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Obama lands in L.A. during Westside rush hour

September 26, 2011 |  5:00 pm


A number of Westside streets were shut down during Monday afternoon's rush-hour commute as President Obama landed at Los Angeles International Airport.

The president was flying by helicopter Monday afternoon to the sprawling Veterans Administration facility in Westwood, where he would take a limousine to a fundraising event at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, according to law enforcement sources.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's  and Los Angeles Police departments have warned motorists to expect major traffic delays throughout the afternoon and into the evening in West Hollywood and surrounding areas.

One West Hollywood businessman questioned why Obama didn't hold his fundraising events at a hanger at Los Angeles International Airport or Santa Monica Airport, where he could have landed directly without crippling small businesses for the day by forcing them to lose customers because of the roadway shutdowns.

"Why is the president speaking at a place that is going to destroy business in the area?" asked Lawrence Abramson, who helps run a small modeling agency in in 8300 block of West Sunset Boulevard. "Small business are just getting by ... This is not fair."

Obama was also scheduled to attend a fundraising event at the Fig & Olive restaurant on Melrose Place near North La Cienega Boulevard.

Law enforcement officials have said a "hard closure will remain  in effect on San Vicente Boulevard, which will be closed between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue from 6 a.m. Monday to noon Tuesday.

 Other streets will be closed depending on the route taken by Obama. These include: Sunset Boulevard from Doheny Drive to Sweetzer Avenue; Santa Monica Boulevard from Doheny to La Cienega Boulevard; and La Cienega from Sunset to Rosewood Avenue.

Motorists hoping for shortcuts will be disappointed. Shutdowns will be in effect on Olive Drive from Sunset to Santa Monica Boulevard, on Holloway Drive from Sunset to La Cienega, on Fountain Avenue from La Cienega to Sweetzer Avenue, and on De Longpre Avenue from Fountain Avenue to Flores Street.


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--Andrew Blankstein (twitter.com/anblanx) and Robert J. Lopez (twitter.com/LAJourno)

Photo: President Obama waves as he arrives at LAX on Air Force One for a campaign stop Monday. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times