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Obama, Oh Traffic!

The president will be in West Hollywood for two fundraisers Monday but the exact street closures and times haven't been released.

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.

Follow West Hollywood Patch on Twitter and Facebook for more updates, tips and news.

Bob Blanchard September 24, 2011 at 04:45 PM
Obama, Oh Traffic, OH NO. Why doesn't he just take BO and go back to Martha's Vineyard?
brad September 25, 2011 at 02:55 AM
I have to say I'm excited as I live near Fig and Olive, but also will be home by two, and be on foot to see if you can see the motorcade. That's kinda neat, but not sure you can or will find out how that works or get anywhere near. Other than that....why can't he just take a helicopter and land right in the middle of Melrose Place???? San Vicente has a sign too that it is closed, SM has no parking signs....its going to be a mess for anyone driving home, couldn't he have visited on a Sunday?
brad September 25, 2011 at 03:00 AM
I'm mostly joking! But really what strikes me as odd is today talking to people at the gym/ store, etc. No one seemed to know he was coming! I know Patch had this a few weeks ago, but the regular news barely has had it, so alot of people don't know. Maybe for security reasons they just don't like to notify everyone in advance but unfortunately for our small city, this is a big impact.

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