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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)


Just like last year...The leader of the free world comes to visit during what is probably the most critical time in history for the US (greatest economic debacle in nearly a century, plans are being formulated to reduce the vast US debt, two plus wars going on, etc.) and all I hear the media talk about is the inevitable traffic.

A little myopic and provincial, no?

Get out there on the freeways and clog the whole thing up. That would be showing the guy who's really living in the shadows.

Hey Westside,

Maybe it's finally time to stop fighting public transit and encourage it? Then this wouldn't happen.

A fellow west-sider

just what we needed!!!! why los angeles????

Why can't Mr Obama sit in traffic like the rest of us? I don't see anything in the US Constitution that says the President gets preferential treatment in personal commuting.

In tying up an entire metropolis' traffic he's showing special disregard for the people whom he theoretically represents.

By the way, Mr Obama, thank you for traveling during rush hour.

Thank you LAT for moving this to local where it belongs.

Problem, like last year, is that for every 1 person that has a legitimate gripe about the local traffic snafu, there are 10 right wing nuts that use this logistical issue as a wedge issue/ opportunity to bash Obama. In fact, the wing nuts come out of the woodwork for this issue.

All he cares about is MONEY! Thinking about jobs everyday he says...yeah, his and how to keep it. How pathetic.

If you're upset about this, get a life and learn how to get around town regardless of the obstacle. The comments here are a joke and so are the birthers posting. Obama isn't urging people to stay home today-- A LOT of people have this week off as well.

If you're really pissed, take your issue with the morons at the L.A. city council who all seriously need to be replaced anyhow. Apparently you guys aren't THAT pissed since the city council is still going strong after all the screwing they've done to the taxpayers of this city. They are the ones that actually pass legislation WITHOUT even having to be in the room-- legislation that actually trully affects YOU directly. But yeah, blame Obama, sheep.

Why is Obama coming to California? Is he looking for his pal Arnold the ex. lousy governor of California meets the worse President we have ever had. Put the two together in a bag and neither could find their way out. We the real Americans do not want these men in our neighborhoods. We tried foreigner's as leaders and found they are selfish self serving and do not put the people first above greed. They have tried to bring in millions of illegal immigrants in fact they have bought them in and they have taken over a good part of this country. We do not need any more trouble in this country we have plenty.

Has no respect for Holy Thursday and the church services he is disrupting

Wow, the hateful comments on here are ridiculous! Last summers traffic situation was mostly caused by the idiot who called in a bomb threat to the Isreali consulate, every other time we've had the President in town things have gone fine.

We live in L.A., horrible traffic is a guarantee and part of our daily lives, get used to it and stop complaining!

Thanks for that wonderful advise Mr. Rosendahl, "Stay home and don't get in the way!" More useless ramblings from the mouth of the biggest empty suit ever elected to public office.

Seriously, is there anything this guy won't go to get his name in the paper? He lives by the motto "there is no such thing as bad publicity".

Voting LA residents, please, I implore you, pull your heads out of the sand and stop electing this waste of space!

Whaaaaa Fricken Whaaaa!!!! What a bunch of worthless Whinning!!!

are you kidding?? stay at home...like people don't work or have lives??

Seems this site attracts lots of GOP and tea party members. Their comments are quite revealing.

The crazy part about the whiners posting here is that when Obama leaves, we'll still have traffic and gridlock!

Bush disrupted the entire economy and I didn't hear them whining then...

I will personally boycot all Sony product from now on for allowing this dog and pony show on their property.I will never go to the tavern too.

Only goverment employees trained to do nothing expect nothing from their employees and expect us to pay for them to do nothing. Would recommend that we send our employees home, instead of having them work.

I wish I could go to one of the fundraisers. Obama is awesome!!! He is working hard to get this country back on track after the disastrous 8 years of war, spending, deregulation of banks and embarrassment of Dumbya!

Whats the longest Obama has stayed in D.C?? The guy is constantly either on vacation or lobbying for more money..what a clown.

@Robert Goodman

"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!"

I feel you, and he is arrogant with regards to our residents. But, you need to take a Valium. I don't think the President being in town is going to cause a violent riot like 1992. C'mon...lol

I wonder how many people that have posted their spiteful and hateful (and some even racist) remarks about the President visiting would say the same things if it was "thier guy" visiting (i.e.- Palin, McCain, Bush, etc)? My guess is probably not... so the real issue, traffic is going to be a nightmare, is forgotten and the topic is another round of "Obama Bashing". GET A LIFE, PEOPLE! We're in LA- we're supposed to be better than this. It's embarassing....

So how many millions of US tax dollars are being wasted for this??? How is it legal for our President/s (past/present or future) to spend public funds traveling and begging for party money?

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