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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.”

RELATED:

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'm glad Mr. Obama is here. He is more than welcome here. This is coming from a native Californian not a transplant like most of the people who are commenting on his coming here. Why don't you idiots go back to the Southern backward ass states you came from, you are clogging our freeways daily! What would make you even utter such disrespectful things about our Commander in Chief. The man is not a miracle worker, he has 8 years of George W to undo. Lest we forget what a gem of a president he was. Bunch of idiots...This country is in trouble because of dummies like you, not because of Harvard educated Barack Obama...

The Prez is d a m n e d it he does and d a m n e d it he doesn't. You silly americans are a bunch of i d i o t s. If he "looked" like you, you'd be happy as a p u n k in boyz town.

to "TC".....your Prez Bush created this terrible economy. Get your facts straight. Perhaps you should consider relocating to another planet all of you h a t e r s!!!

Who is paying for all of this?
What a jerk!

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.”

Do you want people to say home from work? Guess what, everyone is on budget except Obama and his politically correct buddies. A day off work because the President is in town for a political fundraiser is not in my employee's handbook as a holiday. This is exactly the uncaring attitude this regime has shown from the beginning. Somebody needs to get a reality check on the important things in life, as in feeding our families and keeping a roof over our heads. It gets more difficult each day.

None of these self-serving politicians care about disrupting the lives of those they affect by stopping traffic.

Oh grow up you bunch of babies. HE didn't tell you to stay home. I am sure you're perfectly FREE to go drive there. Just don't whine some more when you're stuck for hours. and hours. and hours.

You people kill me. You're ok with the Laker parade shutting down streets for hours, yet you don't think the security of the president of our country warrants street closures? Whether you like him or not is irrelevant, the fact of the matter is since the assasination of Lincoln it has been imperative that the country's leader is secured & in today's time where people are even more radical it warrants even greater security, so what if that means a traffic inconvenience big deal. ONLY in AMERICA do we disrespect our leaders so blatantly & think of ourselves & not the bigger picture. Even if he wasn't here all you folks that drive on the Westside cause gridlock on the FWY and streets EVERYDAY, a 30 min drive ALWAYS takes 2 hours so hush.
Most of you are reading the headline (Thanks LA Times) and not the entire story, he suggest people stay home in the AFTERNOON as opposed to running errands or whatever, no where in there does it say miss work & stop blaming him for the economy it was screwed when he got in there. Anyone that puts total faith in one person needs to suffer, he his not GOD, a sorcerer, warlock or any type of magic entity, he is a human being working within constraints, laws, limitations and a mess that was made over decades can NOT been cleaned up overnight, it's not humanly possibly unless we give him full authority and get rid of the Senate, etc, so shut up whining already. You people love democracy/capitalism so deal with the jacked up economy, subpar education system, subprime lending and all the other ills that are a product of capitalism, you get what you ask for and still not happy sheesh

I'd rather have this President travel, and talk to us about what needs to be done, rather than have one that spend the equivalent of two years on "vacation" in Crawford, TX

You people are morons

"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.

Posted by: GaryW | April 21, 2011 at 09:03 AM "

Gary W....another Birther genius with an IQ of probably 90....maybe.

"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.

Posted by: Brad | April 21, 2011 at 09:38 AM"

Finally....someone else who has researched this little known fact. This missing $.20 mulitplied by the # of dollars taken from here would wipe out our state deficits, and give us surpluses.

 
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