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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)

Please don't come here anymore - you are truly not wanted. We all are trying to work hard for our families and livelihood to survive in a terrible economy you cannot take ownership of. Go to the Mohave or Bishop or someplace else where millions of people's lives aren't affected by you and empty words.

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?

Just how stupid is this statement, to stay at home? Sorry, rich boy, most of us do not have that luxury. Most of us need to work for a living. For every dollar that Obama raises, he will probably lose that many votes.

Dear Pres. Obama:

I voted for you. I even supported your campaign with financial donations, so I am not an Obama hater. I just want you to stay home and quit inconveniencing the lives of the people of Los Angeles. That's all.

Wow, the vitriolic spew for a few hours (probably minutes) of slight inconvenience is amazing here. I appreciate that people may not agree with the president, but what he is doing is standard practice for presidents. If you think Obama travels a lot, look back on Bush Jrs. travel schedule - and most of his were vacations! We are very short-minded, us Americans, when it comes to stuff like this. I remember when Bush had a speech in Century City, you couldn't get anywhere from east to west for most of the day.

The idea here, simpletons, is to keep the leader of the free world (yes, still) safe from harm. Even if you don't like the president, I would hope you'd understand why keeping him safe is a pretty important job. And I certainly hope that your idealogical differences with him don't mean you want him attacked. Lighten up people. Besides, it's more fun to pick on McCourt.

He must be used to creating gridlock wherever he goes, especially the economy.

It would be nice if HE would just stay home instead.

Wait...he's raising money from the big, bad, rich people?

Typical West LA whiners - cry cry cry about anything and everything and never act to make changes ("that's someone else's responsibility"). Pathetic.

This motorcade crap has gotten out of hand. When Reagan would come to LA, he had about a six-car motorcade that zoomed along surface streets without much fanfare. I saw this happen twice on the Westside. From LAX, surface streets to Sepulveda and east on Olympic. The first time, I would not have even noticed that it was the Presidential motocade unless someone had called it to my attention. That's how low-key it was. Now the whole friggin' city gets shut down. Blame the Secret Service for the traffic jam and Obama for wasting out tax money for a fund-raising trip.

Why doesn't the President go to South Central?? Is he too good?

thanks obama, my 80 hour weeks aren't long enough.


Perhaps he can take the mayor's position for today since he's always traveling all over the place.

The President needs security and unfortunately some of us have to deal with some traffic disruptions. Also, look at the situation this way... He has so much underestimated popularity that more people are jammed on the streets trying to get a glimpse of a president with true vision, compassion, integrity, intelligence and tenacity.

Lets see, ....Google maps, live traffic.... Wilshire bad, 405 bad.... so traffic is normal. Bet no one complaining about the legitimately elected President here lives on the Westside. And I bet none of them complained about Bush pretending to be a country boy and spending all that time on his ranch "cutting brush".

Yeah, this is obviously part of Obama's grand Kenya Muslim usurper scheme to foil our communtes! Why, he's even so devious that he's had such visits going on since before he was President (GWB did the same thing to us).

Whiners. Politically opportunistic whiners!

Go see your billionaire friends and hob-nob with the rich and famous Mr. President. The rest of America is struggling with unemployment, low wages, high gas prices and a Banking industry that is gouging us at every opportunity.

I voted for you but you have been such a dissapointment. I want a man who will LEAD - not one who likes to BE President. I thought we got over that with Reagan.

Enjoy your day - we are all paying for it!

I remember when Presidents held fund raising events in giant hangers at the airport to avoid this type of fiasco. Let the Gazillionaires go to YOU!

He has proven himself to be a completely ineffective leader. Libya, high gasoline prices, a terrible economy. He is good at reading off a teleprompter. They should ban those from debates and let the American public see which candidates are for real.

Do the taxpayers have to pay for all these security control expenses while he is here fundraising for his own party? No wonder our country is in deficit.

Wow, and where were all of you haters when Bush gummed all of LA up ? Oh, that's right. That doesn't count, because he came to have a beer with you.

most of you the blame obama for the countries woes are idiots. it's the Bush presidency and spending all our money on bigger govt and 2 wars with no end in sight. more jobs created in 2 years than Bush created his entire term.

I can’t help but wonder if the cost to fly a 747 and its military escort to L.A., house and feed a presidential entourage overnight, mobilize an entire city’s infrastructure to accommodate the disruption and the economic cost of the subsequent delays and loss of productivity are equal to or more than the $4 million he is going to raise.

Oh, I forgot about the efficiency of flying a helicopter from LAX to the VA and then driving back to Culver City…right in the middle of the two. I wonder who the logistic specialist was on that one?

Has anyone asked if it makes more sense to pay the fundraisers the $4 mil and keep him in Washington? ;-)

And this is an issue because???????? So what if he causes a little more traffic than usual, he's the president of the United States for Pete's sake!!!!!!!! Why is this the title of the article and not the reason he is here in California? I am so tired of the media always finding some way to make a mountain out of a molehill. If this had been prince Williams and Kate visiting, the caption would had been a positive one I'm sure.

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