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Planning Ahead for Traffic During Obama’s Visit

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Map showing streets that have been announced as impacted by Obama's visit. These and other streets may be closed as his motorcade moves through it. The area in green on the map denotes where residential permit parking restrictions have been lifted.

President Obama will be in West Hollywood on Monday for a fundraising event at the House of Blues, followed by a dinner at Fig & Olive on Melrose near La  Cienega.   Few details are being divulged about the visit for security reasons.

“Expect street closures and major traffic delays throughout the afternoon and evening in the City of West Hollywood and surrounding areas,” says a statement from the City of West Hollywood. “Please plan ahead to avoid any inconvenience.”

The City elaborated a bit in a new statement on Friday, saying “local access will be restricted in some areas of West Hollywood during the afternoon and evening.”

UPDATE: The City of Weho announced that permit parking restrictions have been lifted in zones 1 through 7 and in zone 11 (these are the areas shown in green on our map at the top of this post).
The biggest impact to traffic will likely occur when the President is on the move with his motorcade close to the scheduled starting times of the two known events.  The first event at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip has a start time listed of 4:30PM.  The second event, just down La Cienega at Fig & Olive, is at 6:00PM.

If we’re lucky, that will mean that the impact to Fountain and the Sunset Strip (at least the House of Blues area) may be over with after the President leaves that event. Holloway and the far western portion of Sunset along with Santa Monica Blvd. will likely remain as possible departure routes from the President’s second stop at Melrose and La Cienega.

L.A. City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl announced that La Cienega would be completely shut down from 7:15PM to 10PM while the President is at Fig & Olive on Melrose Place for his second event.

As the two venues are in fairly close proximity, that should make planning your commute a bit easier as you can try to avoid central West Hollywood around the times of the events.  If you need to cross La Cienega between 3PM and 8PM, your best bet is to do so as far south of West Hollywood as possible — perhaps on Wilshire or Olympic.

If you find yourself needing to get to the other side of the President, your best bet would be to make a wide circle around and then come back towards the impacted area. It is very likely that all east/west traffic through the center of West Hollywood will be stopped at times when the President is on the move, especially when he is on his way to and from his first stop on the Sunset Strip.

Santa Monica Blvd and Beverly are the only two east/west corridors that will not pass directly by one of the event venues. Although they probably have the best chance at remaining open, they are still likely to be severely impacted by other nearby street closures. They will also likely face at least temporary closures when the motorcade is on the move.

The biggest unknowns are the routes that the President will take to and from the area. But here again, the further you stay away from his destinations in central West Hollywood, the more likely you will be to avoid the motorcade.

“If past experience is any indication, he’ll probably arrive at LAX right at the beginning of the afternoon commute around 3-3:30pm,” write our friends at Total Traffic LA. “From there he’ll be helicoptered to the VA and then driven to West Hollywood.”

Of course, if you can plan your day so that you can be off the roads entirely during the President’s visit, that would be advisable. Otherwise, most people will want to choose a route to the south of the city.

Your best bet to avoid traffic related to President Obama's visit is to give his known destinations a wide berth.

People living in the Hollywood Hills may find it easiest to access their neighborhoods from streets higher up the hills rather than the Sunset Strip area between 4PM and 7PM.

In addition to traffic impacts, there will likely be substantial parking restrictions on the streets in the area, especially near the House of Blues on Sunset and around Melrose and La Cienega.

The Sheriff’s department released the following list of streets that will be specifically impacted by parking restrictions and possible closures:

  • Sunset Boulevard (from Doheny Drive to Sweetzer Avenue)
  • Santa Monica Boulevard (from Doheny Drive to La Cienega Boulevard)
  • Olive Drive (from Sunset Boulevard to Santa Monica Boulevard)
  • Holloway Drive (front Sunset Boulevard to La Cienega Boulevard)
  • La Cienega Boulevard (from Sunset Boulevard to Rosewood Avenue)
  • Fountain Avenue (from La Cienega Boulevard to Sweetzer Avenue)
  • Delongpre Avenue (from Fountain Avenue to Flores Street)

All first responder resources and efforts are being coordinated through the United States Secret Service. The City of West Hollywood is working with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station to obtain information concerning the traffic impact on the community. This information will be disseminated if available.

As of this time, the City has no additional information regarding the details of President Obama’s visit for security reasons.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Scott Schmidt

    September 24, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    I hope the City bills his campaign for the lost revenues from meters and tickets…

  2. mark

    September 26, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    he will be landing by helicopter inbrentwood and traveling east to WH across sunset at about 5:00 pm.

  3. donklos

    September 26, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    How about all the shops and eateries who will lose money since customers can’t get into the area? He only comes here to fund raise, but getting him here costs us multi-millions, and costs businesses in lost revenues. Go home Barrac

  4. Jordan s

    September 26, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    I’m happy he is here showing support for our area. Everyone complaining are bitter old queens that need something to be angry about because they can’t get laid. That weird elf looking guy Scott hasn’t seen a live dick in 20 years.

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