March 12, 2015

What was the worst Obama traffic jam in recent years? - @barackobama

President Obama is beginning another trek through Los Angeles rush hour -- and it's likely to generate more commuter complaints.

But for all the grumbling, Obamajams have actually improved in recent years as the Secret Service has gotten more sensitive about traffic disruptions.

August 2010 

This was the first Obamajam to really generate ire from L.A. commuters. As The Times reported, his "motorcade mangled evening traffic en route from the Beverly Hilton to the Hancock Park home of producer John Wells."

"I was an Obama supporter, but ... was stopped by police from crossing Olympic to get home ... during my daily dog walk," one angry resident wrote on The Times' website. "I've lost all belief in his judgment. Can he really think he's more important than the tens of thousands of people trying to get home to their families?"

Onlookers lined Olympic Boulevard, snapping cellphone photos. One person held a small sign declaring, "We need jobs."

One Brentwood resident's two-mile jaunt took 45 minutes. An Echo Park couple who left home at 5:30 p.m. found their usual 20-minute drive west to Olympic and Rimpau boulevards took a whopping 1 hour and 15 minutes. An attorney left his Miracle Mile-area office at 5:45 p.m. and sat unmoving in traffic for 45 minutes.

October 2010

Officials seemed to learn their lesson.

This time, Obama used a helicopter to get from LAX to USC for a rally and later to Burbank.

While freeways were not affected, some surface streets around USC were. But many who attended the rally used mass transit.

April 2011

Obama was back on surface streets, but this time the outcry was not as strong.

He arrived at LAX, made his way to the Beverly Hilton Hotel, then on to a fundrasing swing through Culver City and Brentwood.

There were some major delays, but they were not as bad as the infamous August 2010 event.


During his reelection, Obama was back in town a lot. He went to home of George Clooney, Ryan Murphy and others.

The trips generated some anger from residents stuck in traffic. Wrote one on Twitter: "Mr. President, I elected you to be in the White House, not on the 405. There are times other than rush hour during which you can visit L.A."


President Obama is scheduled to travel to Los Angeles on Thursday and will make a guest appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live." His visit to the Southland has prompted several street closures and traffic advisories.

The last time Obama appeared on the late-night show, which is filmed in Hollywood, was in 2008 when he was running for president.

Because of the visit, Hollywood Boulevard and Hawthorne Avenue in Hollywood will be closed to traffic in all directions from about 4:30 p.m. until just before 6 p.m. Thursday.

During the afternoon and early evening, several other streets will be closed, including an eight-minute-long closure of Sepulveda Boulevard near Los Angeles International Airport sometime between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

After 3:30 p.m., motorists are advised to avoid Hollywood Way near Bob Hope International Airport. 

Obama will be driving through Burbank between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., so police have asked people to avoid driving in the area or risk being stuck in traffic jams. They plan to close San Fernando Boulevard, Cohasset Street and Thornton, Burton and Tulare avenues.

Starting at 4 p.m., drivers should avoid Highland Avenue between the Hollywood Bowl and Sunset Boulevard as well as Ocean Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard in Santa Monica. 

Also in Santa Monica, 19th and 20th streets between Marguerita and Carlyle avenues will be closed until 7:30 p.m.

Some southbound lanes on Avenue of the Stars after Galaxy Way also will be closed.

As part of his visit to Los Angeles on Thursday, Obama also will attend a roundtable discussion hosted by ICM Partners co-founder Chris Silbermann and his wife, Julia Franz. Attendance costs $33,400 per couple.

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