, while getting hosed in federal taxes and state taxes just so that you can raise more money than I will ever make in one year. This visit is not warranted nor are you welcomed today. Why not visit on a Saturday? You can stay as long as you want.

i rank obama up there with w as the dumbest presidents in us history!

L.A. residents are full of it. We're probably the only major metropolitan city that moans and groans when a head of state visits town. And it's our own president. Wow.

Oh sure, I'll just tell my company "Hey I can't make deliveries (I haul fuel for the big evil oil companies) because the President is in town ". So can I have the day off with pay and maybe a few more gas stations can shut down"...What an idiot..Anyone but Obama in 2012..Anyone..

This is ridiculous. Why does he schedule his visits at rush hour every time! How inconsiderate can the man be. I was stuck in that gridlock last time. So they tell us to stay home? You mean stay home from work to avoid gridlock? I'm sure my boss would appreciate that! He should stay home!

I would be dumbfounded if Obama were elected again, but then again we voted for Bush again

So what.. minor inconvenience...I would hate be in the same shelter with all these complainers if a tsunami ever hit here.

Oh, quit whining and go around! Sheesh! Bunch of 4 year olds.

If the celebrities weren't so busy throwing money at Obama they could pay their income taxes.

Thanks for the visit Mr. President. Thanks for enduring despite all the haters and naysayers. You've got my vote in 2012!

I am saddened by the Angelinos, I used to think that the New Yorkers were the rudest people in America, and after 911 that changed in NY, the people became nicer to one another, humanity, compassion became the new thing in NY...and now here in LA, why are people so RUDE, DISRESPECTFUL, OBNOXIOUS to OUR PRESIDENT??? No wonder the kids now in days are so rude and disrespectful to their elders, just look at what their parents are doing...Being MEAN to OUR PRESIDENT who comes to LOS ANGELES, for whatever the occasion. SO ANGELINOS, GROW UP AND BEHAVE, BE NICE OR GO ELSEWHERE WITH YOUR MEANINESS AND DISRESPECT TO OUR PRESIDENT. We want the NICE people that we had many years ago in California BACK! MR. PRESIDENT WELCOME TO WEST LOS ANGELES...

Ms. Lucy Rodriguez

Don't go to Orange County they don't like you bozo...

WOW people are so selfish on this side of town, He IS the President right now so show some respect!

This just underscores our serious traffic difficulties. Bush also caused traffic jams when he visited Los Angeles. We need good public transit! But, it is also unrealistic to expect people to stay home. come on, people have jobs to go to.

People please! All presidents travel, all do fundraisers, all do some good things and all screw-up. So let the man do his job and you all have someone change your diapers, clean your runny noses and stop you from crying. As for traffic, when has there not been traffic in LA? You chose to live here so deal with it.

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