Monday has the potential to be a traffic nightmare as President Obama will be in West Hollywood for two fundraising events.
When Obama has come to LA in recent years, the result for motorists has been a 30-minute commute gets turned in to a three-hour one thanks to road closures for the presidential motorcade.
So, the question on most people’s minds this go-round is what route is he going to take?
The answer is no one knows.
The Secret Service is guarding that information closely. It's not even telling West Hollywood city officials what roads Obama's going to use.
The city sent out a press release Friday saying it 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.”
What is known is where his two fundraisers will be: on the Sunset Strip and Fig & Olive restaurant on Melrose Place at La Cienega.
The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that the House of Blues event will start at 4:30 p.m. It stands to reason that Sunset will be closed during the time the president is at that venue.
However, it’s unclear how long Obama will be there. The Reporter also says photos ops with the president will go for $10,000 per person and that B.o.B., Adam 12 and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles will be performing, so it doesn’t sound like a quick in and out.
As for the Fig & Olive event about a mile away, The Reporter just says it is “later that night.” That event comes with a $17,900-per-person, $35,000-per-couple price tag for the chance to participate in a Q&A with Obama.
Los Angeles City Councilmen Paul Koretz (5th District) and Bill Rosendahl (11th District) have both sent out press releases stating that La Cienega will be shut down entirely from 7:15 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Neither says how far north or south the La Cienega closure will go or where they got that information. But if correct, it sounds like the Fig & Olive event will start after 7:15 p.m. and end before 10 p.m. However, Obama has been known to be long-winded, so it could run later.
Koretz and Rosendahl also say that “streets otherwise will be closed on a rolling basis as necessary to ensure safe travel for the president.”
Consequently, the best thing to do is avoid the area entirely if possible. And if you live in West Hollywood, stay put.
The city of West Hollywood is advising that some neighborhoods will have restricted access, but it doesn’t say which ones since officials don’t know yet.
In preparation for Obama’s visit, West Hollywood will be closing parks and facilities on Monday:
City Hall – open from 8 a.m. until noon.
Plummer Park – Park office closes at noon, Farmers Market closes at 1 p.m.
West Hollywood Park – Park office closed all day. All services and activities are canceled. The pool will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Obama will be staying overnight, but the exact location is not known. Tuesday morning, he will be traveling through Beverly Hills and West LA to get to LAX, so expect more street closures. But again, which streets are not known at the present time.
Check back in with Patch for updates as more information becomes available.