It takes a lot for a Los Angeles resident to complain about traffic jams. But as the President swings by to attend a Hollywood fundraising gala, Angelenos are bracing themselves for the worst--again. Last August, when the President briefly stopped by Southern California it caused such a massive traffic jam that outraged residents demanded an investigation into why they were stopped on surface streets for hours.
"I can't believe they did it during rush hour on a Monday," said a resident to the Los Angeles Times about the incident. "I told the White House they might have raised $1 million, but they lost one million votes," a city councilman fumed. After that motorcade debacle, the president used a helicopter to stop by LA last fall and the traffic situation reportedly improved.
This time around, Los Angeles seems to have put itself on full-alert for Obama's visit. Even though the details of the president's route are currently being withheld for security purposes, local authorities are once again expecting gridlock after Obama's plane lands this afternoon.
"We think this time will be better," wrote LA Weekly optimistically, noting that the Sony Pictures lot where the fundraiser is being held is not to far from the 405 freeway. "Everything will be paralyzed, I'm concerned we'll lose a lot of business," a restaurant owner near the area where Obama will dine told the Associated Press. And Total Traffic LA, which has been live-blogging the arrival, figured yesterday that the street closures "may send ripple effects through all streets on the Westside."